My First Human Resources Job

This past week I started my internship position with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Parks and Recreation (it’s a mouthful, I know). The thing that really attracted me to the position was the flexibility with hours and the fact that they are willing to let me do anything and everything I want in terms of getting more human resources experience. They are located on Morse Road, which is only about 15 minutes away from campus. We handle everything that has to do with employees of all the state parks in Ohio. One of my supervisors is in charge of parks in northern Ohio, while the other is in charge of all parks in southern Ohio. Another lady and myself are in charge of helping them with their projects and anything with which they need help.

For my first week, my typical day was to come in at 8am, then start working on one of my projects. Lunch is a half hour, which is just enough to eat and make any personal phone calls that have to get done. I leave at 4:30, but Tuesday-Thursday means that I come straight home to change, eat very quickly, and go to class from 6-9 or 9:30pm. It seems like a lot, but it is somewhat manageable, with the help of caffeine. And, thank goodness I have Fridays off (since I just work 32 hours/week).

In just one week, I’ve been able to almost complete a full report for human resources activities during the month of September (this means logging information about what actions have been taken for employees during this one month period, such as hiring, termination, leave, etc.). I also started working on sending pre-interview forms for managers who will be interviewing for positions in the next few weeks. And most importantly, I’ve learned how to read Personnel Action (PAs) Files, on which the information for the monthly reports is based. I’m told that future projects will include workers’ compensation, rewards, working on benefits, and actually helping conduct interviews. The other nice thing is that I’ve been able to put my Bachelor’s degree in Communication to good use, as my office is across the guy who promotes the parks through Twitter, Facebook, advertisements, etc. I’ve been able to offer a few suggestions when it comes to using these social networks to drive traffic to the parks.

The first week was pretty difficult, trying to get everything accomplished for class, now that work has taken over most of the daytime hours. It will definitely take some getting used to, but hopefully by the middle of winter quarter I will have some kind of system in place. Tune in to future posts to see how things are going during Winter Quarter….

A speaker in one of our classes once said, “people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses” and from my experience that is the complete truth. However, the people I work with are great. The office is pretty small, there are two human resources officers, one human resources assistant, their boss (who is also my boss, indirectly) and me. Everyone has told me that if I have anything I really want experience with to just ask and that they will “make it happen.” I think this is what an internship is supposed to be. I’ve heard so many horror stories from friends about how they get stuck in a corner doing work that no one wants to do for however long the internship lasts. I feel like I’m actually a part of the team, doing things that everyone else does and that I am held to the same standard.

So far, there are no complaints. The experience is awesome, especially since I had none coming into this program. The people are great, very friendly, and ready to give projects for me to complete. Summary: Love the job, can’t wait to continue gaining experience in the human resources field.