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Johnny Slivka is an HR/Business Development Intern with Milliner & Associates. He will graduate from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business this year.


On August 31st, Milliner & Associates gave me the opportunity to grow as a human resources (HR) professional by attending the HR Indiana Annual Conference. Wow, I was blown away by just the one day I was there. On that day I attended with two other co-workers who were able to guide me through the conference, as well as help lead me to the sessions that would be most beneficial. As an intern, I would have never imagined that I would be able to learn and grow as a professional by being able to attend the largest HR conference in the Midwest and one of the largest in the nation!


My first session I was able to attend was about emotional intelligence and it was an outstanding way for me to understand the importance of learning how to control my emotions. This session was perfect for me to sit in on and really understand the responses an individual can have when they run with high emotions. For me, I tend to be a very emotional person. The instructor of the session, Dennis Faurote, broke down why we react the way we do and the effects of our response was extremely beneficial. Faurote made it clear that having high emotions by no means is a bad thing, but you have to understand when making decisions or acting upon your emotions you need to allow for the left side of your brain (the rational side) to catch up before any actual decisions are made. Typically, with high emotions comes high energy, and the best thing I took out of this class was learning that “energy, not just time, is the fundamental currency of high performance or the key to achieving your full potential!”

The second session, I attended with Nicole and Madison. The session was titled “The Power of Purpose” by Wil Davis. Davis did an outstanding job of explaining the importance of figuring out your core purpose and fitting that core purpose with a company that matches. He emphasized the value of being able to work for a company that you can match your “personal why” with the company’s “corporate why”. This is largely important to confirm you are a good fit for the company, as well as the company being a good fit for you! In this session, Davis told us there are two things you should do: make sure the company has a clear and compelling vision, and match your values with the company’s values. If you can do this, you will have mutual accountability for sharing your visions and values alongside the company’s, as well as mutual accountability to achieve your goals.


Overall, this conference was an amazing day for every HR professional that was in attendance and a very special day for me as well. Being my first HR conference, I didn’t know what to expect, but what I took out of it was unbelievable. During my time as an intern, I’ve learned so much and have had so many different opportunities offered to me that I probably would have turned down before taking this role. Now I feel confident and excited to take the steps forward to gain knowledge and grow as a professional. Because of these chances I have been given, I have been able to grow my professional network, gain new friends and learn a whole new perspective of life as an HR professional. If I could offer any advice I would say never be afraid to go outside the box to grow as an individual, because after the experience you gain, you will not be sorry!

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