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Old 12-25-2008, 09:36 PM
496 posts, read 1,587,781 times
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Hello everyone,

I am a 20 year old junior in college. I will be graduating with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management and a minor in Psychology in May 2010. I want to work in the field of Human Resources preferably as a mananger, generalist or in Employee relations. I was wondering if anyone had any adivce on getting started in the Human Resources field? What kind of job should I be looking for? I know I can't apply for a manager position or as a generalist. SO where should I begin? I'm also worried about the economy as it relates to finding a job after I graduate. If it helps I plan to move to Denver, Houston, or anywhere in Virginia. I'm originally from Memphis, TN but I attend college in Indiana. Any advice you could give would be great!
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Old 12-26-2008, 10:49 AM
28,461 posts, read 75,149,554 times
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In my experience very few companies are enthusiastic about hiring a college grad for a generalist position in HR right out of school. HR is pretty complex and the benefits calculation / tax issues/ legal stuff can either be done in house with a decent sized staff of SPECIALISTS or outsourced to third parties and few clerical types in-house doing most of the work.

Your college ought to have connections to do an INTERNSHIP, you will be a huge disadvantage if you do not avail yourself of that.

Similarly most every college has some kind of recruiting event for their grads, and hopefully a placement office that allows you the opportunity to do some networking too.

Ideally an internship would given you the ability to hook up with a company that does the HR function as a service to other employers OR given the opportunity to do some the more specialized functions. Then, when you are ready to do a full time gig, you would not be a useless "newbie" but somebody that could contribute as soon as you are hired.

Good Luck!
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:26 PM
Location: NoVa
2,237 posts, read 3,095,185 times
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Another angle to try is student recruiting or sometime they call it university relations role. If you have a lot of connections at school, outgoing, this is a good place to start. Your role will be to represent the company for career fairs at schools, recruit interns and new grads, and develop strong relationships with schools as well as brand awareness among students all around. Many big companies who have strong internship program will need someone to do this role because they realize it's to their benefit to attract these bright students and mold them to be in leadership roles someday.

Internship is also a good way to get a shoe in, as has been suggested above. Via internship, you can try out different roles (assistant role usually) in recruiting, relocation, generalist, HR administration, etc.

Good luck!
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Old 12-27-2008, 02:01 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
26,166 posts, read 43,931,167 times
Reputation: 29672
internship, or getting an HR admin responsibility within the school for your last 2 yrs. (placement office )

Working for the school 'foundation' is good too, as you get contacts with donor / employers, as well as deal with outside interests.

A lot of traditional HR roles are being contracted outside of the companies, You should look to who is doing that work. If you are interested in a Career, I suggest looking to a gov position - usajobs.com I note there are many HR positions in many locations. The Gov will be doing a lot of hiring as 50% of their workforce is getting ready to retire (and the new administration will be fueling gov spending). Check with the US Census bureau, as they are hiring a bunch of folks for 2010 and will need HR help for that. You might consider the VA, they are expanding, and it is a great place to be when you want to go for more training to grad school or change careers. (My sis is getting her 3rd free advanced degree from them (or more accurately, from US taxpayers)). The right Gov job will allow you adequate flexibility in work assignments and living environment. Try to get into an international assignment as soon as reasonable (after a few years experience and BEFORE family responsibilities). That will REALLY help your resume and 'globalization' skills, and grow your depth of 'perspective'. It is really interesting to facilitate the hiring process in a foreign country with a different culture and HR role. It is also good to be a real minority for a change, not knowing the language / customs / monetary system. It was especially effective before the internet, when you had to learn the local language to read the newspaper or watch TV. Quite humbling.

I spent 32 yrs working for one of the most advanced US companies in HR policy, then I got the axe 6 weeks before I was eligible for retirement, so... even The Best plans can fail you. Lesson = be flexible and versatile. I'm back in grad school (beyond age 50) and currently doing a volunteer internship to learn a new career in 'non-profit' sector. (was previously in engineering and international procurement)

Denver will be good, as will Virginia (especially near DC). I can't recommend Houston, as I have never lived there, but I don't do 'heat' (or stoplights / crowds). I lived near Denver for 25 yrs (Between Loveland and Estes Park) it was superb.
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