Haley Jackson is the heart of human resources

Contact: Abbie Griffith

Haley Jackson

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—For some people, the dream school awaits halfway across the country. For Western Michigan University junior Haley Jackson from Kalamazoo, it was right down the road. Growing up, Western was Jackson’s perfect opportunity. Majoring in human resource management, she has found her fit in the lower western corner of the mitten.

“Starting college for the first time can be a scary and lonely experience in the beginning but joining student organizations and being involved has made the experience transformational,” she says. “Realizing how many resources there are for business students has expanded my opportunities for success in my education and professional life. Pushing myself to grow has been an exciting challenge as a student, working professional and person.”

Being involved on campus has set Jackson up for success in her future career. Holding leadership roles is a collaborative endeavor and gaining the confidence to work with others is a crucial skill she has been refining since her first days on campus.

“During my first year I participated in the Western Industry Research and Exploration Discussion (WIRED) where I met with business professionals for the first time. I was so nervous to make a bad impression, but after talking with different companies through WIRED, the Business Externship Program and career fairs, I’ve learned that business professionals are just people and are there for help and support,” says Jackson. “Later on, I got the opportunity to be a WIRED ambassador and help first-year students get through their initial networking experiences while talking to business professionals.”

In addition to WIRED, Jackson is the director of membership for the Business Association of Mentors and the vice president of professional development for the Society for Excellence in Human Resources where she is actively fine tuning her leadership skills with students. Working with first-year students and passing on her wisdom to those who are going through the same experiences she went through has allowed Jackson to better understand what it means to be in human resources.

“To be in human resources is more than just recruiting, compensation and compliance, it’s about being a support system and a resource for the employees,” she says. “You must manage a delicate balance of doing what is best for the company and the employees. This is an opportunity to see the impacts of my role through other people’s experiences within a company.”

With her talent for empathy and connecting with others, Jackson has been using her skills at her internship at Landscape Forms as a talent recruiter.

“During my internship, I recruit for all of the company’s manufacturing, welding and concrete positions. I handle the recruiting process all the way from resume screening, to making the offer and onboarding the employee at orientation. This has given me great hands-on experience to apply the skills that I’ve learned at Western.”

Wherever Jackson may go, she will prove herself a positive influence on the company and bring out the strengths in everyone she meets.

“I’ve learned leadership, team building and organizational skills that I’ll carry with me throughout my career and personal life,” she says. “I hope to work in an organization that truly values the employees and sees the company culture as the heart of what makes the company stand out.”

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