This semester, I am a Human Resources Intern at GE Power & Water in Schenectady, NY. While I have only been here for three of the six months of my assignment, so far, I feel like I have gained such a wealth of knowledge that exceeds my time here. I have been attracted to the human resources field for a long time now, so I decided that doing a credit internship would be the best way to gain practical knowledge while applying my coursework and prior internship experience. Deciding to intern at GE was definitely the right choice. The HR internship program is very well developed. I am given many responsibilities in a "real world" setting resulting in outstanding experiences while being mentored by professionals of a world leading company.
The main part of my role is to be solely responsible for the recruiting and hiring process of hourly employees for the steam turbine and generator manufacturing plant (which is a one million square foot building!). It is very challenging to find qualified candidates for the skilled trades, so I am responsible for organizing campus recruiting efforts at trade schools throughout the region. My favorite part about this internship is that I am getting a taste of every aspect of human resources. Since I am working at a unionized site, I get a lot of exposure to union relations. I attend union grievance meetings, participate in investigations, and interact with the union leadership. I am also learning about employee relations, payroll, benefits, talent management, strategic planning, and diversity.
I feel very fortunate to be an intern at GE because my coworkers and senior leadership are always looking to include me in interesting and exciting projects. I even got the opportunity to participate in the planning and execution of GE Family Day, an event for 14,000 people for which GE recognized my efforts by giving me a bonus. Right now, I am part of a strategic workforce planning team that is examining the entire global supply chain. Not only am I getting the chance to learn through this innovative project, but I am also able to work on something that can have a large-scale impact on the business. The opportunity to take advantage of the phenomenal learning experiences that GE Power & Water has to offer has truly been a gift, and I plan to carry what I have learned during this internship for the rest of my career.
- Kristen Ritraj, BSILR'16