Kishwaukee College welcomed 37 businesses on campus March 5 for Diesel Power Technology and Horticulture Interview Day and Business Etiquette Luncheon. Approximately 43 students participated to practice interviewing skills, obtain an internship job, and learn the proper way to eat and present themselves in a business environment. Employers completed evaluation forms on students after the 20 minute interview.
“We’re really looking for someone outgoing and very personable with knowledge of Microsoft Office,” says Amanda Weides, Maintenance Account Manager at Winters Landscape in Sycamore. Weides interviewed students this year but is an alumna of the Horticulture program at Kish and attended Interview Day as a student in the past.
Former students in both Diesel Power Technology and Horticulture have been successful in securing employment through the Interview Day process. Mike McElmeel, President of Bobcat of Rockford and Janesville, says the company currently has three employees from Kishwaukee College and he came to interview day to see what other candidates are available. “If they are interviewing you,” McElmeel says, “there’s a likelihood they will find a spot for you.”
In preparation for Interview Day, instructors taught students how to write a cover letter, resume, and create a portfolio showcasing accomplishments. Several employers even visited the campus prior to Interview Day for a discussion panel so students could learn about companies prior to the event.
“Diesel Technicians are in high demand and the industry is struggling to find reliable, well-trained replacements for its retirees. Kish Diesel program is working with employers to ensure our students are trained properly to be entry-level ready,” says Mark Engel, Assistant Professor of Diesel Power Technology at the College. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a $46,360 median yearly salary for diesel service technicians and mechanics in 2017.
Businesses were invited to stay for the Etiquette Luncheon where they shared a meal with faculty, staff, and students at the College. Students practiced customary behaviors such as appropriate introductions, how to eat, and polite conversation.
For information on the Horticulture or Diesel Power Technology programs, visit www.kish.edu/horticulture or www.kish.edu/dpt.
For information on Interview Day, contact Diesel Power Technology Assistant Professor Mark Engel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-825-9787.
Photo: Kishwaukee College Diesel Power Technology and Horticulture students interviewed with local employers then had a Business Luncheon at the College. Pictured: Kish student Alberto Cacique interviews with employers at Diesel Power Technology and Horticulture Interview Day.