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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Intern Ryan Lattimore Experiences Adjutant General's Office (AGO) & Says Farwell


A few weeks ago, I was shipped out to the Adjutant Generals Office (AGO), which happens to be my favorite agency at the State of Indiana. On my first day, I arrived at AGO and met with April, the HR Generalist. After meeting the staff, we jumped in the car and headed to Terre Haute to help our staff better understand their healthcare opportunities. The base we arrived at was Indiana Air National Guard. I had the opportunity to meet with multiple state employees and answer their healthcare questions to the best of my knowledge. I also received the opportunity to tour the grounds and see the history of the Indiana Air National Guard.

On my second day at AGO, we took a trip down to the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (MUTC) and Atterbury. At Muscatatuck, I met with a large group of employees and handed out all sorts of HumanaVitality goodies to the staff. Aside from answering questions about HumanaVitality and our silver status portal, I also had an opportunity to tour the campsite. This area was huge! The entire site was set up to mimic international buildings as a way to prepare troops before being shipped overseas. Their sites ranged from an underwater city, subway station, a four story hospital, and much more. Many of these areas were marked with red flags, signaling that a live drill was occurring on that particular site. After finishing up at Muscatatuck, we drove directly to Camp Atterbury. Since we were running short on time, we took a tour the facility and meet some key staff members. My favorite part of Atterbury was their gun range. They had one of the largest ranges I have ever seen, especially the sniper ranges.

On my last day, we took a trip to the Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy (HYCA). This was extremely exciting for me because my first project with the State Personnel Department included a climate survey from HYCA. It was great to see the facility in person and have the opportunity to see our potential progress first hand! By this time, I was practically fluent with HumanaVitality. I enjoyed visiting all four facilities because I got out of my comfort zone. I was interacting in an environment that was fresh and abstract.

After finishing my final agency, I returned back to Department of Health (ISDH) and State Personnel Department (SPD) for a few weeks. At ISDH, I had the chance to view the results of my Family Medical Leave (FML) Survey that I developed for their supervisors. In addition to analyzing the results, I developed a workshop for the supervisors to develop the areas they seemed to be struggling in. Back at SPD, I was assigned a project from our Deputy Director Stefanie. My project consisted of integrating SPD data into an efficient and consistent metrics dashboard. 

As much as I hate to say it, my internship has finally come to an end. I have had a remarkable experience working for the State of Indiana. I never imagined myself gaining this extensive amount of experience in just three months. I have practically quadrupled my network connections and gained many friendships along the way. To say the least, it’s going to feel odd not driving to work every morning. I would like to thank everyone at the State of Indiana who has taken time out of their busy schedules to work with me and keep me engaged. Each individual is responsible for my progression through personal and professional development. I say my final farewell as I continue my career path into my senior year at IUPUI. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

Ryan Lattimore
HR Intern

Indiana State Personnel 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Farewell Intern Mary

As I am wrapping up my internship at the state, I am so thankful for all of the experiences that I have had. I am so grateful for all of the agencies taking me in and letting me learn about the things they do and the problems that they face.

A special thanks to the talent acquisition team: Thank you for taking me in and allowing me to grow as an HR professional. I valued my weeks in W161 because I knew that you were all people I could trust and would walk me through any issues I had. I will miss all of the talks between the cubicles, going to lunches on Friday, and just being able to have other people to bounce ideas off of.

Dawn: I don't even know where to start. Just to put it simply, I am so grateful that you were my mentor during this internship. Thank you for always believing in me and pushing me to try new things. I know I probably asked you way too many questions, but you were always willing to help me and set other things aside to take on my problem first.

Ryan the Intern, Dawn the Intern Mentor, and Me!

Also, a special thanks to all of the agencies that took me in:

Pendleton, Dept of Corrections (DOC): As this was my first rotation, I wasn't really sure what to expect at first. Thank you to the whole HR team for trusting in me to get things done and allow for me to take things on with as little guidance as possible.

Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI): Heather, thank you so much for talking through things with me and always involving me on the issues that were brought up to you. I loved job shadowing you, learning about the problems you face and your path within HR. Because of you, I began to actually consider becoming a generalist.

Dept of Child Services (DCS): I was allowed to take on a critical function of HR. Thank you for allowing me to sit in and see the importance of an I9 for an agency. It was also very fun to learn more about what each person within your HR department did.

Department of Health(ISDH):  I was able to shadow their HR team. I really enjoyed being able to sit in on some of the employee relation issues. Jon allowed me to be involved in many of his daily problems that he faced and included me on many discussions that happened around resolving these issues.

Adjutant General’s Office (AGO): During my time at AGO I got to complete my coolest project. I was assigned to do a job competency project on three of the positions they have. April and Julie gave me all of the necessary documents and I just ran with it. Every now and then I would go to them for suggestions and to ensure that I was doing things correctly, but they fully trusted my work and opinion. I also had the privilege of job shadowing April during our HumanaVitality tour. She told me about her job and what makes it unique because of her agency. I also got to see some of the barriers that she faces while we were at the different locations.

This opportunity is so beneficial to any student considering going into HR. I don't think I could express that enough. This opportunity with the State has been more than I ever expected it to be. I have gotten to take the things that I have learned in the classroom and see how they are applied in different HR settings. The best part of this internship is the rotational aspect. As an intern you are put into a different agency on certain weeks. Within that week you can learn about the different problems they take on, see the different culture and learn varying HR practices. This experience has been so unique and allows college students to really grow and gain some professional experience. I am so thankful for all of SPD, for allowing me this opportunity.

Signing Off
Mary the Intern

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Intern Ryan takes on IN State Dept of Health & Projects with Talent Acquisition

A few weeks ago, I explored another unique agency, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), as a Human Resource (HR) Intern with the Indiana State Personnel Department. Upon arrival, I was introduced to an extremely welcoming HR team: Brian, John and Kim.

My first project involved developing a survey for ISDH supervisors, which assessed their understanding and compliance with Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Over the course of the week, our team continued to tweak the survey until it was ready to be distributed. This gave me a great opportunity to not only work on my design and development skills, but also to gain a better understanding of FMLA and how it affects an agency.

In addition, I was tasked with taking an email regarding an upcoming “Lunch and Learn” for our Wellness Program, and transforming it into something that would motivate ISDH employees to attend. I took this email and created a flyer that not only provided the essential information, but also was appealing and would grab the reader’s attention. I appreciated the opportunity to utilize my creativity!

The next week, I was partnered with my good friend Caitlin in Talent Acquisition. She tasked me with “resume mining” for Nurse Practitioners as part of a Strategic Staffing Plan.  Utilizing internal and external resources, I used my best judgement to provide potential candidates that displayed the desired education, experience and background.  On top of this, I was given a list of Indiana colleges/universities to contact about starting/strengthening a networking relationship with the State of Indiana. I researched the schools to verify they were accredited and provided their Careers Services departments with information about our nursing opportunities to disseminate to their students and alumni.  (Nursing Careers with the State of Indiana)

After finishing up my work with Caitlin, Mary (the other intern) and I partnered together to accomplish a huge list of small tasks assigned by all members of Talent Acquisition. This included anything from making calls or researching programs, to writing documentation. Essentially, this was designed to mimic “a day in the life of a Recruitment Consultant.” By the end of the day, Mary and I had completed almost all of the extra projects that our consultants needed to get done. Next week I will be heading over to the Adjutant Generals Office (AGO). I am extremely excited to see what they have to offer!

If you are interested in working for the State of Indiana, click this link:

Until next time…
Ryan Lattimore
HR Intern
Indiana State Personnel Department 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Intern Mary takes on AGO & Humana Vitality


These past few weeks have flown by! I can't believe that I am starting the 11th week of my internship. With that being said, these past two weeks have been so exciting! I got to work closely with the embedded human resources team within the Indiana Adjutant General's Office (AGO), which is responsible for the Indiana National Guard. 

The first week, I had the opportunity to take on my first competency project. I looked into four positions and reviewed the discovery sessions that were previously completed.  The objective of the discovery sessions was to find the best outcomes or goals for each position. I gathered all of the data from the discovery session and tried to see what duties employees said they were doing that aligned with the job description. Once I made these parallels, I was able to identify things that potentially may need to be changed on the job description or if an employee was performing duties that should be performed by another position. From the data that I aggregated, I was then able to find competencies that best fit each position. This was one of the coolest experiences I have had thus far. It was my task to draw conclusions from the information that was provided to me. The team allowed me to run with what I thought would be best and present my conclusions. In the end, I was very happy to see that some of the competencies had overlapped with competencies they had selected for those positions in years past. 

Last week, I traveled with April, the AGO HR Director, to different military locations to aid employees with engaging in the state’s wellness program. While we were at these locations, we had the chance to meet with employees and discuss their health insurance options, as well as what they can do to reach silver status within our wellness portal. This process was very interesting because there were different barriers at different locations. It forced us to be strategic with how we were reaching out to individuals to spread the word. While we were at these unique locations, I also had the opportunity to tour the grounds. This was the first time I had ever been to a military base. It was very cool how each base was different. I got to tour three different armories, the Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy, and an air base. 

These past two weeks were filled with so many unique experiences. I am so thankful for the AGO Human Resource Team and the projects they prepared. They were so unique and allowed me to see a different side of Human Resources. 

-Mary the Intern

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Intern Mary takes on the Indiana Department of Child Services and State Department of Health


It has been a busy two weeks! I have seen the ins and outs of human resources in two great agencies during my rotations with Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS), and Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH).  

The first week, I was at DCS. During my time at DCS, I had the opportunity to begin an I-9 audit that consisted of over 3,700 employees. Unfortunately, my time ran out before I had the chance to completely finish the project, but I set up all of the documents to be ready for Ryan, the other intern, to take it on the next week. I really value the importance of I-9's after going through this process. I had to the chance to learn about the E-Verify system, which compares information from an employee's I-9 to data from U.S. government records, to verify an employee is eligible to work in the U.S.

The second week, I was at ISDH, where I observed their on-boarding, sat in on employee relation issues, worked within PeopleSoft, and sat in on a meeting. This was the first time I saw how on-boarding works from the other side of the table. It is a lot of information to take in but is very useful. Later in the week, I got to see how you take someone who has applied for an opportunity all the way through sending the offer letter to the candidate in PeopleSoft. There are a lot of different statuses and steps you must take before the end result, but it is very cool how PeopleSoft works when you automatically generate offer letters. I really enjoyed getting to learn more about PeopleSoft and the different ways you can use it as an aid for many HR tasks. Lastly, the thing that I most enjoyed about the Department of Health was just getting to see what a typical day was like. There is so much going on all the time and I am thankful that they allowed me to get involved with what they are doing and observe some of their daily tasks.

During my time at Indiana State Department of Health, I left for two hours to go to a career fair that was happening nearby. I got to work at the booth with two people from DCS as well as Lindsey and Dawn from the talent acquisition team. I enjoyed seeing what career fairs are like from the recruiters standpoint. I got to speak about my experiences thus far from my internship. It made me realize how much I have been exposed to and how much I have gained from the internship.

I can't believe that I am already on week 7 of my internship. I feel like it was not that long ago that I was driving downtown in the snow for my first day. I am so grateful for all of these agencies bringing me in and showing me what they do, and allowing me the chance to always learn something new.

- Mary the Intern

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Intern Ryan Conquers Two Large Agencies


During the last two weeks, I had the opportunity to work with two very large agencies, Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) and Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS). Each had a unique Human Resource (HR) design. 
When I first arrived at Pendleton Juvenile facility, I was extremely eager to experience what IDOC had to offer. I initially met with Casey, the Human Resource Director of the Pendleton Correctional Complex and a previous SPD intern! After arriving, I sat in on an employee training session, and experienced the online tutorial for new state employees in the field. After evaluating their orientation, Casey got me acquainted with the juvenile HR department before giving me an Internal I-9 audit to sort through! 

During my three day stay with IDOC, I had the ability to tour all three of Pendleton’s Correctional Facilities, which included Juvenile, Industrial, and Maximum Security.  The tours were so interesting to me, and I am so glad I had an opportunity to step inside all three facilities. I had never been inside a prison prior to my human resource internship with Indiana State Personnel Department. Not only was it very eye opening for my personal perspective, but it was also very satisfying to see the various ways HR deals with a 24/7 staffed agency. No matter the conditions, there must be correction officers present and working during all hours of the day to maintain order and control. The IDOC typically sees higher turnover than an average agency, but that is expected with its unique line of work. I had many conversations with current employees on incentives that would increase retention.

After my week with IDOC, I came back to the central office to work alongside some very intelligent individuals at DCS. While at DCS, I was given a major project that was quite meticulous. The agency currently consists of more than 3,700 employees, and I was handed over an I-9 internal audit that our other intern Mary had been working on. There were two filing cabinets full of I-9s that needed to be merged together alphabetically. After that was done, I began my audit by separating and confirming the employees that currently work for DCS, from the employees that have separated from the state. A majority of these state employees are scattered throughout Indiana and are constantly working in the field. I wish my stay at DCS could have been longer, and now know more about I-9’s than your average bear!

Until next time…

Ryan Lattimore

HR Intern

Indiana State Personnel Department

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Intern Mary spends a week at Pendleton Correctional Facility & shadows a Small Agency HR Director!


Two weeks ago, I had the chance to job shadow Heather, a Small Agency Human Resources Director. We got to talk about performance reviews, what to expect from them, and how different agencies handle their reviews. Since I only had the pleasure of spending one day with Heather, she walked me through what a typical week looks like for her. I found it so interesting how she splits her time between being at Central Office and on location at one of her four assigned agencies, The Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI). She touched on different topics such as employee relations, benefits, training and recruiting. Since this was my first time shadowing a Small Agency Human Resources Director, I really enjoyed seeing the difference between the Generalist and Specialist roles. 

I got to spend a whole week at 
Pendleton Correctional Facilities. It was very interesting because there are three facilities within a mile of each other. I was fortunate enough to tour two of the facilities and I hope my schedule allows a day to see the third one! On my first and last day at Pendleton, I was at the juvenile facility with Casey. I heard about the different positions the facilities offer, performed some reference and employment verifications and heard about their recruiting plan/process. I was able to draw a parallel between the correctional officers at these facilities and the Cadre position that the other intern, Ryan, and I had been looking into with the Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy. I also got to spend the day assisting Nicole, which included completing an I-9 audit as well as seeing part of the process for termination of employees. 

These past two weeks were very busy, but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I had the ability to see a different career path by watching and hearing about the daily tasks that generalists face. I have learned so much about the recruiting process and some of the
HR processes that occur year round such as performance reviews, audits, and injury reports. I am so thankful for these agencies allowing me to come in and learn! 


Mary Riordan