Oral History Interview

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Student Reflection

One thing I learned was that yes, it’s an interview, but really it should be treated as a regular conversation between two people. A good interview should be able to flow smoothly. And even though you have questions written down, as the conversation continues, new questions may popup and make the conversation better. Something I found challenging would be doing research on my interviewee’s occupation. Since he’s an entrepreneur, his range of work is pretty broad. He does a little of everything, so it was hard to narrow it down to a couple things. Since the interviewee was my dad, I enjoyed a lot of things about this interview. I loved talking about our family name and how we are continuing to thrive as a successful company.

My topic was pandemics, specifically covid-19. I learned how multiple businesses made a huge profit off of the virus. Because the economy crashed, a lot of businesses lost a lot of money. But on the other end a lot of other businesses made a HUGE profit.

Actually, conducting my own oral history interview was surprisingly more fun than I thought it would be. I think the reason for that is because its on a topic that I really enjoy talking about. I love talking about business, especially with my dad because he has a lot of knowledge and insight on the topic himself considering that he has owned his own business since he was 18. And now he is almost 50 years old. So, He’s been learning about it for a very long time.

I think this assignment meets the learning outcome because we had to formulate focused questions based on our interviewee. And we had to use our existing knowledge on the topic along with more data and evidence that we collect from researching the topic as well.

If I could give one suggestion, I would say that you could give more options for topics. You [the instructor] only gave us 2: pandemics and protests. And even though I loved picking from those two, it would have been nice to have more options.

I would tell them [future FYS students] to really take their time when coming up with questions. If you do that then you are guaranteed to have a good interview. The more detailed the question the more detailed the response. And the more detailed the response then the more room there is to think of more questions on the spot and that just makes the interview more interesting and better overall.