We sat down with Laura Azzarella, the associate vice president of Employee Engagement at Daemen University, to talk about what she does and how her department is beneficial to students, faculty, and staff.
Why would someone visit your department?
We are a full service department, which means that every single aspect of the employee experience happens in the employee engagement office. We offer recruitment advice and tips in conjunction with Careers Services for all of the student workers. We recruit faculty and staff to work at Daemen. We also answer any questions about benefits, tuition exchange, and tuition waivers. We want to make sure you are getting the most out of your experience at the university.
Can you tell us more about how you work with Career Services?
We work with Career Services to help students obtain jobs on campus. We want the students to have as close to a real world experience as possible. The jobs are posted and they can apply to them and then interview with people on campus to gain real world skills. There’s no time like the present to start developing yourself for real world opportunities.
What do you wish more people knew about your department?
We make sure that supervisors are mentoring their employees and if they make a mistake, that they are helping them work through it. All those aspects help develop employees and make sure there aren’t going to be employee relation issues. Sometimes there are situations that involve bad conduct which needs to be addressed, but we make sure we are as neutral as possible and see both sides from a utilitarian perspective.
What are some top reasons to work in the human resources field?
It is such a wide career path. For example, I am currently working in a generalist capacity. I was a human resources generalist after doing some analysis work, then became an HR manager, and now I am an associate vice president. This means I need to know about onboarding, recruitment, investigations, conduct, terminations, the broad array of things. I can also specialize in benefits, compensation, or even focus on a talent acquisition aspect. HR is a great path for someone who likes people and who wants a broad array of things they can pursue within a single career.
What advice would you give students?
There is never a bad time to start networking and getting into your particular field. Even though you haven’t entered your career full time, there are so many people who want to be mentors and impact the next generation. The number one thing I would say is get on Linkedin and engage with content that genuinely interests you. I promise you, there are people out there in your similar career path that want to give you advice and help steer you in the right direction. Connect with them and genuinely ask for a conversation about their experience. You will be amazed what connections will do for you.