Human Resources while Traveling
This summer, while I wanted something productive to do, I also wanted the flexibility to go back to San Francisco and visit my friends and be able to travel in general. While I had little to no experience in HR and had just worked a bit of retail in high school, I saw an internship posting for Tao Learning and decided to apply. I am so glad I did because thus far it has been one of my most productive summers yet.
The flexibility offered in this internship is unparalleled to any other. I've seen my friends and loved ones more than would have been possible with a traditional internship, and I don't feel like I'm missing out on the traditional experience at all. Getting to work from my laptop and phone is an amazing experience. Some of the things I do involve interacting with potential interns, scheduling interviews with them, and conducting their first-round interviews. I also help to onboard new interns and teach them about various aspects of Office 365. Most of what I do is solo, but I did get to work with interns in web development and business development to streamline some aspects of HR. I love brainstorming ways to streamline and improve the process, I feel so involved in everything and though I am just an intern, I always feel entirely heard out and like my opinions are valued. There isn't a lot that I am not allowed to do, I know that I don't have to stick with HR if I want to explore another sector of business.
What I Learned
I didn't expect a remote internship to be so hands-on. Most remote internships aren't taken as seriously, or don't require serious work. This internship has required as much work as an on-site internship, and I have always felt like my work matters just as much from far away as it would if I were on-site. I did expect to be able to set my own hours and work when it was convenient for me, which is exactly what this internship has provided. That is something that has been consistent throughout my time in the Tao Learning program. I have had a lot of independence during my time here and that is something I am very grateful for.
I have committed about 15-20 hours per week to this internship, but it is not tracked so it's hard to keep track. That is something we are working to change, though! I have learned a lot about what exactly HR is, and how I would function in a real HR position. In a typical day, I will have a few interviews scheduled and then will discuss ways to streamline the screening process for potential candidates. More recently we have discussed ways to track participant's progress via Office 365 and a custom HR Software solution we are building called FocusPass.
I wouldn't change anything about this internship program. I have learned so much and it is because of how well it is structured and how amazing everyone is at communicating. I don't know what I'll be doing in the future, but I will definitely be returning to school in the fall and exploring other realms of business.
Hi! My name is Mackenzie, and I recently finished my freshman year at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. I love to travel, eat amazing food, and I'm extremely social! I joined the Tao Internship in Summer 2018. I feel so involved in everything and though I am just an intern, I always feel entirely heard out and like my opinions are valued.
Human Resources while Traveling
I used a few different pieces of software from my laptop and phone for my work. I utilized Office 365 alot and later moved to Slack for initial interviews. I even tested out a few new pieces of software the company hadn't yet implemented to see if they were easy to learn and to see if the other HR members might like them. Office 365 is really vast and while I have used it before, it was quite different using in a business setting. Since I was assigned to alot of interviews, I used MS Teams, Outlook, meeting rooms, and then your general Office tools such as Word/Excel.
At the beginning of my internship, the HR process was rather vague without documentation put together. Though, I had a manager train me and worked with another intern to conduct a few initial interviews. As the weeks went by, we slowly developed an excel database of our interviews where I helped in HR Think Tank groups to discuss the best overall strategy to streamline our workflow. This was really fun and it was exciting to see my work go from an idea to an actual production in the company. Going from a vague idea, to an excel spreadsheet, and then to an entire HR Brand with Artificial Intelligence and automated systems was fun to be a part of and I hope to experience similar growth once I get a job in the future.
My Work Overview
During my summer, I conducted over 50 interviews with candidates for multiple roles in a Creative Agency and Software Development company. I looked over resumes, reviewed progress reports, and made decisions based on who should join and recommendations to them on their next step in the HR Process. Once they joined, I also walked them through the onboarding process, primarily in Office 365 training and comprehension. I also trained people in the idea of Agile and how to best understand working remotely.
What better way to explain my process than by showing you. During the last week of my summer internship, I conducted a few more candidate interviews for the learning program. I have included a video on this page that covers one of those interviews. While in the interview, I am using Microsoft Teams and I also have an excel spreadsheet open with some information on the candidate. I keep my notes in the excel spreadsheet as we talk so other team members can reference it. You can watch the video if you'd like.
I'm still not sure what direction I will be going once I graduate. I start my sophomore year of University in a month. This experience has given me a good understand of what I might expect if I take a career in an office setting. While I focused primarily on HR tasks, I will venture into general Business Development as I do like to explore all areas of business. Though, I have found that I really enjoy socializing with people and HR is a great place to be in for that!