#BulldogOnTheJob: Karissa

Editor’s Note: We’re trying something new this year. We are interviewing various UMD Alumni about how their experiences at UMD have impacted their professional lives. They will also be giving their advice for being successful out there in the real world.

Name: Karissa Hendricks
Major: Human Resource Management
Minor: Communication
Grad Date: December 2013

Organization, title, and a brief synopsis of what you do.
I work for maurices as the HR Coordinator on the Human Resource Business Partner team. In this role, I am responsible for local networking and outreach which includes attending career fairs, coordinating job shadows and group visits, and conducting informational interviews. I am responsible for the start to finish recruiting for temps, interns, and entry-level positions, as well as the onboarding of new hires. I am also responsible for various compliance related tasks such as unemployment. My favorite part of my job is that I am always presented with new things to do and projects to work on – there is something new every day!

Karissa BOTJ

Karissa recruiting for maurices at the Spring Head of the Lakes Job & Internship Fair.

What were the jobs, opportunities, and/or classes you had that led to your current role?
I originally went to UMD for Marketing, but after taking my HR Principles class I realized that HR was more in line with my interests. A later internship in HR solidified my decision to change majors. I grew up in the Twin Ports area and always wanted to work for maurices. About a month before graduation, I attended the UMD Alumni Networking Night determined to talk with a representative from maurices. Our discussion went well, and a few weeks after the event the Recruiter called me and told me about a temporary opportunity available at maurices in the Human Resources Department. I jumped at the opportunity and began working at maurices two weeks before I finished classes. Since accepting that temporary position, my job is no longer temporary and has continued to evolve.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known prior to entering your role/field?
Something I wish I would have known, and taken advantage of, is being more involved while at school. There are so many opportunities available and clubs to join. I joined the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) my junior year and had so many great opportunities to learn from professionals in Duluth, I just wish I would have done it sooner!

Karissa BOTJ Quote

What career advice do you have for students wishing to enter your field?
My advice would be to just put yourself out there. I know that it sounds cliché, but the best things really do happen when you step outside of your comfort zone. I would also add to say “yes” to every opportunity you are given – even if it is not exactly what you want to do. This will help you figure out what you like and don’t like. Plus, it will demonstrate your willingness to work hard, which will not go unnoticed!

Take advantage of the amazing resources that are available to you, especially at Career & Internship Services, which offers resume and cover letter review, interview prep, and more! These resources are free and will help you be prepared and confident when applying for jobs. The sooner you start this, the better. Also, be sure to attend career fairs and networking events and be prepared and confident when approaching employers. Even if you are not looking for a position immediately, forming relationships with employers will be to your benefit when you begin your job search.

Anything else you want to add about your time at UMD, or since, that greatly impacted where you are now?
I loved going to UMD and attending LSBE. It is a great school in a great community. I knew that I wanted to stay in Duluth and feel so lucky that I was able to do that. I think that going to school at UMD helped make that happen as I was able to form connections in the community. Through working in HR at maurices I have had several opportunities to return to campus for presentations and career fairs and I am always SO impressed by the caliber of students I talk with at UMD.

Interested in maurices? Check out their Careers page

Navigating Human Resources: Part 2

By: Tori (an HR major!)

“Human Resources isn’t a thing we do. It’s the thing that runs our business.”

If you read my previous blog post, you are well aware that human resources is what brings business and people together. But how do you know if this is a good career for you?

Back in the day (just a mere two years ago), I came into the Career & Internship Services office to take the Strong Interest Inventory assessment, which helps determine what occupations may be best for you based off of your interests. Human Resource Management (HRM) was in my top ten and it was during this time I began taking the possibility of majoring in Human Resource Management seriously. Fast forward to a few months ago, when I took the CliftonStrengths for Students assessment to figure out what qualities I naturally excel in and can use to market myself. This is when I began seeing HRM in who I was and who I wanted to be.


Below are my top 5 strengths and how they relate to Human Resources:

My top strength is woo. This comes from my love of meeting new people and winning them over. I enjoy breaking the ice and making a connection with other people. While this has always been something that came naturally to me, I didn’t realize how much woo plays into the role of recruiter. One of my career goals after graduation is to become a company recruiter through which I can connect with college students, win them over for my company, and help them reach their goals.

My second strength is positivity. Those with positivity tend to have an enthusiasm that is contagious; they are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do. My other area of interest in HR is training and development. If I want to get people on board with spending days, weeks, or months learning new skills and making new goals, I need to have a positive attitude and make it a fun experience for everyone.

My third strength is empathy, meaning I can sense the feelings of other people by imagining myself in their situation. Empathy is an important strength to have if you are going to be working with a diverse group of people. Through empathy, I can connect, relate, and understand others’ situations as their manager. Being able to put myself in the starting place of another person and work with them toward the next step is a valuable tool to have.

My fourth strength is includer. Someone who is an includer shows awareness of those who may feel left out and makes an effort to include them and accept them. Part of human resources is solidifying culture within a company. What do employees want? What makes them feel valued? How can we accomplish our goals and still provide a friendly, encouraging work environment? My strength of includer helps me value and view company culture on a different level than most and provides opportunities for me as a human resource manager.

My fifth strength is developer. As a developer, I recognize and cultivate the potential in others, and as a manager, I lead and navigate a group of people. Putting others in positions that empower them and make the business run smoothly is part of not only a manager’s job but also human resources. This strength helps me lead others into roles and opportunities they desire.

Come into the office and learn your strengths! Like me, they may help you visualize your future career and find what areas you can excel in!

Of Possible Interest:
Human Resources Management at UMD
What UMD grads in HRM are doing
Career Planning for Business Majors
Choosing a Major; CliftonStrengths for Students – all our blog posts on these topics
Turn Your Major Into a Career – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Tori’s other posts

Photo source: Unsplash | Adam Przewoski

Updated: July 2020

Navigating Human Resources: Part 1

By: Tori

I came to college undecided. Not just on what I wanted to study, but on if this was the best school for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Duluth. It was by far my favorite school, but I felt so much pressure to get everything right the first time; to meet all of my expectations. Soon I learned that when it comes to expectations, they sometimes are set too high. And when something doesn’t go how you expected it to, you get thrown for a loop.

I didn’t expect to be a Human Resource Management major. Honestly, it was not appealing to me at all. I was drawn to business, interpersonal relationships, and helping others, but I couldn’t figure out where all of this fit together. And then BAM! one day someone (actually it was my Strong Interest Inventory assessment) said, “What about Human Resources?” and I said, “What about it?”. So I learned more.

Human Resources is the “umbrella” of all businesses. It is where the development and managing of an organization and its people happens. Some would say that without Human Resources there would be no business. There are 5 overarching sectors to this “umbrella” that stretch across all aspects of an organization.

Image: looking down into a lobby area where people are sitting at tables or walking
Text: navigating human resources: recruiting & staffing, compensation & benefits, employee & labor relations, safety & health, training & development

Recruiting and Staffing
People are a necessity to an organization’s success; without them, organizations wouldn’t exist. But how do you figure out who you want to work in your organization? This is where Recruiting and Staffing come into play. Recruiters look for and “recruit” qualified employees to work for their company and staffing makes sure we have employees whose skills match with open positions. Interviews, phone calls, brochures, questions, job descriptions, and first impressions all happen in this sector of HR.

Compensation and Benefits
No one works for free; aka there is no such thing as a free lunch. If we want people to perform services and do their job, we need to reward them. Compensation and Benefits is the sector of HR that motivates employees. Compensation looks at pay structures, which determine how much money you want to pay your employees for their employment and tasks accomplished. Benefits are the alternative, non-financial parts of a business offered to employees, this includes stock, insurance, paid vacation, etc.

Employee and Labor Relations
Recognizing state and federal laws and abiding by them is the purpose of Employee and Labor Relations. Understanding the government, how it works, and how to maintain positive relationships with your employees are all important tasks for this position. Remaining discreet and ethical is vital in this area of HR.

Safety and Health
Safety and Health HR employees strive to minimize any legal action that might be taken against the company by implementing safety procedures and health guidelines. Their main goals are to provide for physical and mental well-being and prevent work-related accidents.

Training and Development
Training and Development is the first step to helping employees feel at home. So much so, training and development is usually part of the on-boarding process. This includes making connections, navigating new positions, and learning the company culture. Diversity inclusion, performance management, and team building all happen in this sector of HR. Keeping employees up-to-date will allow them to continue to be an innovative part of the company.

If after reading this post you are interested in learning more, check out the Human Resources Management major at UMD and talk to your advisor or the department head. Or come into our office and meet with a career counselor. They are more than happy to help you navigate Human Resources and all the nitty gritty details.

Of Possible Interest: 

Read Tori’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Daria Shevtsova

Updated: July 2020