Practical experience is an important component to your MBA experience. Through internships, students take classroom knowledge to the workplace and gain practical experience to prepare for their upcoming career. My experience working on the HR Redesign project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health was exceptionally valuable. The HR redesign initiative is to improve systems, structures, and practices, which will provide reliable, value-added HR services.
The HR Redesign project is a long-term project requiring extensive coordination between departments. The UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) has approximately 6,000 employees and more than 50 different departments, each with its own HR team and process. To design and implement a centralized HR function would help to decrease the variance in HR practices and improve service efficiency and quality. The project comprises six sub-project: HR communication, position requisitioning, on-boarding and off-boarding, salary administration, recruit and select faculty and recruit and select staff.
Each of these six sub-projects has co-leads and members, who are a cross-section of HR expertise within SMPH and across campus. I was exposed to and learned every aspect of the HR practices at SMPH by working with colleagues from different departments and functions. This provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the current practices and needs throughout the organization. I was in charge of developing metrics to define success that fell under the following categories approved by each of the sub-projects:
Through this project, I developed my consulting skills through new experiences working alongside two senior consultants from the UW Office of Quality Improvement (OQI). I learned how to conduct effective in-take meetings, organize and ask questions to solicit information, manage a project, and communicate effectively with HR professionals at different levels.
Furthermore, I had the opportunity to apply what I have already learned in my MBA classes to the project. For example, in the Introduction to Strategic HR Management course, we discussed the centralized HR model, how each function much coordinate with each, and how each function should be evaluated by identifying key success metrics. This knowledge was a key part of the project and directly applied into my job, which makes me value my MBA experience that much more.
Overall, I have grown professionally and as a through leader by working on this project. As the project goes on, I will continue to contribute during the semester and look forward to seeing the efforts of the team make a meaningful contribution to the organization. As I complete my second year of MBA study I look forward to applying new knowledge to the HR Redesign project and into my future career. On Wisconsin!
About UW School of Medicine and Public Health: The UW SMPH has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation's best primary-care medical schools and among the top 30 research schools. In the 2014 edition of graduate school rankings, UW SMPH was listed as 9th in primary-care education and as 28th among research schools. The school partners with UW Health, an integrated regional academic health system that consistently receives major national awards and recognition.