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Off The Blocks

students 2If the notion of enduring an hour of grilling during a case-based interview makes you nervous, take note of "Tepper Prepper," a new series of preparatory workshops that is accelerating career readiness for first-year Tepper MBA students.

Tepper Prepper, introduced in 2006 by the school's Graduate Business Association, is a mentoring program in which second-year MBA students tutor and mentor first-years to assist with preparation during the hectic, critical phase of job interviews for summer internships.   Included in the program are workshops, mock interviews and mentoring opportunities, yet most student find the personal advice and counsel of their second-year mentors to be the most vital aspect of the program.

Jeremy Hastings, MBA 2008, was included in the first group of participants. Hastings clinched his interview last January and walked away with a summer internship offer from Bain & Company, a global business consulting firm in Boston.

“I was really nervous about the interview process,” says Hastings, current president of the Graduate Business Association. “I realized that if second-years had navigated the internship search and had landed jobs for the summer, then they had the advice I want to hear.”

Tepper Prepper is held during the first two mini's to give first-year students sufficient time to prepare for internship interviews during the winter months. Tepper Prepper features four two-hour workshops that address critical subjects such as networking, interview and resume preparation, plus behavioral and case interviews. Each workshop consists of a half-hour lecture followed by a ninety-minute group breakout session where students practice what they learn through role playing and mock interviews.

“There’s credibility when a peer tells you what works versus reading it in a book,” says Hastings. “One of the best pieces of advice I received mentioned listening in on the quarterly analyst calls via the Internet. I heard the CEO of Merck discuss the company’s direction and the ideas they were trying to implement. The information I heard during the analyst call armed me with the knowledge I needed for questions about Merck and its direction."

Matthew Hawryluk was also grateful for the insights he gained from Tepper Prepper. “It provided a forum where I could get my interview questions answered by people in the know,” says Hawryluk, who completed his internship at Amgen, one of the world's largest biotech companies. “As a result, I felt very comfortable in what were potentially high-stress situations.”

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