Alumni Spotlight: Veronika Koziel
Veronika Koziel’s (ILR '19) education at the Scheinman Institute and ILR helped to develop her interest in collective bargaining, conflict resolution, global labor supply chains and HR. Her current position in HR in a People Analytics role at General Dynamics NASSCO has allowed her to be on the frontlines for critical employee negotiations.
What activities did you participate in at the Scheinman Institute?
I was very much involved with the Scheinman Institute during my time as an undergrad. I actually remember when the Scheinman Conflict Resolution Club was first founded when I was an undergrad and I was very excited to join as when the club was first getting started. I was a leader in supporting the international and comparative labor and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) initiatives, as well as helping students connect with professors interested in the field and find international opportunities through the ILR School. During my time there, I was also a research assistant working with Richard Fincher, the ILR Neutral-In-Residence, for the Scheinman Institute’s Asian Labor Arbitration Project, where I investigated reform trends in labor and employment law and ADR in China. Additionally, first as a student and then as the teaching assistant for the ILR Global Exchange Engaged Learning Program in Vietnam, I conducted research focusing on the intersections of conflict resolution, collective bargaining and corporate social responsibility on living wages and minimum wage setting in Vietnam.
How did your education at the Scheinman Institute and ILR influence your current professional interests?
After graduating from the ILR School in 2019, I became an interdepartmental resource for the Labor Relations and HR Project Management teams at General Dynamics NASSCO where I have supported grievance handlings, investigations and assisted with gathering and reporting HR data and metrics required on labor providers, attrition, competitors and wage data. I was able to leverage my experience in both labor relations, collective bargaining and ADR from my time at ILR, as well as my strong desire to delve into the economics and data realm, to land a position as the youngest member of the chief negotiating team with the 7 bargaining units in the company’s shipyard. In addition to understanding the potential positions that the union would propose, our team had to restructure our strategy and parameters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, our team was able to successfully conclude negotiations and bargain in good faith to ratify contracts with the two unions in our shipyard in about one month. It was an incredible experience where I was able to use not only my knowledge and passions from my time at ILR and the Scheinman Institute, but also able to pick up new data analysis and negotiation skills that I will take with me as I advance my career. In the long term, I hope to pursue a career abroad and focus on international labor, corporate social responsibility and innovations in labor management, particularly in industries with complex global supply chains and large populations of unionized and non-unionized workers.