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The Interview

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
Bohdon Wowtschuk Hello Shipmates! The United States Coast Guard Academy provides us cadets with incredible opportunities to grow and develop as leaders. As a cadet who is always looking for ways to improve myself, I try to take full advantage of all the Academy has to offer. This past semester I applied for a summer internship and a leadership position within my company. Both these highly sought after opportunities required a formal interview, and this blog is about my interview experiences.

In order to get selected for a Humanities internship, cadets are required to have an interview with the internship selection board (which is made up of five members of the Humanities faculty). The internship I desired was probably the most sought after internship in the entire major. There are three spots available for a cadet to go to Prague, Hong Kong, or Crete for a month and take classes in politics, international policy, and economics. Obviously, I was interested in this internship because of the incredible learning opportunity presented, and not the free month-long trip to a foreign country where I will meet other college kids from around the world. As an engineer, I based my merit for receiving this internship on my vast experience with the Model United Nations Club and my deep interest in foreign policy and politics (which is actually true). I really wanted the internship, and I spent weeks writing my application essay and attaining letters of recommendations from various staff members. I thought I had a decent shot, but I knew it all depended on my interview. This was the first real interview I ever had in my life, and I was pretty nervous.

After spending 15 minutes looking for the interview room (it had been changed but I was unaware of this), I was sitting awkwardly at a table across from the five person selection board. I was prepared for most of the questions they asked me, however, there were a couple that were, for lack of a better term, ‘merciless.’

Merciless Question #1: “You cite your participation in Model United Nations at providing you with the tools and experience to succeed in this internship. Correct me if not mistaken, but isn’t the MUN team in Sweden right now at a conference? Why aren’t you with them?” My fists clenched as he asked the question. To provide you with a little background, I was actually extremely bitter that I wasn’t invited to go on the trip, not that I would have gone, but I would have like to be invited seeing as how I am the third most experienced member on the team, but I digress. “I actually wasn’t invited,” I responded through a fake smile, “I believe they had a quota of two guys and two girls they had to fill, so I wasn’t able to attend.” It sounded believable, probably not true. I doubt they bought it.

Merciless Question #2: “I see your military ranking is fairly low in your class, would you care to comment on that?” This question really ticked me off because I had no real explanation. A little background: I have a cumulative military score of about 81/100…and 80/100 is, “exceeds expectation,” I have never been restricted, never been in any serious trouble, and yet I am 147th out of 246 militarily in my class. It doesn’t make sense to me either. Why do I need to explain myself when according to the rules I “exceed expectations?” I went back and forth with the questioner for a solid five minutes before he accepted my answer of, “I really have no good answer for that.”

It’s been almost a month now and I have yet to receive my acceptance email. I am sure it will come any day now, but if it doesn’t, I can always go underway on a cutter for 12 straight weeks!

Fun Fact: I have never seen the movie Forrest Gump.

More about Bo.