Sebastian Pesthy is a graduate of McDaniel College, who showed potential and outstanding exemplar worthy to mention when talking about McDaniel students. Throughout his years in college he achieved exceptional accomplishments within the walls of the classroom, as well as on the labor market. He graduated at the end of 2012 and is currently serving as an intern for one of the multinationals in Vienna. By sharing his journey and experience, he is able to help future graduates to deal with the difficulties of the labor market and job hunting. He spoke to our reporter István Kovács.
After you graduated what did you find hard regarding the labor market?
There is nothing hard about it. You need to fulfill the expectations of certain companies. As an individual you need to gain experience before your graduation. In order to collect experience you should go out and find yourself internships while you are still in school. I think there is a long summer break where you have more than enough time to look in to a certain industry you are interested in. In my opinion you should search for an internship you are really interested in. Ask yourself what kind of job you would like to do later on. During your studies you should find a field you are really interested in.
Where did you do your internships?
I did internships in the US with Porsche Design for about seven months and also another internship with them in Germany for about six months. As you can see I interned with one company for a pretty long time. But I must tell you that I really had fun there.
But interning does not mean making coffee and making copies. At serious companies, like the one I have interned with, you get your own projects and you are in charge. If something goes wrong then it is your fault. Certainly supervisors support you but these companies want you to work proactively. My mantra is to give 200% and work hard; you are responsible for whatever you do there. You have to put a certain amount of pressure on yourself. If you don’t pressure yourself it doesn’t work. You also need positive energy, if you don’t think positive you don’t have the ability to get anything.
So you need motivation?
Not just motivation, you also have to be happy with yourself and happy with the job that you are focusing on. Then you get to a certain point and achieve something. Your flair is what you carry out to people. You should make sure that you are always professional and focused. An example would be that you never should show that you are in a bad mood. This leads you to a positive attitude regarding your job.
What was the hardest part of a job interview?
The hardest part of an interview is how you take an interview. If you put yourself under pressure, you won’t be able to really answer on what they ask you – just enter the room smiling with self-confidence and be yourself.
Never focus on only one position, apply for ten or 15 positions at the same time. Hey, asking doesn’t cost! So what can you loose?
Writing motivational letters and CV’s is what you should focus on after you graduate.
When it comes to interview questions, be always honest and say your real opinion. Do not lie or make things up!
What would they ask you?
These HR guys could ask you anything. Questions concerning psychology or just about your opinion on certain topics. The conversation could also turn into a pressure interview, whereby they try to figure out how good your problem solving is and how you react to ideas under pressure. The interviewer could also try to confuse you and make you feel like a nobody, just to see how you take stress. My tip is to remain calm and focused. You always have to take interviews as a game. And if you are someone who likes to win – you have to let your counterpart feel it. They also want to see that you are able to struggle and fight for your ideas.
What is the internship you got accepted to?
The company is a global player in the consumer goods industry. I am interning in one of the departments in the B2B Marketing division.
Do you think you are ready for the job with the amount of education you have received?
I would claim that college in general does not really prepare your for the real world. You need to gain experience in order to feel like you are qualified for a job. An example would be, if someone knows how to drive a car in theory but never tried in real life – that person won’t do good in the beginning. It is like with everything in life. You need to practice something in order to become good at it.
In my opinion there are two different kinds of students; namely book smart and streetwise. I want to be honest with you, book smart is not enough – you need to be street smart as well in order to be able get a good job. You need both characteristics in order to be able to get a decent job. By saying street wise I mean that you have to know certain things which you are only able to attain through practical experience. You need to know how things work in a company, like how to operate a PIVOT. You have to know how to deal and speak with contractors, you need to know the different departments in a company and also all the responsibility that you have. Get as much experience while being a student and you will be fine.
What’s your next goal in life?
I want to go for a masters in the field of marketing. I got accepted to a school and hopefully I will start it in September 2013.