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Hattie Hynes is a Recruiting/HR Marketing Intern with Milliner & Associates. She will graduate from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in 2019.

Through my internship with Milliner & Associates, I have ample opportunity to network and learn about the community of Indianapolis businesses. So much so that I was able attend an afternoon job shadow with seven different human resource (HR) representatives at Finish Line, Inc.

Finish Line is an Indianapolis-based company that brings primarily athletic shoes to the consumer in retail stores nationwide. Employing over 10,000 people at over 900 retail locations, Finish Line prides themselves on delivering “the epic finish” to all customers. There are six full-time Milliner & Associates employees and an intern (that’s me) heading over to such a massive company for half a day was a shock to say the least. I’m not going to lie to you guys… I was a bit nervous going into this experience, because I wanted to make a good first impression. But, by the time I left I was super comfortable talking to everyone and was able to competently discuss work with most of the people that I talked to.

For those of you who don’t know a lot about human resources, there are many different avenues that you can take in the field. For a college sophomore like myself, the options are limitless… Training and development, HR compliance, recruiting, employee engagement, onboarding, compensation and benefits are all different jobs within HR… just to name a few. Seve Romero, senior talent management partner with Finish Line, who I had previously connected with at Indiana INTERNnet’s IMPACT Awards, coordinated my experience and did a fantastic job of catering to my areas of interest. I spoke with people from multiple fields of HR and learned a lot about what it takes to make it in those jobs. Being able to openly discuss their jobs helped me narrow down my options for the future, which was really helpful for someone who seems to have too many choices.

HR is commonly seen as an undervalued department, as it doesn’t handle products or generate income. Rather, it cuts expenses by making the right hiring decisions, documenting forms correctly, and maintaining the happiness and retention of employees. For some companies, this goes unnoticed and underappreciated. Going into HR, I must be prepared to show the worth of my work to those who look at the bottom line. As I was talking to these Finish Line representatives at my job shadow, I asked if they felt like their department was valued company-wide, and they all said practically the same thing–

“Melissa Greenwell [executive vice president and chief operating officer for Finish Line] is a great leader who will go to war for us to prove that we are worth the attention that HR should get.”

A company that values HR is a company that values their employees, so next time you go in for an interview ask “does HR have a seat at the table?” You’ll know if your happiness will be a priority to them. Finish Line seems to have nailed down this concept.

Job shadowing was a great experience for me and has aided in my professional growth by letting me explore some of my options. Also, by showing me that HR can be recognized as a very valuable asset to a company. I would tell any college or high school student that it’s never a bad idea to shadow someone with the job that you want, because you can gain real insight into what a regular day looks like for that person and decide if it’s truly a good fit for you… and don’t be afraid to ask. Most people would love to share their knowledge with you.

About Guest Blog

Indiana INTERNnet is the catalyst for expanding the creation and use of experiential learning opportunities as a key strategy in retaining Indiana's top talent.
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