SHRM@QU Alumni Spotlight: Kyla Fuentes
Kyla Fuentes is a Quinnipiac University alum and came to speak to the students of SHRM at QU about searching for jobs and her position at Indeed.com. Kyla started by teaching members the top hacks and tricks about job searching on Indeed. She discussed the importance of creating an account on Indeed, exploring different job trends, ranking your priorities, setting job alerts, mastering online techniques and applying from your mobile devices. Kyla also discussed the importance of keywords in your resume and job applications that companies look for and how to stand out when applying for jobs. She emphasized knowing your priorities before entering job interviews and the importance of knowing what salary you are looking for and the benefits you want. Kyla presented the importance of negotiating and that often students out of college are afraid to negotiate and miss out on a better salary. Kyla left members with important information on applying to job sites directly or using easy apply on websites such as Indeed or LinkedIn. Kyla emphasized that the application pool for the long applications are much smaller and you have more of a chance to stand out than those who use easy apply with hundreds of applicants.
On March 28, 2018, SHRM@QU held a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Day. Our objective was to increase awareness and create a dialog about diversity and inclusion student experiences. What started as an event for business students, quickly expanded to include the entire university. Knowing that support for the top is essentials for successful programs, we began discussions with, and gained the support of, our Dean of the Business School and Office of Multicultural and Global Education. Over 100 students attended the event.
The goal of our program was to give students a safe place to have open discussions regarding diversity and inclusion. The event also provided an opportunity for our multicultural and diversity student organizations to showcase their events and perspectives. Students had the chance to schedule times to speak throughout the day. And student organizations also featured The QU ASL Club, ISA, IB Society, GSA, MAPS, SVO.
We also wanted event participants to gain concrete D&I knowledge and an opportunity to earn a certificate by attending a student-run workshop, lead by Kristina Maceira and Kelli Liebermann on Catalyst’s (2016) Engaging in Conversations About Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Workplace. Our keynote breakout session featured CT Assistant Attorney General, Christine Jean-Louis and was standing room only. During this lunch and learn, our speaker lead an informal conversation about experiences, expectations, and emotions.
Our University’s Chief Diversity Officer, Provost, and School of Business Dean have asked us to make this event an annual occurrence. The powerful conversations during breakout sessions created lifelong connections between participants and expanded our knowledge and multicultural experiences. It was enlightening to hear about everyone’s unique perspectives and experiences on campus. Our event showcased the importance of diversity and inclusion not just at our university, but also in the business world. We are excited to see this program continue on an annual basis and to see the collaborations and bonds that have been created between the multicultural student organizations on campus.
Special thanks to our e-board for all of their hard work planning this event!
On February 12, 2018, Dr. Bedwell discussed her diverse career path with the students, which includes degrees in psychology, business, distance education, and I/O psychology. Dr. Bedwell explained her current work doing research for NASA in Hawaii where she is studying individuals in planetary exploration. The study involves a group of astronauts who are living and working together. Her study focuses on cohesion and applying that to extreme environments.
Dr. Bedwell discussed her surprising findings during her research that in this type of extreme environment people even if they do not have social cohesion still manage to get the work done efficiently, unlike other family businesses style work environments. Dr. Bedwell also found that unlike most work situations openness about conflict was not successful due to the 24 hour a day interaction between the astronauts.
Dr. Bedwell left students with the idea that you need to understand characteristics of every organization to be able to make initiatives successful in every organization. In conducting research, you need to do an analysis of what specific organizations need before implementing initiatives.
Lois Krause is an HR consultant at KardasLarson, LLC. She has previously held multiple HR senior leadership position and has over 25 years of experience. On November 29, 2017, Lois talked to SHRM@QU members about hiring for culture, what this means and the steps you need to take to successfully hire for culture. Lois defined cultural fit, which includes examining how employees get along with people in the area, their values alignment with the organization, and determining if they believe in the organization’s mission and vision. Lois presented research about cultural fit highlighting that bad cultural fits can cost 30% of the 1st year’s salary. If employees feel they do not fit, they constantly look for ways to fit in, which can distract and result in a loss in productivity. Lois also talked about the concepts of skill and will and how it impacts cultural fit. Skills can be taught or enhanced but attitudes, values and ethics are much more difficult to change. She also discussed diversity and hiring for cultural fit. Finding common ground is key. She recommends looking for similarities and noted that people are more similar than they are different. Lois emphasized the importance of hiring candidates with the desired skills and best cultural fit for the position. Every organization has a unique culture, analyze and define organizational values/behaviors, use those values and behaviors for hiring and remember not every skill-based, qualified, candidate holds the same values as the organization.
On November 16, 2017, SHRM@QU welcomed alum Glenn Jurgen. Glenn is the Human Resource Manager at Lightstat Inc. He is a Quinnipiac alumnus where he earned his MBA and his BS in Management. He is also on the Quinnipiac Management Department Advisory Council. Glenn came to speak to the students about his 17 years of experience in the HR field. He gave members advice on starting out in HR, stating that it is important to draw from any working experiences you have had and apply them to HR. Members should focus on adjusting their resume and online profiles, always keeping them updates, and letting people know their intentions. Glenn also gave advice on utilizing professional networks and advancing your career in HR through internal networking, mentoring, and always go out of your way to show you are open to working on new projects. Glenn emphasized the importance of keeping up with LinkedIn and successful networking.
On November 7, 2017, QU MG Alum Sal Strazza conducted a communication and conflict workshop for members of SHRM@QU. Sal is an HR Operations Leader at Terex Corporation. Sal graduated from QU in 2017 with his BS in Management and an MBA. In the summer of 2014, he began working in the HR department at Terex Corporation – a U.S.-based Fortune 400, heavy machinery manufacturer, with approximately 21,000 employees across the globe. When he first entered HR, he started in talent development. In the spring semester of 2015, he studied abroad at the University of Westminster in London. When he returned to the U.S. in June 2015, he returned to Terex, working in an HR generalist role.
Sal discussed effective communication and conflict resolution strategies. Specifically, he outlined the role of HR and managers to communicate effectively with employees and to use PDCA:
- Plan: determine what to communicate and how to communicate it
- Do: deliver communication
- Check: ensure understanding
- Act: clarify as needed.
Sal also emphasized using email to put things in writing so you can go back and reference that information. He had members complete various communication activities to determine their own personal communication styles and preferences as well as how to provide information effectively. It is important to focus on active listening and the power of why to provide a motivation and understanding behind feedback.
When it comes to conflict, Sal outlined the different types of conflict, warning signs to look for as well as tactics to address and manage conflict. He said that most of the time HR should observe -> coach -> mediate -> take action.
On October 26, 2017, Angela Karachristos came in to talk to the members of SHRM@QU about interviewing for jobs. Karachristos majored in History in undergrad and has a master’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. She began working as a bank teller and moved up to a training position at the bank and started her long career in HR. She then left the corporate world and started her own HR consulting firm for small businesses. She also works as an adjunct professor for the University of New Haven and Quinnipiac. Karachristos used her HR expertise to teach the members of SHRM about interviewing for your first job after college. She discussed the importance of keeping up with current interview trends and being prepared for behavioral interview questions. She also focused on letting the interviewer get to know you and understanding what skills you offer this company. Karachristos had members come up with their own behavioral interview questions for a job. Karachristos emphasized the importance of preparing for an interview and knowing what skills recruiters are looking for.
Karen Hinds is the founder and CEO of The Workplace Success Group LLC, an organization that deliver training to companies that aim to develop new leaders. Karen Hinds talked to SHRM@QU members on October 20, 2017 about her company and how she came to find what she wanted to do and the key to her success. Hinds started as a political science major with no idea what she wanted to do and had no interest in corporate life. Hinds talked about working in high schools and colleges as a liaison, doing presentations on the side, and realized that was what she loved to do. As she continued with presentations she got more and more contracts to help organizations develop internship and learning opportunities. Hinds wrote a book called, “Get Along, Get Ahead” to gain credibility; the book also led to opportunities for travel and leadership conferences. Hinds told members that her work gives her the flexibility to work from home and make her own schedule. Hinds talked about her passion for motivation, how motivation inspires listening and how training lacks diversity. Hinds also talked about her work with convicts and helping them to gain motivation and get jobs. Hinds’ advice: network as much as you can while you are in college, use the cuteness factor as college students and keep up with your network.
The Society for Human Resource Management at Quinnipiac University (SHRM@QU) held its third induction ceremony on Saturday, October 14, 2017. The purpose of this organization is to provide Quinnipiac University students with the opportunity to gain knowledge and insight into the effective management of human capital in the field of Human Resource Management through affiliation with HRACC, the CT SHRM State Council and the national SHRM organization, the largest and most well known association for HR professionals.
There was an Officer Installation Ceremony for the executive council and Induction Ceremony for 6 new members and 13 continuing members. Thank you to Dean O’Connor and to all of the families who attended!
SHRM@QU faculty advisor Julia Fullick-Jagiela, Assistant Professor of Management, and President Kristina Maceira presided over the event. “This day is a day dedicated to honoring new members who have been brought into our organization. We honor our new members because they fill a very important role…they hold the key to our future. As we share our traditions and ask them to carry on the legacy of SHRM@QU, we should also look to them for new ideas and inspiration so that we may learn from them as they learn from us.” Randy Chase from the CT SHRM State Council presented SHRM pins to all new members.
Welcome to our new members:
- Ariana Berke
- Mike Courtmanche
- Jena Hook
- Casey Hyman
- Nicole Kontzamanis
- Robert Weinfeld
Congratulations to our continuing members:
- David Bouton (3 years)
- Tim Cadieux (3 years)
- Chelsea Campbell (3 years)
- Cody Carr (2 years)
- Nick Ciccarelli (3 years)
- Megan Graham (3 years)
- Irina Kustovskaya (2 years)
- Kelli Liebermann (2 years)
- Mike Luger (2 year)
- Kristina Maceira (3 years)
- Leah Mueller (2 years)
- Matt Silverstein (2 years)
- Cate Walsh (1 year)
Evonne Duzant is a Senior Personnel Analyst for the City of New Haven. Evonne came in on September 26, 2017 to discuss her career path to HR. The major part of Evonne’s job for the City of New Haven is Civil Service Testing. Evonne administers the exams for all workers for the city required to complete the civil service testing. She creates scores and administers the exams. Evonne is also involved in employee training and development for the City of New Haven. She discussed her career path with the students and how she went from many different majors and careers from building houses, engineering, and computer science and finally landed in business. Evonne eventually went finished school and received her business management degree from Southern Connecticut State. The members of SHRM asked Evonne what the most important thing we should take away from her interesting career path and she told the members of SHRM that you need to be passionate about what you do and be in love with your job. Get internships and experience and find what you really love doing and choose that as your career path. Do not end up someplace that you feel going to work everyday is a hassle. Evonne also stressed when looking for jobs and going on interviews make sure your social media is clean, companies can find your information and it can make or break the hiring of an intern or employee in business. The most important thing to take away from this workshop is to ask yourself why you are in your major? Find your passion and do what you love.