- July 6, 2017
- Posted by: Kalindi Mangeshikar-Vega
- Categories: Guest Blogs, YOakleyPR
Welcome to the YOakleyPR Intern Spotlight Series!
In this intern update, we introduce you to Alexandra “Casey” Lowe who previously interned at YOakleyPR as the very first Human Resources Intern from August 2014 until February 2015 and went on to take on the role of the Human Resources Project Manager during this time. Since her virtual internship ended, Casey continues to leave her mark in the world of Human Resources.
How did you enter this field?
After college, I was really trying to narrow my professional interests and focus them into a career path. I began researching grad school options, and the Human Resources path seemed to speak to me. To be sure of my interests, I reached out to HR professionals to ask them about their experience, and I started applying for HR internships – which led me to YOakleyPR!
What has your career path been like?
My career is still in its early stages, but I would say that it boils down to me saying “yes” to opportunities that have come my way. There have been times when I applied for a position I really wanted but instead was offered a different position outside of my field of interest. By taking on those positions, I gained experience and skills that unexpectedly turned out to be transferrable to my next role. It also allowed me that “foot in the door” to the position and company where I wanted to work.
Could you tell us more about your current position? What is your current job title?
I work for PRO Unlimited (PRO) as a Client Services Consultant. In my role, I sit onsite at one of PRO’s clients and manage the contingent workforce that operates both onsite with me and in remote offices across the country.
Can you provide a brief description of your job?
My job is a bit of a smorgasbord of HR. I do payroll, staffing coordination, employee relations, onboarding, and internal communications, just to name a few. As a Client Services Consultant, one of my main duties is to provide consultation to our client on co-employment risk.
What kind of problems do you deal with and what are the decisions that you make?
This may be cheesy, but “problem” is often just a more negative way of saying “opportunity.” If there’s a performance problem on the team, it is often an opportunity to connect with workers and managers and see what’s going on. If there is an attendance issue, sometimes that can be an opportunity to talk about medical or schedule accommodations. In the end, it is all about connecting with the people around you, discovering where they’re coming from, and working together to find the best solution for everyone.
What do you enjoy the most about your current role and what do you think is the most challenging tasks/projects you have ever done?
I probably enjoy learning new things the most. Because I work on a pretty small team, I have a lot of exposure to several areas of HR, and I feel like I get to dabble in everything. Visas, benefits, state laws, FLSA, ADA…there’s so much to learn!
Most of my challenging tasks fall in the realm of employee relations. Every situation is different, and just when you think you’ve seen it all, there’s something new that pops up that you’ve never encountered before. It takes a lot of great teamwork to resolve issues and find a creative solution that works for everyone.
How do you see this field changing in the future?
I currently operate in the world of the “contingent workforce,” which is much bigger than I realized before joining PRO. I think the contingent world and the management services of that workforce are only going to continue growing.
Is there something you wish you had known or a skill you wish you had started out in the human resources industry? Is there something you wish you had done differently starting out?
Sometimes I wished I had asked the hard questions before I got into the field. When you talk with people about their experience, their answers can be vague or generalized, e.g., “I manage relationships with managers,” or “I handle payroll.” And often I would walk away from the conversation still wondering, “yeah, but what does that mean?”
In terms of skills, I feel that HR can largely be a cross between being a manager and a counselor. That’s oversimplifying it, but I think having skills in those areas would have elevated my work in the beginning. But that being said, where better to learn than on the job?
Do you have any advice for YOakleyPR Human Resources interns? How would you advise our Human Resources interns to plan their future?
Fix a goal, work towards it, and let everyone know what you’re working for. Never burn bridges. I’ve almost never gotten a position without having a contact that helped me get there. When the people around you know what you want, they’ll keep you in mind when an opportunity comes along.
Do you know of an inspirational quote or saying that you would like to share?
I have so many! But the one I will share now used to hang in a frame over my bed when I lived with my host family in Chile 7 years ago, and it’s stayed with me ever since. It motivates me whenever I think I am having a hard time by reminding me that I’m incredibly fortunate to be where I am.
“Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto” or “Thank you to the life that has given me so much.”
– Violeta Parra
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