January 8, 2018 QUIC program helps undergrads stand out to employers

Practice interview

Among the many benefits for undergraduates attending a top-ranked school such as Fisher College of Business are the wealth of opportunities for internships and post-graduation employment. 

But those opportunities are the result of more than students’ academic prowess and the strength of Fisher’s reputation. 

Fisher’s Office of Career Management (OCM) is a driving force in helping students stand out to potential employers by ensuring that the college is a favorite place to recruit, and that students are well-prepared for the interviewing experience. 

Whether it’s preparing to interview for an internship or for a first job after graduation, central to that preparation is OCM’s Qualified Undergraduate Interview Candidate (QUIC) program. For more than a decade, QUIC has been helping Fisher students excel in interviews with some of the nation’s most sought-after employers. 

In order to take advantage of OCM’s assistance and participate in Fisher’s on-campus interviews, undergrads must first become QUIC-certified. Earning that certification involves achieving 100 percent on five Carmen course modules designed to educate students about the career management opportunities at Fisher while also preparing them for the challenges and nuances of interviewing.

After successfully completing the modules, students participate in a graded mock interview with an OCM staff member. But the mock interviews are more than practice interviews with generic companies; they involve questions tailored for specific positions at blue-chip corporations, including EY, L Brands and JPMorgan Chase & Co. — firms that actively recruit on Fisher’s campus.

Once students successfully complete the mock interview and follow-up with a thank-you note, they are QUIC-certified and receive a digital badge to add to their LinkedIn profile. 

According to Margie Bogenschutz, senior director of undergraduate career management and recruitment at Fisher, OCM’s QUIC program is unique in its rigorous approach to preparing undergrads for on-campus interviews. Additionally, OCM staff members work closely with employers to ensure the program meets their needs and that interview questions are relevant for each employer. 

“The Office of Career Management helps students refine their interviewing skills through coaching sessions and through our mock interviews, during which several key items are graded,” Bogenschutz said. “From answering challenging behavior-based questions, all the way down to the student’s greeting and handshake, we want to make the experience as authentic as possible and measure each student’s performance.” 

In its recently released 2016-2017 annual report, OCM highlighted impressive results from the QUIC program, as well as its overall career preparation initiatives:

  • 1,163 QUIC interviews were conducted
  • 420 QUIC Badges were issued during spring semester 2017
  • 936 walk-in appointments with peer career coaches, of which 898 were for résumé reviews and 38 were for LinkedIn profile reviews
  • 157 companies conducted career-position interviews with Fisher undergraduate students, completing a total of 2,006 interviews
  • 129 companies conducted 2,059 interviews for internships
  • 88 percent of recruiters agreed that Fisher undergraduate students used clear examples to answer behavior-based interview questions

Find out more in the 2016-17 Career Management Annual Report

“Our office works to ensure the QUIC interview process looks and feels like the real thing,” Bogenschutz said. “Students are expected to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early and be professionally dressed, as well as have a clean copy of their résumé. Then, we evaluate how well prepared they are for the interview and expect that they’ve done their homework about the employer with whom they’ve chosen to perform the mock interview.” 

Kati Hood, campus recruiting manager at KPMG, has noticed that the QUIC process sets Fisher students apart from their peers.

“You see a difference in the students who have completed the online modules, résumé review and mock interview,” she said. “The students show more confidence and are better prepared for the job search.”

Marcus Stierwalt (BSBA ’15), who majored in accounting, appreciated the rigorous grading of the QUIC interview process. For Stierwalt, QUIC did more than help him prepare for internships and his first job interviews after graduation. The program also gave him the confidence to successfully interview for the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity.

“Since my freshman year, I have had two internships, both of which I had to interview for to obtain,” Stierwalt shared during his fourth year at Fisher. “I would not have been able to obtain those internships, and eventually my full-time job, if it had not been for the QUIC program.”

In survey results and through discussions with corporate recruiters who visit Fisher’s campus, Bogenschutz has observed the importance they place on the QUIC program. For students, the program is an added benefit to their education, she said.

“The strategies students learn through QUIC can be applied to other companies they will interview with, even long after graduation” Bogenschutz said. “Students see the value in what we offer, and the program has really become part of the undergrad culture at Fisher.”