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INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWING PAPER (due on 3/30, 20 pts. possible)

The essence of informational interviewing is simple. People approach informational interviews with the same professionalism as job interviews in how they dress and act. However, instead of looking for a job, they converse with professionals already working in a field that interests them and, in the process, learn about the marketplace and their potential place in it.

Informational interviews are typically 15-30 minutes in length and typically occur in an office or over coffee—and/or on Zoom. They focus on a number of simple questions: What do you do? What interests you about your work? How did you get to where you are today? What are the challenges for your industry? What are the pathways into the field? In the process, you shift the conversational focus from your self-interest toward the activity of the work itself.

For this assignment, you will do the following:

1. Complete a self-assessment of your interests, capabilities, and goals using discernment exercises from “The best jobs for every personality type”? (This exercise will be posted on Moodle.)
2. Based on that assessment, conduct 2-5 informational interviews in which you talk with professionals who are working in the field(s) that interests you. Doing this will require you to network, beginning with family and friends, to find people to interview. If you are interested in a career in graphic design, for instance, you will not be required to speak with 2-5 graphic designers. Instead, the goal will be to talk with working professionals about your interest in graphic design to see how you can begin to translate that interest into reality.
3. Prepare a 4-6 page essay (including a cover page and a page of references; using APA 7th ed.) with three main parts:
a. Summarize your self-assessment: What did you learn about yourself and your career interests? Did the exercise change anything for you? What career direction would you like to pursue?

b. Summarize your interview findings: What did you learn from your interviews? What surprised you? What interested you? What disappointed you? What gave you hope?

c. Describe 3-5 implications: What did this exercise teach you about the marketplace? Where can you go from here? What areas of weakness—educationally, personally, professionally—do you need to address?

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