Back to work preparation

My MBA class’  return to the labour market is several months off yet, but it is something that is on everyone’s mind (well, that and our international trips to China or Brazil!)

In years past, Smurfit graduates have always done extremely well gaining full employment after three months from graduation. But in these more chastened times, when even a Vanity Fair reporter scoffs at our country’s past spending excesses, the confidence that one might have approached the jobs market has evaporated, and in its place a dire sinking feeling.

But all is not lost. We are given every opportunity and tool to equip us for the daunting task of winning our dream role.

Mock Interviews: Getting it right before the first time

I’m currently preparing for a series of mock interviews with a host of external experts from various industries. In the past,  I’ve been markedly laissez faire in my approach to interviews: a failing that is borne of the belief that I just need to present myself in as straightforward a means as possible and the interviewer would, somehow, see my skills and talents. Well, no more! This time I’m PREPARED.

(Well, I will be soon – just need to finish this blog)

Using the SDI to prepare

So what’s in the preparation? I’ve previously discussed some of the PPD tools that we’ve used. These all go toward identifying my personal strengths and weaknesses. One of the most revealing exercises I used was the Strength Deployment Inventory. The results per se weren’t exactly a huge personal revelation (Red: self-confident, persuasive, forceful and quick-to-act), but what was particularly useful was that our team were able to compare where we all stood relative to each other. For example, my team in the first term (Anh, Joe, Jason, and Yvette) worked brilliantly together. Using the SDI we were able to see how each of our personalities compared and contrasted, and how ultimately we all brought strengths to the group, which enabled us to work cohesively, efficiently and at a higher level than we might have individually.

It’s this knowledge of group dynamics and my own, and other’s roles within a successful team that has continued to benefit me in subsequent groups. Acknowledging that others are thinking differently to me: more analytical, more nurturing, or even just like me, enables me to perform better within a team.

So, now thanks to the SDI I know what my strengths are, and am able to give examples from my time at Smurfit. I also am acutely aware of what my weaknesses are too (I’m afflicted with classmates who give some great feedback), and am able to address these too. That’s two questions for my interview sorted, I better get cracking with the rest…..

– David Lawton