Aaron Points has never had to interview for a job. So the aspiring graduate of Victoria College’s process technology program wouldn’t miss an opportunity to see what the experience is like.
Dillon Hammond of Dow Chemical, Bobby Garner of Invista, Shawn Wehmeyer and Lance Harlan of Formosa Plastics, and Beth Baker of Austin Water recently spent six hours conducting mock interviews with 14 students in VC’s process technology program. The exercise helped students prepare for the difficult questions they will have to answer when applying for a job.
“I’ve worked for a few companies and they really needed help, so they hired me. There wasn’t really an interview process, ”said Points, who will complete the program with an Associate of Applied Science in the spring. “So that was a new experience for me.”
Fred Chastain, VC process technology curriculum coordinator, said the program started with the mock interviews five years ago, and some students impressed the interviewers enough that they received a follow-up interview.
“Process engineer jobs are in high demand and very competitive with great pay and benefits,” said Chastain. “Our faculty is focused on preparing them for success and this is one of the many ways we do this. This really helps our students gain interview experience and allows us to get feedback from our industry partners on the strengths and weaknesses of our program. Our industry partners get an initial look at our graduates and give us feedback to improve the relevance of our program’s curriculum. “
Brian McMullen, who will graduate from the program in the fall, was surprised at how many interviewers were in the room.
“I didn’t expect them to ask me any questions, either,” McMullen said. “You made me do it.”
Points said he was approaching the interview like his career depended on it.
“I went into it like it was a real interview,” Points said. “You have to sell yourself. You have to show what you know and hopefully I did. “
Victoria College’s Process Technology Program offers a one-year certificate and two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in process technology. The program prepares students for a career as a process engineer or operator.
For more information on VC’s industrial trade programs, call 361-573-3291.