Human Resources is often thought of as a necessary evil in business, the hiring-and-firing department that polices office hallways keeping everyone in line. Nothing has been further from my experience working in HR this summer. I’ve learned many of the ins and outs of this area of business, and while policy, conduct, and discipline are major concerns for any HR department, the true focus is people. My boss consistently asks me the question, “How can we better the lives of our employees?”, pushing me to care about my coworkers through my work. Human Resources is about improving the workplace, instilling a culture that is both inviting and challenging. That takes hard work.
One lesson I’m taking from this summer is that diligent effort, creativity, and initiative are far more important skills in business than most of the head-knowledge we accrue in college. Each department and division of a company is at once unique in scope and focus and yet they all require the same determination and hard work to succeed. This is a new perspective for me, which has been incredibly helpful in discerning which area of study in business I would like to pursue. As a business major, I’ve been able to leverage my skills and experience to help prepare and lead seminars, policy presentations, as well as onboard new employees, all while adjusting my expectations from college to the workplace. Everyone I work with has something to teach me, if I ask questions and adopt a learner’s attitude. This helps tremendously in HR as I’ve sought to relate to my coworkers and hear their stories, helping me understand struggles and work to improve their lives.