A wise college professor of mine once told me, “the answer to life is more questions”. Never had this piece of advice resonated more than through my internship with SHRM/Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI).
Over the past 9 weeks, I was invited to intern in the Human Resources Department at SAG-AFTRA, a labor union that empowers and protects entertainers and artists around the nation. Throughout my internship, I was a sponge for knowledge as I shadowed key HR professionals including Internal Communications, Compensation, Employee Relations, Recruitment, and Benefits. I was given real-world work experience by assisting in an I-9 audit, reviewing quarterly performance appraisals, designing a compensation analysis presentation, and leading workshops for 15 of my fellow SAG-AFTRA interns.
But the most enriching experiences of the internship came when I was asking questions. Over the course of 9 weeks I conducted informational interviews with various SAG-AFTRA members in different departments. During weekly intern information sessions, I engaged in discussions with SAG-AFTRA executives. I even traveled to Chicago for the SHRM Annual Conference where I networked with government affairs and HR professionals (read about my experience here). It was through these interactions with that my curiosity was piqued. I began to form a better understanding on how the Human Resources functions on a grand scale to shape the organization.
SAG-AFTRA’s culture fosters mentorship and personal development. All of the members I interacted generously showered me with valuable insights. With a broad perspective on the organization, I saw a big picture as to how the different departments work as one.
Thank you to the SAG-AFTRA HR team and SHRM/CHCI members for their support and mentorship throughout this process. In short, I will walk out of SAG-AFTRA with more questions than answers. I leave with a greater curiosity for all human resources departments and the influence they have on organizations’ processes and cultures.
If I were to give a single piece of advice to future SHRM/CHCI interns, I would recommend them to never stop asking questions. Questions are the stepping stones to a great discovery. If you’re looking for an opportunity to feed your curiosity and grow professionally, I highly encourage you to apply for the SHRM/CHCI Internship Program. To apply, click here.