Mock Interviews and Beyond

During the week of November 28th, The Office of Career Programs and Employer Relations hosted virtual mock interviews for students in the Dominican Career Development Program (DCDP) 200-level course, Leveraging Your Strengths. At these virtual events, held on Tuesday evening, Thursday morning, and Friday morning, students were interviewed over the phone for entry-level positions, and the event was wrapped up with a feedback discussion via zoom.

Mock interviews take place every semester and are meant to provide students with the skills and confidence they will need when they are interviewing for internships and jobs in their field. For two students in particular, the mock interviews presented a unique opportunity. Students Leslie Lopez (sophomore) and Stephanie Rojas-Arreola (freshman) were invited post-interview to the annual clerk’s address to meet with professionals in their field of interest.

Leslie Lopez, a sociology major, attended the mock interview and was pleasantly surprised by her experience. Following her interview, Leslie was invited by Cesar Rolon, Associate Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, to the annual clerk’s address to meet Carmen Gercone, Executive Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

“I was very shocked when Cesar Rolon invited me to the annual clerk’s address to meet Carmen Gercone,” said Leslie. “Cesar mentioned how Carmen has a law enforcement background and has connections with the FBI which is something I’m looking for as a career goal. Aside from that, he told us that Carmen is a Latina woman which is something that I can relate to so I was thrilled to get this invitation.”

Leslie spent the next day in preparation for the event, excited at the chance to form professional connections. One of the connections Leslie had made was with Cook County Clerk, Iris Martinez. During their brief conversation, Clerk Martinez invited Leslie on a tour of the Cook County Courthouse. After speaking with Clerk Martinez, Leslie had the opportunity to speak with Carmen Gercone, who shared her business card and invited Leslie to Women of the Shield Academy. Women of the Shield Academy is dedicated to partnering with institutions to provide women currently enrolled in a criminal justice program or interested in a career in law enforcement with an opportunities like job shadowing.

To sum up her experience, Leslie shares, “My whole entire experience that came after that interview was amazing and I am very happy and grateful that I had the opportunity that I did.”

By Jessica Flores
Jessica Flores Graduate Assistant