I have always found the ways laws influence the relationship between management and employees (and vice versa) intriguing. More specifically, I am interested in how societal changes in thinking about labor and social issues create a sort of ebb and flow in the creation of economically and politically orientated laws. While the nature of the ILR curriculum effectively delves into the intricacies of the typically tense relationship between management and employees through Labor and Employment Law, HR, Collective Bargaining courses etc. experiencing and contributing to the operations of a labor relations team at a firm like NBCUniversal transformed my understanding of the theoretical concepts and discussions of the classroom into palpable and insightful approaches to labor issues.
Invaluable experience I gained during my ILR Credit Internship program includes editing and updating collective bargaining agreements, handling and archiving sensitive information related to negotiations, collective bargaining agreements and arbitration decisions that have taken place throughout the history of the company, and attending collective bargaining negotiations. The meticulous process of editing and updating CBAs not only exposed me to legal jargon commonly used in contracts, but also strengthened my attention to detail. As for the reading and organizing of arbitration decisions and negotiation notes, I was able to identify trends in issues and decisions through a lens not only specific to NBCUniversal, but also reflective of issues relevant to employees of different generations. Continuing the trend of this internship brining to life the concepts, practices, and issues presented in the textbooks of many ILR classes, attending collective bargaining negotiations allowed me to feel the tension and emotion expressed by the vocal and body languages of both sides of the table. I am fortunate to say that while my position at the table was physically on the side of management, my education thus far provided me the objectivity, awareness, and desire, to mentally place myself on both sides simultaneously. By doing so I felt significant fulfillment as an observer and more importantly, as a student.
Reporting for work each day to the historical and renowned Rockefeller Plaza in the heart of Midtown, New York was an added bonus to the eye-opening experience of working behind the scenes in a very outward-facing industry. Outside of work, I did all I could to experience the city. From visiting museums, and libraries, to biking through the streets of Manhattan and attending a live recording of the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, my experience was as much fun as it was educational. While I have always considered a legal profession, my time at NBCUniversal solidified and intensified my determination to do so.