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(BROWNWOOD, Texas) – The nervousness began to disappear as Texas State Technical College students recently sharpened their interview skills.

For the first time in several years, TSTC’s Career Services department hosted an Interview Practicum for students at the Brownwood campus. Local industry partners joined TSTC staff members in conducting practice interviews with students in the Computer Networking and Systems Administration program and Welding Technology program.

“This was amazing,” Jesus Noquez, a Welding Technology student, said. “They offered me advice on what to say. I was nervous when it started, but everyone was helpful to make the interviews go easier.”

Each student was interviewed by a different person three different times. They were asked the same base questions, but interviewees added questions of their own.

Chris Bastardo, a Welding Technology student, became more comfortable with the interview process with each round.

“I learned that I need to present myself in a more clear manner,” he said. “I want to be someone that the employer will take seriously.”

Rachel Lantrip, a TSTC Career Services representative, has worked with the Brownwood students in building resumes and interview skills.

“This was a great opportunity for our students to put the interview skills to use with our industry partners,” she said. “I am proud of how well prepared and how professional the students were during the Interview Practicum.”

The students’ poise and professionalism was noticed by the interviewers. Representatives from Ethos Pet Brands, Howard Payne University, Prime Metal Buildings and Components, and the Texas A&M Forest Service helped to conduct interviews.

“By the last interview, the students started to remember some of the notes that they were given,” Stacy Perry, human resources manager at Ethos Pet Brands, said. “This was a great experience for us and the students.”

Scott Squires, plant engineering manager at Ethos Pet Brands, said he wished he had a similar practice interview opportunity when he attended what was then known as Texas State Technical institute. The 1981 TSTI graduate of Manufacturing Technology was among the interviewers.

“We had a career fair we would attend, but nothing like this,” he said. “Having this opportunity will help current students when they apply for jobs.”

Brandon Scott Thomas, a senior field development officer for The TSTC Foundation, said the students left a good impression on him.

“They said the things that would make me want to hire them,” he said.

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. Learn more at

interview frame 300x225 - TSTC students work on interview skills with local employers
Javien Carbajal (center), a TSTC Welding Technology student, had the highest score among the Interview Practicum participants in Brownwood. Presenting a diploma frame to Carbejal are Career Services representatives Rachel Lantrip (left) and Elisha Seca.
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