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Mauricio Featherman Mauricio Featherman Ph.D

Featherman’s Interviewing Tips, Resume Advice, and Career Strategies

  1. MIS@WSU Cougs make their own luck. No one will hand you a job. Rather, commit to lifting yourself up technically and socially throughout your time in the MIS major or MBA.
  2. Show up to every recruiting event and student club meetings, both formal and informal. Become comfortable networking.
  3. Learn to ask questions, show interest in others and make small talk. You will learn something each and ever time.
  4. When talking to a recruiter exude confidence, enthusiasm, ambition, and curiosity.
  5. Package your passion for technology into short stories of how you solved problems and created good results.
  6. Remember interviews are not about you, they are about what you can do for the company. Your value to the company is commensurate with how many problems you can solve for the company
  7. Your job on interviews is to put the recruiter at ease. They need to feel that its ok to take the risk of hiring you. So you need to exude confidence, reliability and trustworthiness.
  8. Rather than provide a list of technical skills you have (Sharepoint, SQL Server Visual Basic, etc.) or list the job duties that you performed;
    package up your experiences in project form using the following format. Solved __________ problem using ______________ technologies and/or methodology, resulting in _____________. You can take liberties with the packaging. It’s important that you realize that technology exists to solve problems an provide value, so get in the habit of tangibilizing and verbalizing the value you create when designing systems.
    For example “Solved Northwind’s inventory ordering problem by creating an automated inventory reordering system using A VB.ENET\SQL Server website, resulting in decreased stock-outs and decreased reordering costs.You can use theĀ STAR approach in your cover letter, your interviews, and your resume. Package up your experience (even class projects) into short stories that can be used on interviews, in cover letters, and even
    MIS@WSU Coug Alumni dinner parties.
  9. Remember that you have 15 minutes to sell yourself on a job interview.
  10. Here are some desirable traits
    a) will to conquer
    b) ‘get it done mentality’
    c) commitment
    d) passion
    e) enjoy continuous learning
    f) enthusiasm
    g) total lack of entitlement mentality, or complaining personality
    h) ability to focus on a task for a long period of time
    i) resilience
    j) because IS/IT are support roles, practice your empathy
  11. Here are some behaviors or traits to eradicate from your personalitya) entitlement – no body owes you anything, except maybe your parents
    b) complaining – higher paying jobs have more problems, and challenges. Take them in stride. You may never get a promotion or keep your job if you verbally complain
    c) don’t ever give your boss work – you are there to make the operations easier for the boss. If you do run into difficulty and need guidance, rather than dump a problem on your boss’ lap, mention the problem and 2 or 3 potential solutions that you have considered. Problem solve with your boss.
    d) similarly never drop problems on your boss,
    d) don’t let stress cause you to make decisions that were not well-reasoned. Rather remain calm.
    e) maintain civility and kindness, and be
  12. On a job interview – its OK not to know the answer to a question. When you get a lunch period, get on your phone or tablet and get the answer.
    After lunch provide the answer or at least your initial research of what direction research needs to ensue.
  13. What to develop at WSU – purpose, perspective, perseverence, and empathy.
  14. Most valuable technical skills are hard to come by and are not fun until you put in the work and gain competency. The joy comes later when you have a sense of mastery over the skills. You must persevere and show grit everyday in the IT world.
  15. More traits to develop while at WSU – resourcefulness, responsibility, respectfulness. This means respectful of other people’s time.
  16. Equal parts humility and self-confidence
  17. Develop a sense of initiative rather than too often asking what you should do next. Your next boss will expect you to be ambitious and mature enough to innovate and solve problems on your own, rather than run to them when under duress.
  18. The MIS major is a conduit a pipeline to great corporate IT jobs, always has been. The classes are tested and designed to provide you the skills recruiters have said they value. So lift yourself up. Cougs make their own luck.
  19. When you get the job, don’t forget that you are but the newest component of a long relationship between the company and MIS@WSU. So don’t damage the MIS@WSU brand, rather work hard so that the company returns the following year to hire more MIS@WSU Cougs.
  20. Finally please come back and recruit other MIS@WSU Cougs, and otherwise make opportunities available. Cougs lend a helping hand.