On Friday, April 17, 2015, I had a group interview for the position of becoming a part of the CUNY Service Corps for a period of six months. The interview was held in the Mary Pinkett Lecture Hall, located in the S building, and business attire was required. The CUNY Service Corps is a program that provides college students with an opportunity to gain valuable work experience in the essential services, such as health and education in our communities. In return for their effort, students also benefit from the enriching and meaningful services as social skills and leadership skills are developed and students interact with professionals in the workplace environment. Students are given the opportunity to gain the initiative of learning while earning a stipend, and this creates a platform for recognition, advancement, and possible future employment.
I arrived early for the interview, which was scheduled for noon, and I observed that it was well attended. Students pursuing different degrees were all contending for the coveted positions, and only students who displayed leadership qualities would be chosen. One young lady who was successfully chosen last year addressed the audience. She attested to the fact that the program was indeed beneficial and rewarding in terms of achieving practical skills while engaging with fellow workers with a singular desire to be productive, and thereby making an effective contribution to the community.
The interviews began in a timely manner, although a few students showed up late and were sharply reprimanded. A short documentary film was presented in order to familiarize us as to the expectations of the program. We were then asked questions concerning the purpose of the CUNY Corps, which I had anticipated and therefore could answer. We were divided into groups of five and asked several questions from the panel of interviewers with a minute to answer each question. A series of questions were intended to test our public speaking capabilities. We were told to organize a corporation that would address and make recommendations in order to present a solution for a given problem in the community. Each group was given a blueprint of a community with a list of problems and we were expected to develop a strategy to solve the problems by appointing board members to address and resolve the situation. This required exceptional leadership and problem-solving techniques of each student.
In the end, each of the five students in a given group was given a minute to sell ourselves as to why we should be chosen to represent Medgar Evers College as a CUNY Service Corp intern. After our responses, we were advised that we would be notified via email as to whether we were chosen to participate in the program. Overall, the interview afforded me the chance to overcome my fear of public speaking, as well as to increase my confidence and build my self-esteem. I would strongly encourage students to apply for the upcoming 2016-17 recruitment; the application process began on Jan. 15. Additional information is available at the Career Management Service Center located on the third floor of the S building, suite 302.