For senior Lindo Zondo, it was an opportunity to put what he has learned at The College of Idaho to use. For TitleOne, a local title and escrow company, it was an opportunity to meet college students in Idaho who could be candidates for internships or jobs in the future.
The two paths intersected recently in a competition called, “The Interview.”
Applicants had the opportunity to meet virtually with TitleOne executives in an interview setting to hone their interview skills as they prepare for life after college. There were 20 finalists overall. Seven of the top 10 were College of Idaho students.
And one – Zondo – earned the $1,000 prize as the top interviewee.
“You finally get to put those things to the test in interviewing with a panel of people – that learning experience of them giving you feedback,” Zondo said about the competition. “I loved it. It was wonderful, exciting, and, fortunately for me, a successful experience.”
TitleOne’s Director of Projects & Development Keelie Campbell helped engineer the first-year competition.
“We’re not as concerned with what major you’re in or what prior experiences you’ve had,” said Campbell. “We just look for talent and the right person that is going to fit our team and our culture.”
So what set Zondo apart from the other finalists?
“We had comments from several of our leaders who interviewed him about how impressive he was as far as overcoming adversity, persevering, and really showing that he cared about others,” Campbell noted. “The overall package of being driven, motivated, and extremely talented.”
Zondo graduates from the College in about a month as a double-major in business administration and history. A native of South Africa, he has applied for a visa extension that will allow him to work in the United States while he plans for graduate school. During his time at the College, he has earned Dean’s List recognition, served as an academic advisor, worked with residence life, competed athletically, performed in theatre productions, and he’s a member of the College’s first-ever team to win the CFA Challenge. At the award presentation, he talked at length about people at the College who have helped and mentored him along the way, including faculty members Mee-Ae Kim, Kris Erne, and Rick Goodwin as well as administration members Jennifer Riddle, Nicole Cammann, and the College’s co-presidents, Doug Brigham and Jim Everett. He says those people, and others, are a big part of his success story.
“That’s what makes our College special. You genuinely have people rooting for you and people who want to see the best for you,” Zondo said. “For me, that was crucial. Especially being so far away from home. It made The College of Idaho feel like a home away from home.”
The College of Idaho has a 130-year-old legacy of excellence. The College is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition, and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. For more information, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.