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Krannert Summer Intern - Maria

MSHRM Student

Pre-Program career: Five years of professional experience in Human Resources

Previous Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts with major in Psychology (Colombia)
  • Graduate Degree in Human Resources Development (Colombia)

How did you best prepare for your internship experience?

I’m the HR Summer Intern for ChemTreat Inc., a Danaher operating company. During my internship (and afterwards…), I wanted to be able to articulate a clear concise HR strategy or project and how it translates into a bottom line business impact for the company. At Krannert, I took business management classes that helped me developing those skills.

What are some outcomes the organization will have from your internship experience?

During my summer internship I delivered three main results:

  • I developed a Career Path for the Technical Services Area that will support the talent management process by expanding the pool of available talent, create insight into employee development opportunities and positively impact engagement and retention of existing employees.
  • I developed an Orientation Program for People Leaders that will have an estimate of $360,000 in annual savings (through reduction of employee turnover).
  • I proposed a competitive Paid Paternity Leave Policy to enhance ChemTreat’s total rewards program, and reinforce the talent acquisition strategy by portraying ChemTreat as an employer of choice amongst future employees.

What will you take away from your internship experience?

I thought 10 weeks were not going to be enough to deliver the results they were expecting from me. But by creating treasured networks and connections with key individual contributors and leaders you can make it happen! One meeting is not enough: create long term partnerships with your stakeholders through frequent interactions and correspondence.

What has been the most challenging part of your internship?

Danaher never settles (yes...NEVER). The moment you feel comfortable with a process, it’s time to stretch your goal and improve your results. “This is how things are, and they have been working fine for a long time,” said no one ever at Danaher. At Danaher you acknowledge your victories, but don't settle for them.

What do you enjoy about your internship?

This is going to sound cliché (specially coming from a HR personJ) but the one thing I enjoy the most from Danaher and ChemTreat is the people. The organizational culture highlights the importance of humbleness to achieve professional goals and personal dreams. Every single person that I have had the chance to talk to during my summer internship are exceptional individuals doing an extraordinary work.

How did you find your internship? What drew you into this company?

I found my internship through the Krannert Career Fair. Danaher visited our Business School in October 2014 and by late November I had an internship offer from them after some very interesting rounds of interviews.

What drew me to work for Danaher were two main things: the cultural blueprint for business growth (Danaher Business System) and their business model. The cultural blueprint allows Danaher to have steady, sustained, and top-line business growth through continuous improvement tools that makes them the best-performing multi-brand company in the world in the past 15 years. As “the biggest and most unknown Fortune 500 company”, as they curiously called themselves, their business model focuses on organic growth but mostly on inorganic growth made through acquisition of fast-paced and steady-growing businesses.

What has surprised you about your internship experience?

What has surprised me the most about my internship experience is the level of autonomy they give you from day 1 to enhance you internship experiences as you want. I am free to schedule meetings with the Senior Leadership Team, plan calls with the Global VP of Talent Management to review my projects, go out for lunch with the Director of Procurement, work from home, or attend to a BBQ with the Senior Leadership Team. The “Open Door” culture is remarkably real in this company.

What surprised me the least about Danaher was the strong emphasis on continuous improvement. Since the informational session Danaher sponsored at Krannert, they highlighted their obsession for continuous improvement and how it runs through everyone’s blood. It’s part of the culture, and it will never go away. From the high school intern all the way to Tom Joyce (CEO of Danaher), you will breathe continuous improvement.

What courses from the MSHRM program have you found beneficial?

Employment Law (If you are an international student, and you are reading this, don’t leave to your internship without taking it!), Business Analytics, Strategic Management, Talent Management Gender & Diversity, and Advanced Topics & Applications in Compensation.

What courses do you plan to take upon returning to Purdue?

HR Analytics, Project Management, Training and Development, and Accounting for Managers.

Advice for someone looking to work at the company you are interning at?

  1. Challenge ideas respectfully (even if you are interviewing with the CEO).
  2. Ask yourself and others why (at least two or three times… or maybe five) to find cause-and-effect relationships underlying a specific problem the present to you on the interview rounds.
  3. Find the bottom line impact for the business.