Days Inn Penn State
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Ashley Honstine

Major: Labor and Employment Relations
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Huntingdon, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

My internship was posted on; it is a regular part-time position and is not actually intended to be an internship. I was searching to help a friend of mine, who recently graduated, find a job. I happened across this position and instantly recognized that it was a perfect fit for me. It also provided me the opportunity to expand my skill set to help prepare me for my future career in Human Resources.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I currently work as a Human Resource Administrative Assistant; here, my duties include human resources, accounting, and general office duties. I am responsible for processing and submitting payroll for 60 employees through Keystone iSolved, conducting all screening interviews, completing new hire paperwork, initiating new hire benefit enrollments, training employees on safety protocols set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, maintaining accounts payable using QuickBooks, maintaining office supply inventory, and other miscellaneous as-needed tasks. In my position, it is essential to be highly organized and self-motivated, with the ability to prioritize an ever-growing list of tasks that need attention. A large part of my job is focused in human resources, but as an Administrative Assistant, I must also be available and responsive to a myriad of department heads, assisting them in any and all ways that I can. As a result, I am pulled in many directions and must navigate each new experience appropriately.

I have a stronger understanding of the actual work involved in my field and now have experience that will help set me apart from other entry-level candidates in the pool.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Working at the Days Inn Penn State has had a huge impact on my academic career; as a soon-to-be graduate, I am incredibly thankful that I have had this experience. My Penn State education is incredibly valuable to me, but my internship has provided me with information that I would not have obtained otherwise. Before my internship, I had never even looked at an Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) in depth, but now I can fill them out with ease for both citizens and non-citizens of the United States. I have had the same experience with other essential new hire and benefit paperwork and now know how to fill it out, explain it to employees, and file it accordingly. Simply knowing how and when to use certain forms is something that I wouldn't have learned from my classes - it is only one example of the very job-specific duties that I have experienced on the job and not in the classroom.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After graduation, I intend to work full-time as a Human Resource professional. When I am eligible, I will sit in on the exam with the Society of Human Resource Management to become a Certified Human Resource Professional. After gaining 1-2 years of working experience, I plan to complete an online master's degree in Human Resource Management, and I hope that my work experience and education will help me excel in the field. Directly after graduation, I hope to work in talent acquisition for a company with 500+ employees. My current position has helped me appreciate the skill of talent acquisition coordinators and specialists, as it is a position that requires a highly organized individual with high attention to detail. I currently recruit and hire for a company of 60 employees. Turnover is high, and I have a deep appreciation and passion for employee retention through effective engagement and benefit plans. I hope to work for a company that values employee retention and performance achieved through increased employee motivation and satisfaction.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would, without a doubt, recommend that all students, regardless of academic college, participate in an internship. I was not planning on having an internship in college - I did not think I would need one. After working at my internship for three short months, I can recognize how much it has helped me develop as a working professional. I have a stronger understanding of the actual work involved in my field and now have experience that will help set me apart from other entry-level candidates in the pool. I have no doubt that other internships would have similar impacts on all students, and I would absolutely choose to do this again.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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