Tell me what you do.
I assist Nell Madigan, who is the assistant dean for Labor and Employment Relations. We work in the career services department. Our two main functions are spring recruiting and fall recruiting. I’m responsible for making sure those run smoothly. I make sure the students are here and I make sure the (recruiter) schedules are full.
What is LER?
We are a three-semester graduate program for human resources and labor relations. We have about 150 students.
Can you walk me through a typical day for you?
During recruiting season our recruiters get in about 7:30 a.m. I greet them and have the room set up and their schedules (in place). I walk them through where the students will be and (review) how their day will go.
I get them settled, make sure students are here. If they’re not here – I’m like the mom – I have to find out what’s wrong. It’s not like our students to miss (an interview).
I also maintain the schedule for reserving rooms throughout the building; I guess you could say I manage the on-campus recruiting calendar.
How many company recruiters come to campus to talk to LER students?
We average about 38 in the fall and 16 in the spring. Today we had Boeing, for example. Some of our top (firms that hire) interns are Cummins, Shell, Northrop (Grumman). PepsiCo also is one of our top intern companies. Those that hire full-time employees are Coca-Cola, ConnocoPhillips and Cooper – we have a variety of companies.
Do you like working here?
This is the best place I’ve been. This office is great to work for. It’s kind of like a team feeling -- if one of us needs help, the other ones are there to pitch in. If we have a whole building function, we’re all there to get it done. I like that. I like knowing that the support is there.
What’s something about your job or your office that people might not know?
There’s no formal ranking process for HR programs, but employers and students recognize us as one of the top three programs.
How long have you worked at the UI?
Eight years (as an office specialist). I started out in Illinois Connection – it was an outreach program of the president; then from there I went to Housing, then I was at the Graduate College.
What other jobs have you done?
I did day care for five years. My kids were much younger; I enjoyed it. I (took care of) three of my own and took on three others. (Watching all six kids was) so satisfying. To this day, one of my (former charges) still will call me by the name she called me (when she was little). It’s great to see them grow up and become fantastic young people.
How old are your kids?
They’re 17, 18 and 19. Right now, I have a junior in high school, a senior in high school and a freshman in college.
Where are you originally from?
Tolono. I have lived there my entire life and I foresee myself there forever – unless I get tired of this darned cold weather.
Why work at the UI? Given the hard financial times here, do you have any regrets about working here?
Never. Despite all the negative things going on and throughout the state, the UI is a great place and … you do have stability. The students are coming here for a reason: We give a great education, and I think that is important. That is what we need to focus on, the positives.
Did you like any of the other jobs you did at the UI as much as this one?
This is my favorite. I guess having older kids now, you want (students to know) they have someone there for them. I think every student that comes here feels that. We’ll do our job to help them.
Anything else you want to add?
I am very fortunate to have three great kids who, when I’m not here, I’m chasing around the county, the state ... in a gym or on a football field or at a track meet.