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  • Leah Vener

The Beginning of an HR Journey

As a rising senior at the University of Delaware and closing in on my first week with Integra HR, I want to reflect on my growth as an aspiring HR professional. I entered college as a management major, not knowing where this would lead me. Over the first year of school, I just knew something didn’t feel right about where I was heading. I had always had HR in the back of my mind, but was listening to others tell me, “You don’t want to deal with other people’s problems!” It wasn’t until my second year, trapped in isolation for ten days with COVID, that I thought to myself, “You know what? I like interacting with people. Maybe HR would be a great fit for me.” I spent the next few days of COVID isolation redesigning my career path and have not looked back.


I always knew I had a natural attention to detail, organizational drive, and leadership skills, all of which are essential in HR. These skills have led me to where I am now as both a student and a rising HR professional.


Inside the classroom, I stay fully present, actively participate in discussions, and I look for opportunities beyond what’s being offered in class. In fact, I have taken on the role of President of the University of Delaware Student Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Chapter for this upcoming fall. This position will allow me to grow even further as a leader to my fellow students, as well as in the HR world. I take pride in the way I approach leadership by being empathetic and effective in communicating.


In addition to my studies, my development as a student and aspiring HR professional has been considerably enhanced by internship opportunities. During my previous HR internship with a medical video game company, I gained practical insights into HR operations in the real world. Now, at my internship with Integra HR, I'm eager to take what I have learned and deepen my knowledge in this field. In my first week, I have already attended an hour-long training session hosted by ProKnowledge, which is owned by Integra HR. This training focused on how employees can provide excellent service to their customers and de-escalate difficult situations, which is vital for any service-oriented company. Additionally, I have expanded my professional network by meeting each member of the Integra HR team and learning how they chose HR as a career. Lastly, I am being exposed to and gaining valuable insights into the many HR-related laws and regulations. Even within this first week, I can already sense the immense knowledge I'll acquire during my time at Integra HR.


In closing, I'm incredibly grateful to the Integra team for welcoming me and providing mentorship this summer that I know will last throughout my HR journey. During my final year at school, I plan to continue to grow my network, focus on gaining HR experience through hands-on opportunities, and to continue to personally grow as I prepare to enter the workforce. I am extremely excited about my future career in HR and eagerly look forward to what the future holds!

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