Each year, Evans Scholars finalists from around the nation travel to a country club in their state to take the final step in their application process to becoming an Evans Scholar: the interview.
The Evans Scholarship interview is a very unique experience. Instead of sitting down with one or two representatives, a student stands in front of a panel of 30-150 WGA Directors, Evans Scholars Alumni and other representatives, and answers their questions in a press conference style format for about 15 minutes.
The questions can range from light-hearted topics like freshman Calista Hughes' question: "How would you help Tiger Woods with his back spasms?" to heavier topics including past challenges and failures.
Every interview; however ends, with the same question: "If you were awarded the Evans Scholarship, what would it mean to you?" Here is what some of the current Minnesota Evans Scholars had to say about their interview experience.
Sophomore Jackson Poeschl said the experience was "unlike anything he had ever been through before and he doesn't expect that he will ever have an experience like that ever again."
Junior Zach Dombeck said that the interview was frightening and wonderful at the same time. It was crazy that my life came down to this one moment. But the interview itself was very quick and fun. "I honestly don't remember a lot of it."
While most current Evans Scholars associated their interview experience with a lot of pressure and nerves, most were also able to say that it was an overall positive experience.
Freshman Amanda Polanski for example, stated that she felt comfortable up there. She fielded questions about school and sports; she said it was fun and easy to be able to talk about herself. She said that she got "pretty emotional" during the last few questions, and that there were not many dry eyes in the audience.
Sophomore Andy Salmon said that while it was very nerve-racking beforehand, the personalities of Directors Mike Maher and Tim Orbon made the whole experience more amiable and that everyone in the audience was very friendly, making the interview feel more like a conversation by the end.
Junior Marcus Manaro said that the experience was educational. He said he felt prepared for future public speaking. "It's not often where your entire future is on the line in an interview."
The Evans Scholarship interview allows applicants to really show who they are in person, and not just on paper. It gives them a chance to express how much the scholarship would really mean to them and why they really deserve to be invested in.
Sophomore Sam Likar said that her emotions got the best of her, but she was glad to be able to express really how much this scholarship would change her and her family's lives. "It was probably one of the most emotional days of my life, it helped me realize how big this scholarship really is and how much everyone that is a part of it wants to make a difference in our futures."