I got a phone call from HR last week asking if I would mind participating in an activity for recent graduate IT hires. Having done some of these things in the past, which usually involved eating dinner with some interns, I was eager to say “Sure.” Helps me step out of my terribly nervous anti-social shell and do something productive where I meet new people.
This time was different. It was a two-hour test run for an assessment center, where I was to go through an interview for a position in operations. This meant I was given 75 minutes to prepare a presentation based on a case study. I would then present said findings and recommendations for ten minutes, and participate for 15 more minutes in discussion and debate with a panel over my proposal. This only came with a few small problems.
- I know nothing about operations.
- I know nothing about M&A.
- I didn’t know I was going to be in an interview.
- There was definitely no free alcohol or dinner involved.
- I had to pee.
The whole thing was nerve-wracking and uncomfortable, but was arguably more intellectually stimulating than what I normally do. Still, that will be the last time I volunteer for something at work without knowing exactly what I am getting myself into. Lesson learned.