The Value of Internships in the Workplace

By: Mayra Ivonne Ramirez

SHRM / CHCI 2016 Summer Intern

“People are our most important resource,” is the guiding principle for the HR department here in Zodiac Water and Waste Systems. As a social worker and after participating in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) /Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) internship program, I have become more aware of the work that goes into making a difference for the people we care for. Whether we are working towards a change or a cause, the people we serve are the sole reason for the innovation and execution we seek to accomplish.

I have found through the CHCI-SHRM internship program that HR is no different in motive than a social worker. Both careers seek to be change-makers in their respective arenas. My experience at Zodiac has increased and molded me into becoming more skilled and more practical in the field of human relations and those are tools that are also essential in my career as a social worker. As a person who is passionate in creating positive change, this experience has granted me an opportunity to see how creating a positive atmosphere in a corporate world takes place.

As a successful entity in the corporate world, Zodiac is well-known for its productions and interactions with its consumers and employees. Maintaining positive relationships inside the organization and outside with their clients is of high priority for Zodiac, and as an intern I was able to see how the organization creates an atmosphere based on empathy, mentorship, leadership and guidance.

This internship is truly a unique experience that has helped me to improve my skills in the art of practicality and gain the ethical knowledge that is needed to increase workers’ rights and benefits. In a world where work is an essential part of our daily lives, the HR department is a crucial component that determines how comfortable and effective a person will be in all levels of an organization. This department influences the level of performance an employee and an employer will delivered while maintaining a positive outlook towards the company’s work standards.

The CHCI-SHRM internship program has done that for me. It has exposed me to a field where I have become part of that movement and an influence in the decisions that affect the most important asset of a company- its workers.  As an intern I was able to not only work side-by-side with the HR managers, but also take on a project that will help with the re-structure of the hiring process for the company in the future. My mentor- the HR director, took me under her wing and provided me with the tools that led to good judgment calls when auditing job responsibilities and to the creation of a competency matrix for the Engineering department.

As a person who is actively seeking ways to make a difference, I feel extremely thankful for being selected as one the CHCI-SHRM scholars. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that allows you to get a head start in your career in the human resources field.

I highly recommend exploring an HR internship.  Even if your major or interests isn’t specifically human resources, an HR internship provides valuable insight and perspective that will help in any career path.  If interested in applying and in becoming part of the CHCI-SHRM experience, the application is provided in the link below!


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