Rachael Kruszka

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh senior Rachael Kruszka, a double-major in human resources and economics with an emphasis in law, switched her major to HR and decided to stop by the UW Oshkosh Human Resources office in August 2014 to see if they had any internships.

That same week she interviewed for a student worker position, was hired as a human resources student intern and started with the basics like how to answer the phone and how to handle mail.

“What may have seemed like tedious tasks to some really helped me get a solid understanding of the UW Oshkosh Human Resources office,” Kruszka said.

Since starting as a student worker last August, Kruszka has transitioned into an internship role where she manages student payroll and adding student employees to the system. Kruszka’s internship is funded through the Student Titan Employment Program (STEP), which provides funding for internships aimed at giving UW Oshkosh students high-impact, campus-based opportunities in their area of study.

“Just even being around the HR environment, the laws and the procedures we follow has been so helpful in applying what I am learning in my classes,”  Kruszka said. “The people I get to work with are so helpful. They really try to help you understand why we do things a certain way, which really helps me know how to respond in future situations.”

Kruszka has worked on many projects during her internship in HR such as updating the student intern manual, as well as updating training and reference materials used by departments going through the student hiring process.

“Our office has benefited greatly from Rachael’s hard work,” Madysen Schmidt, program assistant in the Human Resources office, said. “We value the new perspectives students bring into our office and both staff and students enjoy learning from one another.”

Kruszka, who is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Economics Student Association, said the more knowledge you have, the better you can help others.

“I am gaining real-world experience and I get to work in the type of environment I will in the future,”  Kruszka said. “It is so helpful to see the real-world aspect at the same time I am taking my HR courses.”