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Veterans Recruitment Specialist
Program/Concentration: Jack Welch MBA with Human Resources Concentration
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB RESPONSIBILITIES AT THE MAYO CLINIC.
I am a Diversity Recruitment Specialist at Mayo Clinic, focusing on veterans engagement and recruitment pipelines for veterans into Mayo Clinic. I am fortunate that after my career as a Senior HR officer in the U.S. Army, I was able to transition into a role that allowed me to combine my experience with my passion for helping veterans. In my role, I help veterans traverse the civilian employment landscape. In many ways, I am a champion for veterans at our organization. Some of my responsibilities include developing talent pipelines, connecting with veterans interested in Mayo Clinic, growing relationships with community partners and leaders, and creating awareness about the caliber of talent veterans bring into an organization.
I also serve as the Co-Vice Chair of the Veterans Mayo Employee Resource Group (MERG). This position allows me to support the needs of current Mayo military members and their families by leveraging the collective knowledge of veterans, past, and present, to shape policy.
WHY WERE YOU LOOKING TO GET AN MBA?:
While career progression was undoubtedly a factor in enrolling for this MBA, the main reason was that I wanted to be an effective HR leader and business partner. My 20-year career as an Army officer provided me with leadership and HR experience in general. However, I wanted to be more than an effective HR leader—I wanted to be a productive and contributing business partner in my organization. And this is an area that I felt I could use additional education. This MBA Program provided me with the insight and tools to close that knowledge gap and be a more well-rounded professional.
HOW HAS THE JWMI CURRICULUM HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
Thanks to the JWMI curriculum, I feel more confident as an HR professional who can speak and understand the business part of our organization. This is especially important for me because I work in an agile and dynamic organization. As such, my ability to understand the business portion of the organization is essential.
Because of my new confidence and knowledge, I felt more prepared to take on additional responsibilities and projects. As a result, I am now spearheading three enterprise-wide initiatives– a training program for recruiters and hiring managers specific to military employees, an internship program for veterans and military spouses, and a college partnership pipeline for military personnel. Leading these initiatives increased my responsibilities considerably as I am a one-person team. It also increased my interaction with our leadership and department leaders at all the locations within our footprint.
DID YOU FIND THE CURRICULUM WAS IMMEDIATELY APPLICABLE? PLEASE EXPLAIN.:
Absolutely. My current position was created a few months before I started on this MBA, and I had the autonomy to build it from the ground up. As a result, I was able to implement what I was learning in real-time. In this regard, I feel very fortunate because I was learning, implementing, and executing various initiatives while also having a support system at JWMI to reach back if I had any questions.
WAS THERE A PARTICULAR PROFESSOR OR MEMBER OF THE STAFF WHO YOU FELT HELPED YOU TO EXCEL? PLEASE ELABORATE.:
All of my professors were wonderful. They were teachers, mentors, cheerleaders, and I appreciate that they constantly pushed us to make us think about different points of view or outside the comfort zone of what we knew. However, I need to mention a few professors because they were vital to my success.
Coming into this MBA, Financial Management was not a strong point for me, and I was nervous about these classes. But Dr. John Shaw (Financial Management) and Dr. John Bennett (Financial Management II) completely changed my perception of financial management. They made it fun, interactive, and relatable. They went above and beyond when I had questions and helped me excel. I also have to mention our class coach, Dr. Georgia Justus, because she was instrumental in my success in Financial Management, as well.
Dr. Steve Griffith (Business Analytics and Capstone) was instrumental for me during this class. The capstone was a challenging class because my scope was getting too big as the project progressed. But with his guidance, questions, and suggestions, I created a project that I felt comfortable with. More importantly, I learned many lessons that I will value.
Last but not least, I have to mention the Admissions and Veterans Service teams. Being a veteran, I wanted to use my VA Education benefits but had no idea where to start. However, the team approach between my Advisor, Finance, and the Veteran Service Team at the time, made the entire process extremely user-friendly.
PLEASE SHARE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW STUDENTS EMBARKING ON THE MBA JOURNEY.:
Leave your ego at the door because you will be surprised about the gaps in your knowledge. I thought I knew a lot, but I realized I did not know as much as I thought I did with each class. So it was both humbling and also an opportunity to get better. Leaving your ego at the door will also let you ask for help when you need it. And I mention this because it was hard for me to use a coach. But once I did, I appreciated the value they brought.
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