Hi! I’m Barbara Callahan, a senior at Georgetown University, majoring in Economics and minoring in Psychology and Business Administration. In the summer 2014, I was lucky enough to intern with the Human Resources department at Gartner world headquarters.
The biggest question people have when applying for a job or internship is “What is the average workday like?” The most frustrating, and most common, answer to hear is “I can’t answer that because every day is different!”
In a way, it’s true. You won’t work on the same projects or meet with the same people every day.
During my eight weeks at Gartner, I worked on various projects for the HR Effectiveness and Talent Sourcing Analytics teams and, later on, with for the Social Media team in the Marketing Department. I gained a great perspective on the various facets of an HR department at a rapidly growing company, as well as on the extent to which all of the teams must work together to be an effective recruiting machine.
Here’s an example of one day in the life of my internship, from the third segment of my internship when I worked with the Social Media and Talent Sourcing teams.
8:30: Arrive at the office, chug some tea. Monday mornings are so not my thing.
8:35 – 8:40: Chit chat with one of the recruiters about my weekend, get something caught in my throat so bad it makes my eyes tear. At least the day can only go uphill from here …
8:40 – 8:50: Check emails to try to plan out my schedule for the day.
8:50 – 9:15: Finish up leftover work from the week prior: I had interviewed recruiters at several Gartner offices to get application advice for job and internship candidates. I used this time to finish reviewing notes from one of those interviews and turn them into future tweets. (We shared these tips on our Gartner Careers Twitter account to help future applicants. Make sure to check it out!)
9:15 – 9:30: Whew, already exhausted; time for a break! I ping (Gartner lingo for IM — I still don’t really get it myself) Lizzy and Jon, the other HR interns, and meet to go grab a piece of fruit from the cafeteria downstairs. (One piece of fruit is free in the mornings at the Stamford campus cafeteria! See Top Tips for New Stamford Associates and Interns.)
9:30 – 10:00: Time for an outdoor walk-meeting around our campus with my manager to go over projects. Always enjoyable to get outside here when weather permits.
10:30 – 11:30: Back to work. Review and edit my previous blog post drafts and start writing this one!
11:30 – 11:45: Quick conference call with one of the recruiting coordinators in Stamford and one of the recruiters in Fort Myers. In my brief networking calls with candidates, I’ve come across several who are still in school. The purpose of this conference call was to develop a plan of action for filing these candidates in our database to remind our recruiters to reach out to them when they approach graduation.
11:45 – 1:00: Meet up with Lizzy, Jon and some interns from other departments for lunch. As per usual, we eat outside at the picnic benches and catch up on what we did over the weekends. Get hissed at by one of the many geese walking by. Monday’s are really the best!
1:00 – 3:00: Was supposed to have 10-15 minute introductory phone calls with four candidates, but only two answer their phones. This is the first time this has happened and I feel unloved. Instead, I spend the time putting notes into our candidate tracking system and catch up on scheduling screening phone calls with other candidates.
3:00 – 3:15: Continuing with the recruiter interview project I mentioned earlier, I have an interview with one of our recruiters based in Chicago to pick his brain for any advice he has for future candidates.
3:15 – 4:00: Go over his responses and compiled them into Tweets and Facebook posts. After I finish, I send out the rest of the scheduling emails for phone calls with potential candidates.
4:00 – 4:20: Interview another recruiter, this time with one based in Fort Myers.
4:20 – 5:00: Go through her responses and compile the material into Tweets and Facebook posts. Do a little research on social media initiatives other companies are conducting.
5:00: Wrap everything up and head to my dentist appointment. Normally, instead of having my mouth poked and prodded, I would be heading to the Gartner gym to work out with some of the other interns. Unfortunately, today is not one of those days.
And that’s all, folks! Of course, every day truly is different, but I hope this gives you a little glimpse into what at least one of my 50 days here was like. Gartner did a good job of keeping me busy, but never overwhelmingly so, and I was able to progress to some really cool projects, like actually phone- screening candidates as the Gartner talent recruiters do. Having other interns here with me was awesome too; we all got along really well and it’s great to have a little crew to grab lunch or take breaks with.