Friday, September 27, 2013

SPD welcomes our new intern, Jon DeArmond

My name is Jonathan DeArmond and you will get the chance to read my blogs over the next couple months. First, let me start by telling you about myself. I am in my final semester at Kelley School of Business-Indianapolis majoring in Human Resources and Management. I have had the opportunity to complete an internship at a different company and have been in food service for 10 plus years. I realized that college does not give you everything to be ready to launch a career as a professional. It is the need for “real world” experience that makes internships so valuable. I first learned of the State’s internship opportunities at a career fair in the spring. I spoke with H
eather Whitaker, recruiter for the SPD, and became interested in the opportunity an internship with the State Personnel Department (SPD) could offer. I decided to link with her and the State Personnel Department on LinkedIn and follow IndianaGovJobs on Twitter. Late in the summer I noticed an e-mail in my inbox about the fall internship opportunity. I emailed my resume and expressed my interest. Shortly after I received a request to fill out an eScreen survey online and answer questions about why I wanted to be an intern and what would make me a good fit.

I was called in for an interview and met with three of the recruiters. The following week I was asked to meet with Nicole Russell, Director of Talent Acquisition. We discussed the type of learning experiences I would have as an intern and what would be expected of me. I really wanted an internship that would focus on learning opportunities and expose me to a wide range of HR related situations. The SPD is the central HR hub for over 100 state agencies. Interns have the chance to rotate through some of these different agencies and in the central office. Most other internships will not provide this type of opportunity.

I just finished my first week and it is everything I was hoping. I spent my first week shadowing each department in the SPD. The first two days were spent with the Recruiting team. I was shown the process that you don’t see when you apply for a job with the State. Application processing, sorting, and review are only some of what they do. I also learned about background checks and employment verification. Wednesday I shadowed the Benefits department. With around 28,000 employees, this is a busy department. They make sure that new employees are given the chance to enroll in benefits. They are also the department to call if you have a question about what benefits you have or anything related. Open enrollment once a year is what they look forward to most. Thursday I had the chance to shadow many people from the Employee Relations team. This is an exciting side of HR! If anyone has an issue with anything it seems to find its way to Employee Relations. I learned about the grievance process used by the state and what is done to comply with the Family Medical Leave Act and Americans with Disability Act. Finally, Compensation was my last rotation on Friday. I was taught how jobs are assessed and pay levels are determined. This is a very interesting department that solves a lot of issues.

I now have a project list to get working on. Check back in a couple of weeks for an update!

SPD welcomes Bianca Rodgers

Hello everyone, my name is Bianca Rodgers and I am currently a fall intern with the Indiana State Personnel Department. I will start by just giving a little background on myself. I am from Indianapolis and am currently in my senior year at the University of Indianapolis where I am studying Human Resources Management. At the University of Indianapolis, I am the treasurer of the Black Student Association (B.S.A.).

I learned about this internship through the University of Indianapolis’s career services. I had been searching for an HR internship when I came across this posting on my schools job bank database. After looking through the job description, I then submitted my résumé. I had been looking for an internship that offered me an opportunity to explore human resources and one that would be beneficial. When I went through the interview process, I became more interested because the internship offered me the ability to interact with the different divisions of HR and also to explore other state agencies. It was after my interview that I began to double cross my fingers for a wonderful opportunity. Well, luckily double crossing my fingers worked because I was offered a position, and after the moment I received the offer, I became eager to start.

Overall, my goal for the fall is to learn more information about human resources and gain hands-on-experience. I know having this internship will be very beneficial to me and the things that I will learn while I am here will be knowledge that I will be able to apply to future employment. I am looking forward with working with the other intern (Jon) and the representatives of SPD. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Our intern Nicole says farewell!

I have just completed my last rotation as an intern with the Indiana State Personnel Department!  I spent my last two weeks with the department working for the Adjutant General’s Office.  My time there was extremely interesting and I feel as if I was able to learn a lot, not only about human resources but also about the United States military and National Guard.

One of my assignments for the AGO was to create a Good to Great Plan for the organization.  I was able to assist the HR department in creating a plan to change the way their office and organization operates.  The Good to Great Plan I created included changes such as advancement in technology as well as future goals for the organization.  I was also able to assist in narrowing down the candidate pool for some of the positions that are currently open within the National Guard.  I also sat in on training sessions and helped to create their employee orientation guides.  One thing I really liked about AGO is that they included me in their employee relations issues.  I was able to sit in on employee relations phone calls!  It was interesting to see how the division operates, because the National Guard houses both federal and state employees.

Because I was creating a Good to Great Plan for AGO, it was necessary for me to have an understanding of the National Guard and how they operate within the state.  My supervisor and I traveled to Camp Atterbury for an award ceremony the SPD was hosting and in order to learn more about the Guard, we were able to tour the facility!  Soldiers were training on the shooting range so we heard real gunfire!  We were also able to take part in the facilities’ simulated gun range.  It was like being at Disney World! After we played with the toy guns, my supervisor and I also traveled to other National Guard facilities around the state to perform spot-checks.  It was interesting to see how each facility and the human resources department within them differed.

I hope from this blog, readers are able to better understand the State Personnel Department internship and all of the great benefits that it has to offer.  I have gained more experience in the field of HR than I ever could have imagined before beginning this internship.  I know I will encourage all of my friends to apply!  I hope you have enjoyed reading my posts and that you have a great rest of the summer!

SPD says goodbye to our wonderful intern, Aaron

Hello once again everyone.  Today is my final day of my internship with the State Personnel Department.  This summer has been an incredible experience and I have learned so much about human resources and state government as a whole.  I can’t believe how fast this summer has gone.  It really feels like I just started and now it is time to go.  This has been a summer that I will not forget.

On my first day with the SPD, I remember being nervous of what this internship had in store for me.  That first day was full of incredible experiences, from getting my badge and .gov email address to lunch with the staff and meeting with directors here at the SPD.  Soon after, Nicole (the other SPD intern) and I were given a list of tasks to complete.  These tasks seemed like a lot at first, things like a YouTube video and making an interview question guide, but through time management and hard work we were able to complete these tasks.

My first three weeks were spent here at the SPD working on tasks and job shadowing the different divisions.  Then the rotations began.  I spent two weeks working with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), three with Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), two with the Department of Health (ISDH), and two at the Larue D. Carter Memorial Hospital before returning here for one final week with the SPD.  The projects at each of these agencies allowed me to learn a great amount.  I worked with succession planning at DNR and Larue Carter, became a master of Microsoft Visio in FSSA, worked with records retention at ISDH, and I got to experience new employee orientation at ISDH and Larue Carter.  These agencies and their projects taught me a great amount about the human resources world.

My return back to SPD gave me even more projects to complete.  I got the chance to create agency specific power point presentations for diversity hiring plans, I made a spreadsheet detailing potential job fairs for the SPD Talent Acquisition team to attend, and I also got to perform more employment verification and reference checks.  These tasks ensured that I would not go underutilized during my final week here.

Overall, this has been a great summer.  I learned so much and I hope that my work here left a good impression of me.  I want to thank everyone that helped throughout my internship.  Everyone was great in making me feel comfortable and were very helpful with any questions I asked of them.  I enjoyed my time working for the State of Indiana, and perhaps after I graduate from Ball State University next May I can return to work here with the State Personnel Department.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Intern Nicole and Small Field Ops

The past two weeks I have been working with the Small Field Ops Division of the State Personnel Department.  The Small Field Ops Division helps to provide HR for the SPD offices that are located off-site around the state. It was interesting to learn how the Small Field Ops Division works to support those off-site locations.

During my time with the Small Field Ops Division, I was able to work on a number of different projects that I feel will add benefit to the SPD in the future.  One of the projects that I completed was a succession planning guide.  I had learned about succession planning in my college classes, but it was great to be able to apply those lessons to a real world situation. 

I also had the privilege of working within the SPD’s HRIS testing system.  The department is currently working to make their recruitment process more streamlined, so I was able to partner with IT and test the updated Talent Manager features.  It was great to learn how much teamwork goes into making an idea like an automated recruitment process into a reality.  Speaking of recruitment, I also worked to source applicants for a human resources director position and posted open state positions on various websites.

Overall, I would say these past two weeks were well spent.  I was able to further my knowledge of PeopleSoft while learning about all of the steps involved in developing a new product that changes work flow.  My next two weeks will be spent working in the human resources department located at the National Guard’s headquarters. It will be interesting to see what it is like to work on a National Guard base!

Intern Aaron's Time at Larue Carter Memorial Hospital

Hello again everyone.  For the past two weeks of my internship I have been working at Larue D. Carter Memorial Hospital.  It has been a fast two weeks full of many great experiences.  My time at Larue has been a different experience for me than in most places in the State of Indiana.  Larue Carter is a mental health facility, and it took a little adjusting to get used to the fact that there would sometimes be patients out and about.  Working at Larue also brought some new rules that I didn't have in other areas of the State of Indiana.  The majority of these rules followed common sense.

While working at Larue Carter, I got the opportunity to work on several different tasks.  I sorted through medical files looking for TB test sheets, looked up how much experience nurses had and put that information into a spreadsheet, worked some with succession planning, and I got to log some worker’s comp claims using Larue Carter’s intranet.  Working with succession planning was something that I had done previously in my time at Department of Natural Resources.  What I did here at Larue was similar; I found out which employees are eligible to retire and composed a document detailing how many people are eligible for retirement and what positions are held by retirement eligible employees.

One major project I worked on was making postcards to send to graduating nurses.  The goal of these postcards is to be one of the first hospitals to offer congratulations to nurses as they get their license.  Being one of the first hospitals to offer congratulations and building that personal connection to new nurses will hopefully attract great new talent for Larue Carter as they continue their search for nurses to work here.

I also got the chance to sit in and evaluate new employee orientations here at Larue Carter, critiquing the orientation and trying to find ways in which to improve new employee orientation.  Two days of my time here I got to go out to colleges in the area and sit in as one member of the HR staff here at Larue gave nursing students information about Larue Carter.  I even got to sit in on some quick (ten to fifteen minute) interviews with some newly graduated nurses.

Next week is going to be my final week of my internship with the State Personnel Department.  I will be returning to the SPD headquarters at the Government Center for my final week.  This internship has been a great experience for me and has offered everything I could hope for out of an internship.