A six-member panel sat in a semi-circle, shooting random questions at a candidate who gallantly answered them all. The scene was set like a typical interview session, only the questioners were all under 20 and pumping themselves to appear confident, while the more self-assured candidate was clearly middle-aged!

The deliberate role-reversal was one of the few inventive strokes that placed college students in witty, befuddling and amusing situations in the race for Mr. and Miss TYSON at the inter-collegiate contest organised by the Rotary Club of Tiruchi. An exercise in group dynamics, the mock interview had students playing the Board of Directors. While they pursued the task of hiring a prospective candidate for a position of chief HR personnel, judges gauged their ability to assess a person, question intelligently and take collective decision.

Creative and logical mix

As many as 279 students from 14 colleges made their way through various tasks that simultaneously tested the candidate’s individual competence and ability to contribute in a team. An aptitude test and an extempore on ‘Peace through service’, the Rotary International theme for 2012-13, determined the 28 finalists, said Panchanathan, chairman, TYSON 2012.

Memory and association tests set by John Louis, World Grandmaster in Memory, were designed to challenge the use of the left and right brain. Finalists were both challenged to come up with logical sequences connecting two disparate objects, and conjure out-of-the-box associations to match assorted names and faces.

Experiments with truth

Proving individual brilliance is a different ball game from showcasing it in a team without meddling with group cohesion, was clear at the talent assessment event. The contest allowed for showcasing of individual gifts followed by a 30 minute talent showdown as a team incorporating all talents. Titled ‘Experiments with truth’, the personal interview round was all about self-discovery and presentation. A blog post on possible individual initiatives to check terrorism called for original thinking and expression of ideas.

Govancharan of M.A.M College of Engineering and Jenifer Esther of St.Joseph’s Institute of Management, bagged the titles of Mr. and Miss. TYSON and would be sponsored by the club for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) in Kodaikanal, later this month. G. Vasikaran, past district governor, Rotary District 2980, awarded the title winners and group and event toppers. Earlier, S.Gopal, District Governor-Elect, inaugurated the competition. M.D Hussain, president, and S.Rajasekaran, secretary, spoke.