Stacey Schimmel graduated Binghamton University in 2018 with majors in English and Philosophy, Politics, and Law.
Read on to learn more about her current role in human resources.
Current Job Title:
Human Resources Coordinator
Where do you work?
What activities and clubs/organizations did you participate in at Binghamton?
Tour Guide, Fleishman Center Marketing Intern, Roadmap Intern for President Stenger, member of SAEPi sorority
Did you do an internship(s)?
Marketing Intern at the Fleishman Center – in this role I scheduled posts for social media, attended some Cool Connections/Hot Alumni events, and then wrote recaps and other content for the Fleishman Center website. 2. Roadmap Internship – this allowed us to work in small groups and pick an area of the campus that we wanted to improve. My first year in this internship, I helped implement a Professor Recognition program and we planned a culminating event. In my second year, we created and implemented an event for transfer students to get acclimated to the campus.
How can students connect with you?
How did your experience at Binghamton help prepare you for your first position after graduation?
Binghamton gave me the mindset of taking advantage of opportunities presented to me. Between all of the student clubs and events, I became comfortable with the idea of diving into the unknown. At my company, there have been a ton of opportunities (outside of actual work tasks) – from attending lunch and learns, to volunteer programs, participating in panels, etc. My time at Binghamton taught me that some of the most rewarding things come from the things you do unexpectedly. The more exposure you have to different things also will help you learn more about what you like and don’t and can base a career path off of that knowledge.
For a career in your field, what skills do you think are most important right now?
Adaptability! I think this applies to a lot of fields – I’m in HR at a (thirteen-year-old) tech startup, and despite how established many processes are, they still change daily. Additionally – client-facing experience is really important in anything within People Operations – something as simple as a friendly greeting in an email proves that you understand that the end goal is always putting people first and giving them the most positive experience you can, whether for a current employee, new hire, or prospective candidate.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates for your company?
Something we interview all of our candidates for is “grit” which is where passion meets perseverance. This is the top skill we require before extending offers to candidates, because we want to ensure our employees will remain passionate through change. It’s also important to question how things are done and suggest ways they can be done better. Processes have expiration dates and what worked well at one time may not always be most efficient and productive.
If you could do college all over again, what would you add to your college experience?
I would have volunteered! Volunteering can be a low time commitment but with such a large return. I didn’t think I had enough time during college, but I see now that this can be as simple as one hour a week, which I definitely could have added to my schedule!
What is one thing you think a student can do before senior year to be ready for the job search?
Famous whistler Chris Altman whom I met when he talked at the Fleishman Center once advised me to make a spreadsheet of every single person I knew so that when I needed to look into my network, it would be mindless. I think it also helps to learn as much as you can about industries – do informational interviews and learn the day-to-day of what people there do. Learn about positions that exist that you may not have been aware of. Since I started working, I also have read some books about how big companies like Salesforce and GE came to be and the obstacles they faced and they have inspired me to think bigger and differently.
What is the best piece of career advice you would give to current students?
Don’t rule companies out based on what they do. If you asked me 2 years ago if I’d be working at a software company (I am not technologically advanced), I would’ve laughed. I say look for role first, culture second, company third. Ask about culture in your interview – and not just blatantly like that. Ask if there’s employee resource groups, ask if there are growth and development, volunteer, and mentorship opportunities. If you’re not sure of what you want to do, think of the way you want to spend your time or of something you may have done only once but want to do again and would do for no pay. Go on interviews even if you’re not positive the role will be right for you – I have been able to rule out careers just based on what I learned from interviewing. Lastly, if you’re thinking about continuing education but are not fully sure, get certifications in the meantime. They’re cheaper, shorter, and give you enough insight into an industry to be able to choose if it’s something you want to pursue. Companies are also more likely to subsidize these than degrees.