Friday, July 12, 2013

Aaron's Experience with the Department of Natural Resources

Hello again everyone.  For the past two weeks of my internship with the State Personnel Department I have been working with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  These two weeks have flown by and I have learned a lot and have been able to work on some great projects.

One of the biggest projects I have been working on is a succession plan for the Department of Water in DNR.  The goal of this succession plan is to have employees trained and ready to step into a bigger role when the incumbent of that role steps down.  In this project, I have gone through job descriptions to figure out which job duties would be considered highly important to keep that job running smoothly.  For jobs that I could not get job descriptions for, the Director and Assistant Director positions, I met the current job incumbents to find out what their most critical job duties are. Another project I have worked on is comparing engineer compensation rates across DNR, Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), and Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).  The compensation report shows me all of the engineer’s compensation across the three different agencies.  This was to judge how a DNR engineer is paid when compared to INDOT and IDEM engineers. 

I have also been creating a set of questions for an interview, trying to use as many behaviorally based questions as I can, to fill a vacancy in a nursery and created a survey to figure out whether an employee is interested in career advancement.  One other project I have worked on is contacting INDOT to learn about their training paths for engineers to advance in their careers.  They have a career path that leads engineers from engineer in training (EIT) to professional engineer (PE). Additionally, I was able to go on a DNR site visit to a state park.  We went to Fort Harrison to review some HR administrative items.

I have enjoyed my time spent here in DNR.  Just as I did with my time spent with talent acquisition, I feel like I have learned so much and gained so much experience.  For the next few weeks, I will be working with the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). I am looking forward to this time to gain even more knowledge and experience.

Intern Nicole goes to the Indiana Department of Child Services

The past two weeks I have spent time working with the Indiana Department of Child Services.   I have had the opportunity to work on numerous projects and tasks that I feel will add value to my resume. The Department of Child Services is currently creating a well-being program for their employees so many of my assignments have revolved around that project. 

One of my most favorite assignments I have had thus far was to create a Well-Being Program guide that will be handed out to all of the different DCS offices throughout the state.  I was able to research and learn about retention strategies and wellness initiatives such as having therapy dogs visit offices and creating employee gardens.  I have spent a great deal of time communicating with different therapy dog agencies around the state to see if they would be willing to help DCS reach their Well-Being program goals.

I have also been working with the DCS recruitment staff and assisting them with some of their projects.  One of which was to call all of the colleges in Indiana and gather information on the amount of students they have had graduate with certain degrees.  I feel as if the work I am doing for this department will help to make a difference in their employee retention and recruitment efforts.

One of the most challenging tasks I have been given while working with the DCS is to source applicants for one of their open Deputy Director positions.  Although sorting the applications is an easy task, deciding who has more merit than someone else is actually quite challenging.  I feel honored that my supervisors trust me to to assist with or take part in such important matters. 

My time with the Department of Child Services has been very rewarding and I feel as if I will be able to add many of the projects I have completed to my resume.  The staff here has been exceptionally friendly and I am glad that I have been able to make connections with people working in the field of human resources.  Next week I will rotate to the Department of Corrections.  I cannot wait to see what exciting experiences await me there!  I will be sure to keep  you all posted on my experiences to come.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Job Shadowing & Superpowers with Intern Aaron

I have learned a lot in the first few weeks of my internship here at the State Personnel Department.  With the amount of time I have been given to job shadow many different members of the various functions of human resources that are performed here at the SPD, I have been able to gain a good understanding of just what each department does.  Job shadowing is not all that I do here though.  I have been given many hands-on tasks to perform along with several projects to work on and complete.

Aaron uses his new-found intern
superpowers to hold up the JW Mariott! 
Job shadowing is a great learning experience for anyone new to a position.  It is especially helpful here.  I know on my first few days here I would walk past the different departments and think to myself “What do they do there?”  After finishing up with job shadowing, however, I can walk past and know what is going on. I have been given the opportunity to job shadow with the talent acquisition, compensation, benefits, and employee relations divisions.  While job shadowing benefits I got to meet their fish, Benefish.

Job shadowing the talent acquisition division was very helpful when I began to be assigned tasks to work on.  While there, I was shown how to perform background checks and verify employment.  These are the type of tasks I have been asked to perform, and seeing them done firsthand gave me the insight needed to complete the tasks on my own.

With talent acquisition, I have been working on projects.  These projects on have been rewarding and have taught me the ability to prioritize projects and multitask.  There have been six major projects to work on, one of which is the YouTube Intern Video. In the video, Nicole (another SPD intern) and I have been going around and filming some clips of information and perks of being an intern here at the State Personnel Department.  We have done many things, ranging from filming outside at the canal to taking some goofy pictures, including a Leaning Tower of Pisa-like shot of me holding up the JW Marriott.  Other projects have included making an interview question guide for hiring managers.  The goal of this is for the hiring manager to find the questions they want, and a set of interview questions can be assembled for them.  A similar project is the eScreen guide we have put together.  The eScreen guide holds all the questions used in the applicant screening phase of hiring.  There is also a Nursing Portal project.  Since nursing is a hard to fill position for the State, we are helping to make it easier for the nurses to find the jobs in our job bank.  The other projects are a recruiting toolkit and a social media strategy guide.  The recruitment toolkit is going to put all of the information that hiring managers need in one location, giving them access to the hiring process and any tools that they may need in that process such as quick step guides or the eScreen library that we have put together.  The social media strategy guide is going to give SPD Talent Acquisition a plan of action on how to improve their social media platforms in order to gain more viewers for what is put on the social media sites.

I have enjoyed my time here at the State Personnel Department working on the tasks and projects assigned to me as well as learning what the different divisions around here do.  I am looking forward to the experience the next few months hold for me in rotating around various different agencies, beginning next week with the Department of Natural Resources, before returning here for one last week before the end of my internship.

The Crazy Adventures of Intern Nicole

Interning with the Indiana State Personnel Department has been fun so far!  I have been able to job shadow the various departments of the SPD and I have also been working on many different tasks and projects that have been given to me.  Next week I will begin to work with the different agencies that the SPD serves. The first agency that I will be visiting is the Department of Child Services.  I am excited to see how such a large agency operates.

As I mentioned earlier, these past few weeks through job shadowing the different departments of the SPD I learned about compensation, benefits, and employee relations.  It was exciting to be able to interact with people who actually work in the field of human resources.  Everyone was very welcoming and did their best to educate me on the ways in which their departments operate.  It was interesting to see how the things we talk about in school actually operate in the real world.

Recently I have been working on many projects for the SPD Talent Acquisition Division.  The other SPD intern (Aaron) and I have been working to complete a nursing portal that would help to better recruit nurses.  We have also completed an interview question guide that will be given to the hiring managers that work for the state’s many different agencies.  The talent acquisition team has also included me in their background check and employment verification process.  I have already gotten to all many exciting places to verify applicant’s employment, including Alaska!

This week I have also been working on an intern YouTube video that will be used to promote internships for the SPD.  Filming the video has been a blast!  Aaron and I have taken some exciting field trips to get the shots we need for our masterpiece.  We recently found ourselves lost in the Indiana State Library, which we confused for the Indianapolis Public Library.  The women at the Indiana State Library looked at us like we were insane when we asked where the giant egg chairs were located.  We have also been walking around Indy in an attempt to get some shots of us around the city.  Hopefully this video will be deemed appropriate to publish so that you all may view it.

All of that fun aside, I truly am grateful for this experience.  Everyone working for the SPD is welcoming and willing to help if I have a question.  I will be sure to keep you all updated on my experiences as I travel to the different agencies the SPD works with.  I can’t wait to experience all that this internship has to offer.