Intern Spotlight: HR in Communication Studies

HR-ImageThe way Human Resources ties IMC into their organization is rather unique. In Human Resources, the objective is not to sell the organization’s brand, but instead to help each individual in an organization focus on their personal branding. Individuals can continuously improve their communication skills and concurrently be efficient in their work together.

Julia George is a senior at UNCW, graduating in December with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. During the months of May-August 2015, she completed a Human Resources internship through the Communication Studies Department.

Interviewer: What were the steps you took when applying for an internship through the Communication Studies Department?

Julia: During the Summer 2015 semester, I applied through the Communication Studies Internship Program for a position in Human Resources. This was incidental to my career, given my past and present course load made it clear my future was in this field. A Communication Studies internship entails researching a desired position and agency, interviewing with the targeted agency and supervisor, and approving this internship through Dr. Bulger- the faculty member in charge. My internship through the Communication Studies Department enabled me to complete a three-credit course, completing the correct amount of hours at the desired agency.

Interviewer: What were your duties as an intern?

Julia: The internship gave me glimpses into the everyday tasks of the Human Resources. During my time at UNCW’s Human Resources Department, I practiced co-facilitating retreats, managing social media, and marketing aspects of HR. After I completed my internship with the Human Resources Department, I was offered a part-time job. The experience I gained through the internship program and courses at UNCW, I am now able to practice those skills as a part-time employee at Human Resources.

Julia came across the Human Resources internship during a Communication Studies course, taught by Dr. Brunson. The Intercultural Dialogue course required students to complete an out-of-class facilitation. Molly Nece, the Professional Development Coordinator in HR at UNCW spoke to Julia’s class about facilitation. Julia used her interpersonal skills and networking capabilities to learn about and purse the HR internship, through Molly Nece.

535934_410333185791421_6763646625442744694_nJulia’s daily tasks as a staff member in Human Resources include: development of job aids for facilitations, assistance with retreats, attendance of all meetings, research and collection of data, and marketing HR through social media channels. She manages the social media channels for the Employee Training and Professional Development program called Dare to Learn Academy. This task correlates to the Professional Development Program and markets the five important factors for strengthening one’s personal brand – serving, leading, innovating, being resourceful, and growing. This program focuses on helping the faculty and administration across campus tap into their strengths and weaknesses, through group practices and self-evaluations, for a better understanding of how to interact in the office. The five factors of Dare to Learn Academy are marketed through Facebook and the Dare to Learn catalogue.

Interviewer: What have you learned as an employee vs. an intern?

Julia: When you are an intern, you are at a transitional phase from applying what you’ve learned at UNCW to a professional workplace. You start with smaller tasks, which help you learn how important every detail is in projects. It is okay if you make a mistake, your supervisors understand you are in a learning process. As an employee, you are trained for the position; deadlines are more serious and making mistakes are not an option. Having the practice from an internship prepares you for this mindset and decreases the stress of whether you are completing a project correctly or incorrectly.

10479958_10153111690567474_8095338665732746440_nThe interview with Julia clearly shows the benefits and advantages from completing an internship during a college career. Not only is there personal growth and development, there is a clear correlation to success in future career endeavors. The opportunity to develop one’s personal brand and create network connections with professionals in the desired field, is invaluable.

To find more information about internships visit: Career Center

-Jonathan Callahan, Erin Fouhy, Julia George, Joseph Hines, and Sarah Suggs