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Paola Solano 1

3PDS Prof. Spitz

Paola Solano
Professor Spitz
3 Yr. PDS
30 March 2016
Informational Interview
On March 29, 2016 at 4:00pm I interviewed Devon Hartley, Senior HR Generalist at
VRW working with Integra (Massachusetts) and STI (North Carolina). Her phone number is
984-289-6420 and her email address is Devon.Hartley@vrw.com. I decided to interview Devon
because I am an HR major and she is in the position I aspire to be in after college. We both work
for the same company; however, I dont know exactly what her days are like or much about her
position since she works at STI down in North Carolina.
Devon told me her story about how she became interested in the Human Resources field.
When she was in college pursuing a Bachelors degree she took an intro to HR class, which
intrigued her to learn more about it. Her story is similar to mine, we both came in thinking we
would do business but as we learned more in our intro to HR class we became more interested in
the subject. Her HR class taught her the laws, compliance, and regulations this ultimately
making her more curious to learn more about the other areas HR covers. She graduated with a
Bachelor of Science in Human Resources and a minor in business.
I agree with Devon on the importance of internships, especially with HR. She said she
had to complete one in order to graduate. Devon found it helpful to be in the working world and
just being a part of conversation, not necessarily making decisions. Doing an internship helped
her apply her knowledge from class to real life situations You get the principles at school but

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3PDS Prof. Spitz

dont know how to apply them. She mentioned that its important to build relationships with the
professors as they are often in the workforce or know people in similar positions that could help
one out. Finally, Devon thinks attending the HR group luncheons to network best prepared her
for her career. She became familiar with processes and companies. One of her best decisions
made during her college career was completing the internship and doing all the HR courses,
which helped her with building blocks and getting a foundation of HR.
Devons first job after college was with Carquest or Auto Parts, her role was to train
managers and other HR employees on the newly acquired HR recruiting system whether it was
through the phone or in person. While there, she made a lot of connections and later on became
the HRBP. Years later she accepted a position with Time Winter Cable as an HR Generalist,
where she worked for 2 years. When I asked her what a typical day is like in an entry-level
position she said you never know what to expect. This is what she likes about the job, its a
challenge but its a well worth one.
Later on, she accepted an offer from Sitequest Technology. They had a much more
professional company culture; she handled all of the benefits and had no previous experience.
She was in charge of negotiating from start to finish, planned, designed, and created all materials
needed for it. She did that for about a year and a half and left when she felt there was no more
room for development.
She is currently working for VWR, she explained they look for people who have good
judgment and for people who can tell them what to do (bring ideas to the table.) They want
people that are able to say, This is the ultimate goal that you want, this is how to get there. She
also explained that they looked for someone that could pushback when needed. They want smart

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3PDS Prof. Spitz

people that know the basics of the laws and know when they need to follow or step out of certain
guidelines.
Her advice to me was to keep up with readings as the world changes; she said this way I
will be able to stay in front of everything. The laws change and so does HR verbiage she
explained is important to keep up with all of these changes as companies adapt. She
recommended that I purchase the National SHRM as it is very helpful; she has been buying this
since her Junior year of college. Devon also suggested I log onto Advisor.com to view all
current/changes to state laws. I had the opportunity to discuss graduate programs with her as well
as get some advice on good schools and the different certificates there are.

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3PDS Prof. Spitz

Questions Asked

Tell me about your background


Tell me about how you made the decisions along your career path
Why you chose this field?
Why you accepted and left positions?
What skills and experience are most impressive in your field?
How would you recommend I get that experience?
What does your company/industry look for in the people they hire?
What is a typical day like for an entry-level professional in your profession? (Pros and

cons)
What media outlets (blogs, magazines, newspapers, etc.) do you recommend I read or

watch to be in the loop in your industry?


What are some of the graduate programs you considered and why?
Would you recommend that program to someone else?
What activities, classes or other parts of your college experience best prepared you for

your career?
What is the best decision you made as an undergraduate with respect to your professional

life?
Is it likely that an HR professional could get sent on an expatriate assignment if
qualified?