Thursday, February 9, 2017

SPD Welcomes Intern Anziana Falchetti

This is my first week as the State Personnel Department (SPD) intern, and I am so excited to learn about all the different functions of SPD through job shadowing and working on assigned projects. I am currently studying Human Resources (HR) Management at Indiana University and feel my education and experience will set me up for success in this internship! I have been focusing on the recruitment process in the first two days by job shadowing the SPD Talent Acquisition (TA) team and learning about what they do for their specific agencies! So far, I have learned about external sourcing and the process of reviewing and posting an open job to the job bank. It is interesting how the team uses their resources to attract and recruit candidates while also working with the hiring manager to find the right fit for the specific position.
I started by shadowing SPD’s TA recruitment consultants. Jared Herring taught me how to use PeopleSoft for recruiting means and how to approve a job that a hiring manager wants to post. Cortney Elliott explained how she trains her hiring managers to write effective job descriptions, interview, and select candidates through a handbook/ quick guide. She also explained the SharePoint intranet, where SPD keeps files and can communicate through Yammer, the office’s social network. Sam Phillips touched on externally sourcing jobs and how to assist candidates who are having issues with the application process. Victoria Renicker explained the SPD email she sorts through to answer candidate’s questions and concerns. She also showed me how to use social media to attract the best quality candidate through interesting posts that promote current, open positions.  The thing I have enjoyed the most so far was reviewing and selecting top resumes to route to hiring managers with Raeanne Florek. It was interesting to look at the requirements and see what makes a resume stand out or a specific candidate a good one. I also accompanied Adam to a meeting with INDOT HR Staff and heard about issues and success stories going on within the agency. It was interesting and beneficial to hear HR professionals talk about issues and potential solutions to resolve them.

Aside from a basic overview of the Talent Acquisition team’s responsibilities, I learned my potential opportunities and schedule for the internship. I am working with different agencies to learn their practices around recruiting and employee relations. I am excited to dive into these two functions of HR to which I have not been previously exposed! 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Living the Dream in SPD - by Ashley Spears

Tuesday, 10/25/16:
This past week, I had the opportunity to experience many different aspects of Human Resources. I first began my week by attending one-on-one meetings with SPD agency leadership and job shadowing the Employee Relations team. Matt Brown, Employee Relations counsel, began our one-on-one session by introducing the background of Employee Relations, the team players in Employee Relations, and discussing the Family Medical Leave Act. He then introduced his coworkers, Alan Ferguson and Taylor Pennell, who went into more detail about Family Medical Leave. After hearing their presentation, I developed a deeper understanding of the rules, regulations, and process of requesting time off.

The next group of Employee Relations personnel I shadowed were Drew Hewitt and Sean Brown. They spoke with me about civil service complaints. A few weeks prior, I gained knowledge of civil service complaints by interning at Department of Child Services and taking part in an employee relations project. Because of that, I was familiar with a few components of the civil service complaint process but was not familiar with the history of classified/unclassified workers. Drew and Sean caught me up on the differences between classified versus unclassified workers.

I then met with Lavenia Haskett, who was an amazing presenter!! Lavenia first began her presentation by giving me a paper clip and asking me the question, “What could you do with this paper clip?” I answered her question in practical purposes but would never guess what one guy named Kyle MacDonald came up with. Lavenia showed me his video called, “What if you could trade a paperclip for a house?” which showed how one guy traded up one red paperclip to a house. She used this video as an illustration of how accommodations for disabilities are handled. Just like the guy in the video, accommodations are often times trial and error. Her presentation was extremely helpful in understanding the process and what is acceptable for accommodations.

The next presenters were Anthony Gibson and Terri Miller. I really found their work to be intriguing in how they take measures to make sure the government is not underutilizing affected classes or discriminating. After their conversation, I met again with Matt Brown joined by Betsy Huffman to discuss the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), State Employees’ Appeals Commission (SEAC) and unemployment. I then met with Jordan Bolden who spoke about investigations regarding alleged misconduct in the workplace. Having an investigative mindset, I really enjoyed speaking with Jordan. Last but not least, I spoke with Employee Relations Director Bruce Baxter. Bruce cleared the air on questions I had related to employee relations and job opportunities in human resources. It was inspiring to hear his story on how he got to be where he is today.
Thursday, 10/27/16,
Today I traveled to Indiana School of the Blind and Visually Impaired to job shadow Heather Whitaker. Over at ISBVI, I was able to live the life of a Human Resources generalist in the education field. It was such a beautiful campus with the leaves turning colors and being on the Monon trail. I enjoyed my time there and seeing what life portrays as a generalist.

Friday, 10/28/16:
Interviews!! My boss, Adam Beasley, and I conducted interviews for our spring internship. I sat in on the interviews and was able to ask interviewees questions. After our interviews we discussed our ideas on the candidates. I am really starting to enjoy recruiting!!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Living the Dream in SPD - By Ashley Spears

Week 2-Week 3

Putting my investigative mind to test at DCS:

Employee Relations!!!! The area of human resources that is by far my favorite! As you all know from last week’s post, I was at the Department of Child Services for the past two weeks. Camille Rowley, had asked if I would help her with an employee relations project at the DCS office. This project involved going through employee relations files and analyzing the situation, the resulting action taken by the company / employee and the category of the incidents. We then went on to enter the information contained in the files into a database for quick access for future use. By reading through the employee relations files, I was able to learn how DCS handles their administrative investigations, civil service complaints and workplace harassments.   

Camille was an extremely resourceful mentor during this project. Upon arrival to DCS, I attended a meeting to discuss the changes coming to the department in 2017 and prior achievements in 2016. It was a rewarding experience to sit in on that meeting to learn more on how this department is structured and run. Only being an intern at DCS for a few hours, I was elated to be included in their discussion. Throughout the meeting Aiesha Peterson-Smith asked if I had any comments to add regarding each topic. I was able to share my comments openly and felt honored to be given a moment to speak. Aeisha, as well as her colleagues, always made a point to include me during their meetings. I attended two other meetings while interning at DCS. One meeting was in relation to planning a management training session for lawyers in DCS. The last meeting dealt with improving job descriptions and interview questions for caseworkers.

During my time at DCS, I was also able to have meetings with Michael Ackerman and Jennifer Jones. While speaking with Michael, I was able to gain insight into how DCS uses Human Resources data for recruiting and hiring caseworkers and caseworker manager. While speaking with Jennifer, she showed me how they program that data using excel spreadsheets. It was fascinating to hear how data plays a huge part in hiring accurately in DCS.

Giving Farewells to Denny Darrow
During my last day at DCS, I attended the farewell open house for Denny Darrow. Denny was leaving to take the Human Resources vice president position at Purdue University.  I had only known Denny for a few months but I felt I had known him for years. The reason I say that is because Denny would always acknowledge my presence and make a point to speak with me upon running into me in the Government building. Even if Denny was on his way to a meeting, he would stop what he was doing and ask how my internship was going. That meant a lot to me that he would take time to get to know me.

I noticed at the open house I was not the only one who felt appreciated by Denny. Employees expressed their appreciation through speeches and songs. Bruce Baxter wrote a humorous song about Denny’s farewell. While Bruce played the guitar and the band sang, the employees chimed in and sang the chorus. It was heartwarming to see what a difference Denny made in the lives of every individual at SPD.  I looked up to the way he interacted and lead his employees. He described his leadership style at the open house as an “upside down pyramid.” The kind of leadership that is focused on helping people grow and develop. The workers are the ones that drive the organization toward success. He was extremely proud of the accomplishments that his employees at SPD achieved during his time as director. Denny Darrow was an incredible, amiable leader who is definitely missed this week in SPD. I wish him the best at Purdue University. Boiler up!!

To Be Continued: Week 3-Week 4
Next week I make my way back to SPD’s talent acquisition office. My responsibility is to recruit for our spring internship position.

During Week 4 on Tuesday October 25, I am job shadowing in employee relations with Matt Brown. On Thursday, October 27 I am job shadowing Heather Whitaker. Lastly on Friday, October 28, I am conducting interviews for our spring internship position.

Next week is full of adventures!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Living the Dream in SPD - By Ashley Spears

The Motivators Behind SPD Employees

It has always been a dream of mine to work for the United States Government. My desire to work for the government stemmed from wanting to work for an organization whose mission and values I resonated firmly to. I found it challenging to work for organizations whose main mission related to increasing stockholder’s share value or increasing sales within a company. I wanted to make a difference in the life of people in my surrounding community. On my first day interning at the Indiana State Personnel Department, I found I was not the only person who longed to make a difference.

Every employee I met on the first day- from the women who greeted me in the parking garage to a recruiter in Talent Acquisition- were enthused to be there working to make a difference in the State. During my first week, I had the pleasure to sit down and speak with Kristi Hall, John Bayse, Christy Tittle, Whitney Miller, Dawn Baptist, Ashley Hungate and Bruce Baxter. During our meeting, they shared their stories within SPD and answered the questions I had pertaining to human resources. It was a rewarding experience to have the opportunity to speak with and develop a connection to these inspiring leaders within SPD.

ABC’s to Finding and Hiring State Employees

Along with getting my bearings down and meeting all the lovely faces at SPD, I also began rolling on recruiting for the spring internship program. My first steps of recruitment involved designing a flyer with as much patriotism as possible, networking with college organizations/career offices and posting on social media websites.

Next I learned recruiting strategies from Caitlin Floyd to understand how SPD hires state employees for different agencies. She walked me through the process of offer letters, employment verification, drug testing and background checks. I was able to practice employment verifications by calling the previous employer of a potential hire to verify past employement information.

To Be Continued: Week 2 - Week 3

Next week, my adventures take me to the Department of Child Services. There, I will be working alongside Camille Rowley on an employee relations project. Stay tuned to hear about my experience with DCS. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Intern Words of Wisdom - by Shae

“This is goodnight and not goodbye.”

This last week consisted of everyone getting out their last urge to say ‘Intern Shae.’ Today is my last day as a State Personnel Department intern. My farewell did not come long after Payton’s. This goodbye is much less bitter, because I am transitioning into a full time role! Everyone can now refer to me as Shae, HR Generalist!

About a month ago, the Director of SPD, Denny Darrow, set a meeting to talk about my growth throughout the internship and my future moving forward. Personally, I highly respect Denny so I was excited to chat with him. Little did I know he would be recommending me for a full-time role within the agency! I was completely honored and excited to join this wonderful team full time. As I participated in the hiring process, I had so much support. During these moments, I
knew  I was making a great decision. Everyone is so genuinely happy for me to join the SPD family. This gives me reassurance I have the support system I need to excel in my upcoming role with the Indiana Department of Transportation. I want to thank everyone who has congratulated, encouraged or read my blog along the way. You are all wonderful! All the agencies that allowed us to complete projects for them, thank you for taking the time to be such great resources. This internship would not have been as valuable if I had not received the opportunity to work for you. Lindsey, you have been the best supervisor I have had thus far. Thank you for teaching me that we can remain professional while building a friendship. I could not have had a better mentor than you. By constantly pushing me and encouraging me to do my best, I have adopted great habits. You truly made this opportunity worthwhile. I am a better person for knowing you.
To everyone that doesn’t work within SPD, now is your opportunity to join the team. Currently, there are some vacancies within the State Personnel Department. I suggest you apply right away! It is a very rewarding experience to serve the State of Indiana.

My final words of wisdom skate along the lines of “plans change.” Remain flexible and great things can happen. You may know where you want to end up, but half of the fun is not knowing how you are going to get there. Life is just an adventure. Be kind while exploring it. Be a person that people want to be around; there is a better chance they will ask you to stay.

“This is goodnight and not goodbye.”- Lawrence T. Grothouse

-Intern Shae

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Payton's Intern Guide to SPD

Hi everyone!

It’s been bittersweet wrapping up my last few weeks in this internship, but they have definitely been exciting! I spent a week at the Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy, which is a pretty unique organization with so much history. It was pretty interesting to hear about the program they have to help put structure and discipline into kid’s lives who have dropped out of high school.
My last week, Shae and I got the opportunity to conduct a salary survey for the Indiana Department of Transportation. This was an interesting project because we actually contacted all 92 counties in Indiana and the 10 largest cities and got to analyze the differences between their salaries and benefits for a single position.

During this last week Shae and I also took a trip to three different Pendleton jails. We met the human resource employees and learned how much work and time they put into the jails. We got to tour the three jails, which was very fascinating. I was definitely impressed with how many different programs and classes these jails offer their offenders.

As I leave this internship I think back to the beginning of the summer and realize how much I have truly gained from these past three months. Not only have I learned more than I thought I could in one internship, but I also gained great professional experience, meeting some amazing, hardworking people along the way. I had the opportunity to collaborate with Shae all summer. We found that we worked very well together, and I was able to learn so much from her as well as my supervisor, and all my other coworkers. It was an unforgettable internship. I’m looking forward to whatever next summer brings me!

Payton Reardon
HR Intern

Friday, August 19, 2016

Intern Words of Wisdom - by Shae

Travel Bug

I caught a travel bug the last few weeks! Being an intern has its perks in the State Personnel Department! In order to build my public sector acumen, I have been out of central office visiting different agencies. My first traveling assignment was for the Adjutant General’s Office at the Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy located in Knightstown, IN. This volunteer program hosts young men and women between the ages of 16 and 18 who have dropped out of high school or are severely deficient in credits by bringing structure and discipline to these unfocused lives. My favorite part about the program is that it is offered to residents of Indiana 100% tuition free, with no cost to parents or participants.  It was a wonderful experience being able to learn about the history of the land. This campus has been used by the Navy and was once an orphanage. Now, it is a home to young adults for six months at a time. Cadets are encouraged to continue their education in college, trade or technical school or military environment. The program matches each cadet to a mentor who keeps contact during the session and after for a total of one year. It was wonderful to understand firsthand the change this program is making to Indiana residents.

My next assignment was at the Pendleton Correctional Facilities. I was especially excited for this visit to receive a realistic job preview for a position that I am interested in pursuing.  During my time there, I sat in on a very interesting unemployment hearing. I found it aspirational that our Human Resource Generalist, Casey, represented us right from her office. It is definitely something I would like to be doing some day. We met with the superintendent, networked with employees and learned about the facility’s daily operations.  Also, Payton and I received a tour of the three different facilities that make up Pendleton Correctional. It was a very interesting and eye opening experience. As a HR representative, you do not encounter inmates on that personal of a level, but it gave me a better understanding of the correctional officer position? The entire experience was very rewarding.

The Governor’s Summer Internship Program ensures plenty of opportunities for the interns to network and meet each other. To help aid in this experience, I coordinated a tour of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. I scheduled this tour in hopes that our interns would fall in love with Indianapolis, move here and work for the state. My favorite part of the tour was the opportunity to shoot around in the Pacers practice court. I had no idea that so many different events are hosted there. They can transform the floor to accommodate for swimming meets, ice-skating shows, rodeos, sand volleyball tournaments or the circus. It was so fascinating and defiantly worth the walk through downtown.

Remember, being an intern has its perks. Look for Payton’s final goodbye next week! We hope that you are enjoying reading about our experiences. Stay with us!