During my first semester at Adelphi, I took a variety of courses in selection, training and development, psychological disorders, and statistics. I learned a great deal from my school work and professors; however, I found myself wondering how the material I was reading and discussing in class truly applied to the workplace and the Human Resources field in particular.
My second semester at Adelphi was quickly approaching, so I decided to apply for an internship in Human Resources so as to obtain real-world knowledge and experience. After researching HR internships at many different companies and sending out several applications, I was lucky enough to secure an interview with Michael Kors, and I was later offered an internship position within the Michael Kors’ HR department, which I happily accepted.
On my first day at Michael Kors, I was both excited and nervous. This was the first time I was working for a major, well-known company, and I did not know exactly what was in store for me over the course of the next five months. As I walked into the office on that first day in January, I was awed by all the fabulous shoes and clothes that surrounded me. After meeting my new co-workers, I was put right to work. My fellow HR intern and I were tasked with recruiting and hiring all interns for every department within the NY office for the upcoming Summer internship program. There were approximately 45 different departments in Michael Kors’ corporate office, some of which included Design, Public Relations, Production, Finance and Planning. With so many positions to fill, there was no time to waste. I began by speaking with managers from each department in order to gain a better understanding of what they did as well as what they were looking for in an intern. I then created and posted job descriptions for each internship position, and over the course of the next several months, I reviewed incoming resumes, determined which candidates should be considered, scheduled and conducted first-round interviews, compiled feedback and extended offers and declined candidates. I also worked closely with college career counselors and attended career fairs at various colleges. Upon completion of my internship at Michael Kors, my colleague and I had hired 106 interns in total for the company. Additionally, over the course of my time with Michael Kors, I was responsible for on-boarding and managing those who were part of the current internship program, so I took part in organizing a welcome breakfast and giving tours of the office as well as conducting mid-semester reviews and exit interviews.
While interning with Michael Kors, I took part in an independent study course and worked very closely with professor Neil Halloran, who served as an excellent mentor throughout the process. Professor Halloran and I met regularly over the course of the semester to discuss my internship, what I was learning and how that applied to what I was learning in my HR courses. For example, when taking a course in selection, you might be taught what types of interview questions to ask and how to prevent discrimination in the selection process, but you cannot be taught how exactly to choose the “best-fit” candidates for such different types of positions. That ability can only be developed through experience. Professor Halloran really took the time to discuss these things with me and to advise me whenever I had questions that arose as a result of my internship. He also had me read a book entitled, “Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping,” which was fascinating and provided me with a good deal of insight into the retail industry. Working with professor Halloran while interning was extremely helpful in that he allowed me to maximize what I was learning during my time at Michael Kors.
The knowledge and experience I gained from my HR internship at Michael Kors were truly invaluable, and my experience certainly complemented my school work by making it much more practical and relevant. Additionally, having such hands-on experience to add to my resume allowed me to obtain a full-time Human Resources position with a global law firm, Linklaters LLP, upon graduation from Adelphi. I would highly recommend that all students intern in their field of choice while completing their studies as it is extremely beneficial and rewarding in many ways, and professor Halloran is the perfect person to assist with this process!