Early into his junior year at Hastings College, Walker Hermann realized it was time to get into the real world to benefit his career. Instead of registering for a unique class or traveling across the world over January Term (J-Term), Hermann decided to take a different route and look for an internship.
“I might want to apply for graduate school or go straight into the job force, so I really wanted an internship that could give me real-world experience as an undergraduate,” said Hermann, a Juniata, Nebraska, native who is double majoring in psychology and human resources management with a minor in communication studies.
Hermann met with Director of Career Services Kim Graviette, who shared possible internship opportunities for J-Term. She ultimately reached out to Mary Lanning Healthcare to see if they’d be willing to take Herman as a human resource intern. The staff Mary Lanning did so with open arms.
“The staff were so welcoming and great people to work with,” Hermann said.
Hermann interned with Mary Lanning Healthcare everyday, where he did several projects with five different specialists in the human resources department, working in compensation, benefits and employment.
His duties ranged from sending recruitment emails for open positions, which helped boost applicants from 40 to more than 100 over a single weekend. Hermann also worked with Affirmative Action data, which allowed him the opportunity to see what criteria the government agency uses to analyze the demographics of an organization. He also conducted research to inform Mary Lanning’s HR department of how they may improve overall employee engagement, and onboarding process for new hires.
“I conducted a brief research project regarding rehiring previous employees.” Hermann said, “More specifically, I pulled other organizations’ policies on the matter, found a peer-reviewed article regarding the pros and cons of rehiring and found an article discussing what can be deemed ‘just termination of an employee.’”
The opportunity gave Hermann the experience he needed to verify the career he is pursuing in the classroom is something he what he wanted to do after college.
“My human resources management major has not only inspired me to pursue human resources in the long run, but the courses and my advisors here at Hastings College have helped prepare me for my future career,” Hermann said.