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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Living the Dream in SPD - By Ashley Spears

Week 2-Week 3
10/4/2016-10/14/2016

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!


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Payton's Intern Guide to SPD

Good Morning!

This past week, Shae and I have spent a lot of time wrapping up our past projects so that we can be prepared to start our projects with the Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy! We spent the beginning of our week submitting our projects and going over our social media plan to propose new ideas after looking at our social media metrics.

Shae and I had a fun opportunity this past week to go on a Credential Tour Journey with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). We walked around and saw all the different processes that went into accepting and approving driver’s licenses. An exciting part of this tour was going up to where they actually manufactured the licenses and seeing how much work really goes into it. They have people that actually manually check every single license printed, which is about 7,000 licenses a day!

We also had a cool opportunity to go on a tour with all of the other interns to the Banker’s Life Fieldhouse! We learned about Indiana’s rich basketball history through its retro-style and traditional Indiana Basketball Fieldhouse design. It was so interesting to see the ins and outs of the Pacers’ and the Fever’s home. I find it crazy that the fieldhouse hosts so many different events from Disney on Ice to wrestling and swimming competitions!
I can’t wait to spend our next two weeks at the Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy!
Payton Reardon

HR Intern

Monday, July 25, 2016

Intern Words of Wisdom - by Shae

I am currently in awe that my internship is more than half way over. I have been bouncing to many different agencies, learning all I can about the business process and the leadership. Thankfully everyone in the different agencies is excited to have us working on projects for them! Payton and I sat in with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for two wonderful weeks. We spent the first few days meeting all the department heads. During the meetings, we learned about their path to state government and their general day-to-day activities. This was very helpful as we were given the project of renaming their departments to better represent their business practices. Additionally, the goal of the project was to ensure that everyone was listed in the correct department within our HRIS system. In order to make sure our information was correct, we met with the chief operating officer, controller, compensation consultant, and chief of staff. As you can imagine, these were great contacts to make within the state. A few of them even offered to be a reference for me in the future. It was a pleasure to work for them and learn from such influential movers and shakers. We ended the two weeks with the completion of three separate and equally meaningful projects. Also, we got a sneak peek into the two final designs for the new license plate design! You can vote on your favorite design at the Indiana State Fair!

During that week, I also had the pleasure of meeting with Governor Mike Pence in his office for a speech from himself to all the 2016 Governor’s Summer Interns. He spoke of all the different paintings hanging around the Governor’s office, one of which is a last original painting of President Abraham Lincoln before his assassination. Governor Pence then went on to do a Q&A session for the remainder of the meeting. It was an honor to sit in front of the now Republican Vice Presidential Candidate only days before the announcement.

I received yet another intern perk this past week. All of the interns had the opportunity to tour the Indiana War Memorial downtown. They have a large collection of war propaganda posters, which I am particularly fond of myself. It was such a wonderful collection of war memorabilia and information. I suggest that everyone make it out to the Indiana War Memorial at some point! To the left is an image from inside the Shine Room.

As promised in my last blog, I am going to share more wisdom I have gained throughout my internship. My colleagues left me with some insight into the professional HR world during our meetings last week. I would like to share some paraphrased accounts of them with you.

3. You will excel if you have the spirit, positivity and enthusiasm. To fuel these characteristics, you must work selflessly. This will help you reach new points in relationships, which will give you the leverage to produce great work. Being open and receptive to feedback will help you grow as a professional. Let your mentors and colleagues know that you are open and eager for criticism.

I am open to comments, questions, and concerns. Please leave them below in the comments! For more words of wisdom I have gained these past weeks, look for my blogs bi- weekly! Stay tuned.


Shae