Sunday, January 27, 2008

Interview of a Dance Alum

There comes a time after graduation where we must put into action all the skills we have practiced in school. It feels like the culmination of everything I've learned in my life thus far. It's like I'm freaking out in Senior Synthesis with Susan Shields all over again. My job hunt ensues as I have been going to some interviews for jobs that are completely non-dance related. All I am looking for here is some full-time work, something to pay the bills until I can figure out exactly what my dream job is, or until somebody reading this blog will find my writing articulate and compelling enough to pay me for all my work.

Maybe this can also be of some service to the students currently facing the stresses of Senior Synthesis back at the Mason dance department.

Honestly, I would love to be in New York City, a place where I can find many arts-related jobs as well as practice my craft of dance by taking classes. It's really just a matter of sacrifice, however. If I really want to go to NYC, then I will get there. And either way, I will probably struggle. But if I can have eliminated debt from the past four years as well as accumulated a savings to fall back on, maybe the struggle will not be as much of a financial burden for me. So for now, NYC will have to wait for me.

So, based on my experience with the National Dance Association, I have been looking for an administrative office job. Something full-time with health benefits and without a horrendous commute if I can help it.

My first, most promising offer was from a company called MacArthur Associates located in Arlington. It's not too bad of a commute, it's metro accessible, the pay is decent, and it would put me on a management track which would potentially lead to a series of raises. MacArthur Associates is an IT job placement company matching companies with employees to fulfill their needs. My job would begin as a placement counselor. Some of the questions I was asked at my interview were as follows:

What makes you a good candidate for this position?
What motivates you?
Why do you think you would excell in this environment?
How does your dance experience prepare you to fulfill the necessary job requirements of this position?

To which I responded;
I am extremely motivated and hard working, demonstrated by my part-time work experience throughout college while still being a full-time student. This is also proven by the fact that I began dancing at the age of 15 and seven years later was awarded a college degree in the focus of modern dance. I am motivated by myself with little outside influence. I achieve for myself and no one else. The ability to support myself independently motivates me to target a high paying job that will solely support me and allow me to eliminate the low-paying part time jobs that I have maintained throughout school. I would excel in this environment because I am surrounded by other hard-working and motivated individuals. My experience from the level of excellence at GMU has shown me that I work best in this type of environment. My experience as both a dance teacher and also as a student choreographer would make me an excellent leader or manager. I possess all the skills necessary to lead a group towards accomplishing an end goal while still maintaining a specific focus of integrity and outward appearances.

It is answering the generic interview questions with relation to your own personal experiences that demonstrates the ability to transfer dance skills into the real world. Of course I would rather accept a dance or art related job, but in the meantime I would like to prove to myself that there is nothing out of my reach.

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