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Guest Speaker: Daniel Martinez, HR Specialist at LA School District

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SHRM@QU is a local student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. We provide students from across the University 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 the New Haven Chapter, the CT State Council, and the national SHRM organization.

The objectives of this chapter include:

*Promoting the exchange of work-related experience of established business professionals with the theoretical academic perspectives of student and faculty members through open forums and information exchanges.

*Encouraging the acquisition, growth, and continuation of our respective careers in human resource management through expanded knowledge, camaraderie, respect, and mutual support among chapter members and through our affiliation with SHRM and our sponsoring chapter.

*Provide a pool of human resource management leaders for perpetuation of the chapter and of SHRM.

*Function as an important vehicle for promoting the field of human resource management to students.


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Wednesday evening SHRM@QU engaged in conversation with Daniel Martinez, a Human Resources Specialist at the Los Angeles Unified School District. He was able to discuss his daily life as an HR specialist, as well as career highlights and accomplishments. SHRM@QU enjoyed the opportunity to speak with an industry professional and gain insight into a field that might otherwise have been unknown.

What is a typical day like for you at your job?

As an HR specialist at the Los Angeles Unified School District, Martinez begins by explaining that his recruitment does not involve the educational aspect of the school district but instead the maintenance of the district. Although the candidates that he hires are not teaching the students, they are a vital component of maintaining the school district and assuring that students are in a safe and clean environment. Martinez explained that he is also involved in developing tests to determine whether or not the candidates are a suitable fit for the specific position.

How did you obtain your current job at the School District?

Martinez explained the importance of programs to career success. He explained that while completing his Master’s degree in I/O Psychology, he was introduced to the position that he currently holds. One of his professors suggested he apply for the position.

What characteristics are important to success in your career?

This field of Human Resources requires constant interaction with potential candidates and colleagues. Due to this, Martinez explains that soft skills are necessary to gain success in this field. Students planning to work as HR specialist must realize the importance of communication. In order to be an HR specialist students must place an emphasis on improving their emotional intelligence.

What do you like best about your job?

Martinez explained that the greatest aspect of his job is being able to provide every day Americans the opportunity to provide for their families. Hearing stories of how newly hired employees will be able to purchase Christmas presents for their children and loved ones, is an extremely rewarding segment of his job.

How do you keep your job interesting?

Martinez sums up his answer with one phrase “make it fun!” He explains that what you get out of your career is what you put into it. One thing he has done to ensure that he remains interested is to always look for more projects and tasks. Martinez explains that doing this keeps him busy as well as helps him gain skills that he would not have otherwise.

How do you make yourself irreplaceable at a job?

After applauding one of our members for asking such a great question, Martinez explains that in order to be irreplaceable you must have skills and abilities that they really want. He encourages students to invest in learning another language and that doing so will not only make you more marketable, but will also increase your stability at a company.

Words of Wisdom

Martinez stresses the importance of gaining experience in your field before entering the field. He explains that gaining experience through internships and volunteer work will boost your career and make you more marketable. Martinez also places an emphasis on back up plans. He explains that most of the time life does not go as planned and that students should always prepare themselves for the worst, and strive for the best. Lastly, he ends by explaining the importance of never becoming complacent and always striving for success. As his final words of wisdom Martinez says, “Be Hungry!”


1 Comment

  1. Luis Gonzalez says:

    This young man is wise beyond his years. “Be Hungry!” ” Make it fun!” so simple yet so many of us entering the workforce today forget to do this. I’d love to see what Mr.Martinez is doing in 10years…perhaps running a Fortune 500 company? Great interview.


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