In a 2 day competition, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona conducted a unique job interview searching for their new LEGO Master Model Builder. In the food court of the Arizona Mills mall 46 applicants participated in a build off to find the most qualified person for the job.
What is a Master Model Builder? They are the person that creates the models and displays that decorate the location. They are the face of the LEGOLAND location, communicating with the press and the public alike. They run the minibuilds for the kids and special events, as well as creating seasonal and special displays. I was informed that in November they will be creating a new Star Wars display in this location. Creativity and execution are important, so are working well with a team and kids.
Inside the mall on the morning of January 30, registration opened early, the competition was to begin at 9:00 AM. Some applicants had arrived from out of state the night before, others very early that morning. Nervousness and excitement intermixed. The very last applicant registered slightly before the cutoff time. Some applicants had preregistered online, others filled out their application that morning. As they signed in, they were divided into 4 groups. At the start time, the groups were given the theme that they would build. Each group got half an hour to build an animal.
There were 16 elements spread across 6 colors from a 1x3 yellow tile to a 1x8 white brick. There were large tubs of bricks that the builders could choose from. The judges watched them build, and watched each contestant interact with the spectators and the other builders. Enthusiastic kids helped to sort bricks and pieces for the contestants and offer suggestions. At the end of the half hour, each group took their build to the judging area. After 4 hours of building, the judges spent another hour whittling the applicants to 20.
The semi-finalists were divided into 2 groups and given the theme "Under the Sea." Each group was again given half an hour to build. The semi-finalists were whittled down to 10 and the day was done. After 8 hours, 46 had become 10, and they each had a chance to go home and contemplate the theme for the following day. On Sunday, they would have to build something that represented them.
Now, job interviews usually consist of an actual interview, and this one was no different. Early Sunday morning, each of the finalists had to return and be interviewed by representatives of Merlin Entertainment Group. Merlin is the holding company that runs LEGOLAND, Sealife Aquariums, Madame Tussaud's and more. Each of the contestants arrived for their interview, tired from being up late trying to figure out their design. Some had spent the night trying to construct their ideas from bricks, others drawing on graph paper. But now it was time to put their best foot forward. Once the interviews were completed, they still had hours to wait until the afternoon's competition.
At 3PM the second day's competition was scheduled to begin. The area had been cleaned and set up again, all the spilled LEGO bricks back in tubs. The Finalist's builds were on display, no hint of those who did not make the cut. Spectators gathered around the tables again, excited to see the end of the competition. Each finalist was introduced to the new crowd and the final event commenced. Families and friends cheered on their champion. Kids alternately helped or hindered the contestants. The finalists were mostly engaging and friendly, chatting with the kids and asking their opinions. Some were boisterous.
Judges again toured the area, observing the builds, asking questions and seeing how they all interacted. When the time was up, they stood, hands held high. Relief mingled with hope. Each contestant chatted nervously with friends, family members, spectators and each other. They were each taken to be interviewed for local TV while the judges made their final decision.
At 4 PM the final announcement was made, the winner was crowned with a hard hat. Alecsander Posta was the new Master Model Builder. He was given a brick built goblet and they dumped a bucket of LEGO over his head. Those who did not win were very gracious.
Congratulations Alecsander, we look forward to seeing you on opening day.
Edited by thoroakenfelder