Name: Alison Bell
Degree: BSPA Human Resource Management, 20′
Current Position: HR Generalist at Belden
- Can you tell our students a little bit about yourself and the work that you do?
I graduated from the O’Neill school in May 2020. I majored in Human Resource Management and minored in Spanish and Law & Public Policy. I am currently a part of Belden Inc.’s HR Early Career Leadership Program. This three year program allows me rotate into different HR roles, work on cross-functional business projects, and gain exposure to the organization’s senior leaders. For my first rotation, I am working as an HR Generalist at the corporate headquarters in St. Louis. In this role, I am exposed to a lot of different areas of HR. Some of my main responsibilities include recruiting for open positions, onboarding new employees, succession planning, and managing engagement.
- What did your professional journey look like from college to your position today?
While this is my first full-time role in HR, I have had other professional experiences leading up to where I am now. In the summer between my Junior and Senior year, I worked as an Employee Benefits Intern at Allegion PLC. I was able to learn a lot about the total rewards side of HR during this experience. Following this, during my Senior year I worked as an HR Intern for Indiana University. I was able to learn a lot about how HR operates in the public/non-profit sector during my time in this role. Lastly, I took the SHRM-CP exam in February of my Senior year and thankfully I passed it!
- What advice do you have for someone who wants to follow your career path?
A piece of advice I have for someone wanting to pursue a similar career is to always be open to learning and trying new things. I think there is a ton of value is gaining different experiences within HR early on in your career because it can really broaden your knowledge and open the door to many opportunities in the future.
- What is your favorite networking technique or strategy?
My favorite networking technique is to reach out to people who are currently in a role that I think would be really interesting or a role I could potentially have in the future. It is always good to connect with people on LinkedIn so you are able to contact them again and watch their professional progress.
- What drives you to be successful in your job everyday?
I am driven to be successful in my job because I know that I am currently building a foundation for the rest of my career. I know that the skills I am building now will continue with me as my career progresses. I also enjoy being able to assist employees and contribute towards making our organization a great place to work.
- New professionals are often told to “pay their dues,” what is your advice for a successful first year in the workforce?
My advice for a successful first year in the workforce would be to listen and observe from others around you. There is always a slight learning curve when joining a new company but the more you take in during your on-the-job training, the more ready and confident you will feel. I also think being flexible will allow for a successful first year. This is the time to be open to moving to a different city, traveling for work, or taking on responsibilities that are completely new.