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Hannah Young

Hannah Young ‘23: What I Learned as a Research Assistant in Employment Law and Internal Investigations

Hannah Young  is a junior in the ILR school whose academic interests include inequality, law, society and crime, as well as prisons, education, and justice. This summer she worked as a student research assistant for Institute Director of Employee Relations and Employment Law Susan Brecher.

Could you give a brief description of your role as a research assistant and what you were researching?

 As a research assistant, I conducted research on the latest trends and best practices in employment law and internal investigations. I also had the privilege of participating in Cornell workshops that are a part of the Employment Law and Employee Relations and Investigations certificate programs as well as reviewing asynchronous courses. During the workshops, I worked with other participants on case studies and took notes on course material. Afterwards, I utilized my experience and notes to work with Susan in anticipation of the creation of a new blended learning certificate. 

Has this experience impacted your perspective on HR & internal investigations? 

Prior to becoming a research assistant, I did not feel very knowledgeable about HR law and internal investigations. This experience and my continuing research on latest trends gave me a solid foundation and I’m looking forward to learning more!

 What do you believe is the importance of the research you are doing within the field?

I think staying up to date with current policies and trends in employment law and internal investigations is extremely important. We can learn a lot especially from best practices employers recommend and current cases surrounding internal investigations. 

What is the most important thing you have learned from this experience? 

It’s very difficult to only choose one, but I would say one of the most important things I have learned from my experience is the importance of transferring and applying learning. During the workshops, we do this by stopping periodically and reflecting on the most important pieces of information we have gained. This has been something that has stuck with me and I have used in my day to day life. 

 How did this internship align with your professional goals?

 I’m not entirely sure what career path I want to pursue, but I was able to meet many professionals in various HR related fields, which definitely sparked my interest. Internal investigations is definitely an area I would like to explore.

 Is there any advice you would give students interested in becoming a research assistant?

 My best advice would be to put yourself out there! Signing up for newsletters and staying up to date with the latest trends in the field of your choice will definitely help you in any research you pursue.