Confessions of a Summer Intern: Meet Gabby Fenzel

Gabby Fenzel

In the past, waking up earlier than 9am on a week day in the summer was a challenge. The worst part is the sun blaring through the one gap in your blinds right into your eyes. Just as you turn to avoid the light, your cell phone alarm goes off at maximum volume, scaring you out of your sleep. This summer has been very different for me. In my life, I have never considered myself a morning person. But, I have never had such a good reason to get out of bed in the morning. What’s the reason? I am a Human Resources intern at Rockwell Automation.

For those of you who haven’t heard about Rockwell Automation, I’d be happy to enlighten you. RA is a company devoted to industrial automation (or using control systems to automate machinery in factory settings), power control (attempting to save money for other companies by being more green in all types of ways), and information systems (providing companies with solutions to their problems, whether it be factory or software based).

For those of you who are not from around the Milwaukee area, my internship in here:
Rockwell Automation

Usually, the first thing you will see is this:

Before I tell you about my typical day as an intern, I should probably tell you a bit about myself. I am graduating in May of 2012 with a double major in Marketing and Human Resources. I am captain and founder of the Women’s Club Soccer team, and an active member of SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management). I have been involved all over campus within my past three years and have loved every minute of it. If there is any advice I have to offer, it’s try EVERYTHING. Don’t be afraid. You can always do other things, but you can never go back in time!

Now, as an intern, I am given an outrageous amount of opportunities. I can participate in a variety of projects, attend informative workshops, and listen to as many speakers as I would like. The best part about Rockwell is that all of the people I work with want me to succeed. From day one, I have been encouraged by my manager, Melody, and she continues to inform and instruct me daily in an attempt to teach me more and help me grow.

Gabby at Her Desk

For all of you who are unaware of what a Human Resources Generalist (HRG) does, let me try to explain it. There are a variety of elements of a company that employees other than HR are unaware of. These elements include: recruiting, hiring, training, performance management, salary and benefits, employee relations, coaching, and many other leadership types of tasks.

Now that you’re a little familiar with a typical HRG job, I’ll explain my progress. Over the course of the summer I was assigned eight projects. Lucky for me, these projects are all part of the different aspects of HR, so I can get experience with it all. To spare you of the minor details, I will just discuss three of them. My first project is a staffing project. I get to witness and learn the process of posting an open position, reviewing the resume for qualifications, interviewing candidates, evaluating candidates, and then sending the offer letter. I am pretty excited to be involved in this project. By next month’s post, I will let you know how it went.

The second project is very analytical and fascinating! Rockwell is attempting to research reasons why certain sales engineers have stayed with the company and others have left. We are constructing a ‘retention data base’ with unique variables such as their majors, past experience, university, and other important factors. In addition to the personal variables, we are including their ‘caliper’ results. A caliper is similar to a personality test, but is used to determine a distinct personality for sales employees. It is interesting to see the graphs and evaluate the results in relation to their personal data. I am eager to view the final product within the next few months.

Lastly, I am working on what is called an ‘On-boarding’ project. This project was created years ago to help newly hired employees transition from ‘new hire’ to a valued employee of the company. Because Rockwell Automation is so big (nearly 19,000 employees world wide), it is easy to become confused about which trainings must be completed, or which paperwork to turn in and where. I am working with a variety of other managers to brainstorm ways to make this process easier. We are attempting to provide information to the ‘new hires’ that would inform them about our company, our products and services, and what to expect within their first month of work.

Overall, my experience is far greater than I had ever imagined. The corporate setting is very new to me and took a while for me to adapt, but I’m catching on and loving every minute. Every day is different: different people, different concepts, and different aspects of HR. I am thrilled to be an intern here and I can’t wait to see how much I’ve learned come August.

Thanks for reading! Until next time – Gabby Fenzel