Jamie Cheeney Jang left high school knowing she loved leading clubs and organizing people. She majored in human resource management (HRM) at Calvin and is now the HR manager at Kamps Pallets, a national pallet supply company.
Step 1: Present to professionals
It didn’t take long for Jamie to realize that her HRM major at Calvin was designed to get her out of the comfort zone of her classroom.
“In many courses, we were working with actual companies. We had to present really professional work to business professionals. It wasn’t just for a grade. Those high expectations and hands-on experiences prepared me well.”
Step 2: Learn how to think strategically
Jamie also picked up strategic thinking skills that would be essential to her job as an HR manager. She explained that there are a lot of rapidly changing laws for hiring and managing employees in the human resources field.
“I noticed that HR programs in other colleges required students to spend more time memorizing compliance law or structured programs for hiring and compensation,” Jamie shared. “Those facts are often expired before you graduate. The HRM program at Calvin shaped me into more of a strategic thinker who can adapt to a quickly changing field. I know I can think of solutions that are outside the box.”
Step 3: Pick up interdisciplinary skills
Jamie’s HRM major equipped her to be a well-rounded businesswoman by exposing her to classes outside of human resources. They proved to be just as applicable to her job as her HR education.
“I understand how to market the jobs I’m trying to recruit for because I have that well-rounded education,” Jamie remarked.
And it wasn’t just her business major that gave her a balanced education. Her minors in Spanish and international development taught her skills that she uses on a daily basis.
“I translate documents, interviews, and conversations all the time,” Jamie noted. “And my international development minor taught me how to think about how communities are affected by businesses.”
Step 4: Find an internship
The fourth experience that prepared Jamie for the workplace was spending a semester in an actual workplace.
At a Calvin-hosted networking event for business professionals in the area, Jamie connected with the HR assistant for Kamps Pallets.
“A few months later, the HR assistant remembered me from that networking event and reached out to me specifically,” Jamie explained. “I interviewed and got the internship position for during my senior year.”
Jamie’s internship worked out so well that she started working full-time at Kamps Pallets a few days after graduating from Calvin. She got to do a lot of what she loved about HRM right from the start.
“I’m organizing and improving programs, motivating people, and guiding people to the jobs where they’ll feel the most fulfilled.”