Career Moves: Elon student grabs the attention of Capital One with help from SPDC career advisor

With help from staff at the Student Professional Development Center, Roberta Marsh '21, a strategic communication major from Saint Augustine, Florida, strengthened her interview skills and bolstered her confidence as she prepared for her interview with Capital One.

Applying to jobs outside of one’s college major can be challenging. Applicants must demonstrate their relevant experience and show that they would be a good fit for the job opportunity.

This challenge is one that Elon senior Roberta Marsh ’21 took on as she began to look for jobs in business as a strategic communications major.

During her time at Elon, Marsh has completed internships and held on-campus positions in organizations such as Live Oak Communications, Elon’s student-run public relations agency, and Elon Student Television that provided her with marketing and leadership skills. Although these experiences would make Marsh’s resume stand out, she needed help learning how to highlight them during interviews. That is when she decided to turn toward the Student Professional Development Center.

Marsh met with Alison Doherty, a career advisor, to respond to popular interview questions. During these meetings, Marsh learned how to thoroughly answer interview questions while also integrating her relevant work experience to showcase her skills and qualifications to employers, ultimately helping to land a position with Capital One in its two-year Management Rotational Program.

Marsh recently answered questions from the SPDC about her experience:

What were you trying to accomplish when you met with the Student Professional Development Center’s professional staff, and what specific help did you receive?

I was looking for guidance on answering tough interview questions and wanted some insights into best practices for interviewing over Zoom.

I was also trying to find a job. Doing this during COVID came with apparent difficulties. Learning how to interview using Zoom was one of them. I wanted to enhance my virtual skills and turned to the SPDC’s Alison Doherty for help. She offered her unwavering support and hosted multiple mock interview sessions, and business case study prompts throughout the entire process.

What did/have you learned from the experience?

The most important takeaway I gained through my meetings with the SPDC is to lean into my strengths during interviews.

Applying for a career in business as a strategic communications major seemed daunting. However, I realized that my in my undergraduate courses and student leadership gave me a unique edge. Alison encouraged me and helped me learn how to highlight these strengths during interviews.

What recommendations would you share with other students about the Student Professional Development Center?

The SPDC is one of the most valuable resources Elon has to offer. The staff is relentlessly committed to helping students throughout the entire job search and interview process.

How did your interest in the organization, company, or career development?

I contacted a few people at Capital One to discuss their experience working at the company, learn about its culture and the actual work involved. It became clear that it would be a good fit for me. These conversations reaffirmed my interest in Capital One, and I submitted my application. I received a request for an interview in October. This encouraged me to continue researching the company to be as prepared as possible for the interview.

Tell me about your experience in landing this opportunity at Capital One.

After receiving the request for an interview for the Management Rotational Program at Capital One, I quickly made an appointment with the SPDC for help preparing for the first-round behavioral interview. Alison answered my questions about the process, showed me how to research the company, and practiced responses to the typical interview questions.

Following my first interview, I was invited to an online Power Day. This consisted of three elements: a back-to-back behavioral-based interview, a case study, and a job-fit interview. Alison’s encouragement, guidance, and mentorship gave me the confidence to prepare for the days’ schedule.

Which faculty members did you work with to prepare, and what help did you receive?

I worked with Alison and valued her time and patience in helping me throughout this process. I also discussed the opportunity with Shannon Zenner, Live Oak advisor and assistant professor of communication design. Zenner’s encouragement, insights, and advice was invaluable and very much appreciated.