Eminent Person Interview Reflection

Attempting to get an interview for my Eminent Person project was a frustrating yet insightful experience. Even though I sent four emails, I received no replies. However, I still learned many valuable skills during the process of creating and sending my emails. First, I learned how to construct a well-worded, formal, and polite email by properly greeting and thanking my interviewee and explaining the project, the TALONS program, and my goals for the interview. I ensured that I kept the date and time flexible because it would increase the likelihood of my interviewee accepting since they are probably busy. This skill was valuable, not only for the Eminent Person project but also for my Digital Literacy assignment, where I was instructed to create another formal email. Also, in the future, I will need to compose formal emails on many occasions, such as for assignments and jobs. Another skill I learned while preparing for a possible interview was how to write questions. The questions should be specific, so they are simple for the interviewee to answer but open-ended enough to add details and interesting facts. Also, while practicing for my interview, I became confident at asking relevant follow-up questions on the spot, making my interview feel natural and allowing me to gain more information.

            However, despite learning many new skills, I did not get the opportunity to test my interviewing skills. Not receiving this opportunity was frustrating because I spent a reasonable amount of time preparing by doing practice interviews, making questions, and constructing four different emails. One factor that played a role in not receiving an interview was that the contacts of the individuals I intended to interview were usually locked behind paywalls, so the sites I got them from were slightly questionable. Next year I might consider paying a few dollars to obtain more reliable contacts, or I could interview someone in a similar field like a university student as they are easier to contact. Unfortunately, someone in the same field will not answer more specific questions as they probably have not extensively researched my eminent person.

            Although not receiving an interview was frustrating, the whole experience was incredibly beneficial because I became proficient in many new skills. I learned how to construct a formal email, a skill that will prove to be extremely useful for the remainder of my academic and professional career. Also, I honed my interviewing skills throughout the entire process, and I am confident that I will have more success in obtaining an interview next year.

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