Confessions of a Summer Intern: You’re Hired! You’re Fired!

Jay shares what he has been working on since his first summer internship post.

Since my last post back in June, I have been very busy at my internship. It feels like I had just started my internship and now I only have about 5 weeks left. To add to that, I can’t believe that summer is almost over – which means starting classes at UW-W again is only a little over a month away. I guess when you are having fun and staying busy with an internship, things go my faster than usual. Let me move on to tell you what I have been doing since we last met.

Jay Brannan

With my Human Resources internship, I have been spending the majority of June and July on Recruitment, Training, and Employee Relations. While this might not sound very interesting at first, I should add that it is a big part of any company – and I love it. I have worked with aspects that include hiring new employees, training new hires, keeping in constant contact with what happens to the employees, and even what happens after their employment has ended – including being terminated (fired).

Recruiting and Training are perhaps two of the most important parts of what a company wants to stand for. Any company wants to have the most qualified person for the job and to have them be well trained so that they can be a successful employee. When an applicant applies for a job, they don’t just want that job. They really want a career with a great company.

Some more of what I have been doing in regards to recruitment is updating records in our application system and what happens to each candidate in the hiring process. For example, if we feel an applicant meets the qualifications and has consistent employment history, we would conduct a pre-screen. A pre-screen is just another way to narrow down the number of qualified applicants to those whom we want to schedule interviews for. At first, it was difficult for me to get the hang of determining whether or not to pass on applicants, but now I know what to look for and it has gotten much easier for me.

Along with pre-screening applicants, I have been conducting both professional and personal reference checks on applicants who have had interviews to see what their current/previous employers and coworkers/friends have to say about the applicant.

To add to that, I have also been able to learn and work with employee relations material which includes what happens if an employee needs to take a leave of absence to how to handle situations after employment ends. I have learned in dealing with such material is that HR professionals are very knowledge and on top of their game when things get complicated and serious in matter. I find it an honor to be able to learn what I have been learning and to add my input and take over some of the material that we get as an organization.

One part of my internship that I enjoy a great deal about is that I have been able to take part in webinars about different HR laws, practices, and how to improve on certain aspects of HR. With completing and listening to professionals talk about these laws, practices, and improvements, I have gained valuable knowledge that I can use in my internship as well as use after I graduate from college.

While learning a great deal of information and having fun doing it, I have been assigned a lot of projects to work on during my internship. I will just mention a few of them so I don’t end up writing a novel (which I hope these post aren’t too long).

One of my projects I am working on is completing Recruitment Metrics for the month of July and comparing them to the month before. This includes figuring out how many applications we received, the number of new hires, who left the company, determining the turnover ratio, and much more.

The most recent project that I was assigned to was Recruiting and Hiring a few new hires. I have to pick a few applicants that we have set up interviews for and, by myself, follow the progress of the hiring process until I extend an employment offer to each of the applicants. This includes keeping in contact with staff and hiring managers to completing background and reference checks. I have a deadline to hire them by, so I will be working a lot on extending an offer of employment to these individuals.

The last project I will mention is that I am creating New Hire Packets and Binders for the new employees. While this is a project that involves a lot of time and organizing paperwork, I still enjoy it. I have to gather certain documents from our files, make copies of them, and put them in their respective binders and folder. I get to learn what the documents are used for and read up on them so I grasp a better understanding for myself.

HR Intern

One of the other parts of my internship that I like a lot is that I take tests. Yes, I said tests. And I like them. Every Friday, I take a test on HR practices about what I learned and what HR professionals need to know. So far the tests have been a little difficult, but they will only get harder. You can’t get a lot of this knowledge from classes, because there are just too many things that you can’t learn from classes – you need that real-world experience that comes with having a job or an internship.

Aside from all the work that I have been doing for my internship, I have been able to work on a personal project for the organization. I was excited to hear that I can do this because I had some good ideas about what I wanted to do. I narrowed my ideas down with my supervisor and I am working on creating satisfaction surveys for the training classes that we offer our employees.

This is important to both HR as well as the instructors that teach the classes. The employees will be able to answer some questions and give feedback on what they would have done different or have kept in a class. A big one that I think a lot of the employees will mention is the length of certain classes. Sometimes this will be able to change, but the duration of some training classes will have to stay the same.

If all goes well with creating these satisfaction surveys, I hope that the organization will be able to use the surveys for years to come! My supervisor also said that this is something that I will be able to put in my portfolio when I apply for future jobs. This made me really happy that I could do that.

As I am getting to write a bit much now, I will end this blog with a few more comments. – With a little over a month before my internship ends, I am feeling sad and yet happy. I love my internship (which makes me happy with that I chose Human Resource Management as my major), but I’m sad because I do not want to leave this great organization and the people I work with. But like all good things, they must come to an end.

Please don’t think of this as the end of my blogging, because I will be back for one more post in August!

Until then, stay tuned to read about what other exciting adventures I will have during my internship and how my personal project works out.