BComm Global Experience: Erika’s Placement Blog

My name is Erika Feerick and I completed a three-month placement in my third year of my commerce degree with the HR department of The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. The Shelbourne Hotel is one of the most prestigious in Ireland with a rich history including hosting the drafting of the Irish Constitution in 1922 and being a temporary hospital during the 1916 rising. The hotel receives around 780,000 visitors annually and has over 500 associates with over 50% representing 33 different countries worldwide.
During my placement in the HR Office in The Shelbourne Hotel, I was given an invaluable insight into the many areas involved in HR in an environment where standards are sky high. I provided support to the whole HR Team therefore gaining the best exposure I could. I completed a huge variation of tasks over the few weeks including;
• Assisting in the recruitment process such a conducting reference checks, screening CVs, scheduling interviews & making offers to candidates.
• Drafting contracts of employment & relevant documentation for new employees
• Providing administrative support to the whole HR team such as drafting employment letters, setting up employees on our various systems and chasing unfilled paperwork.
• Managing the HR Information systems ensuring accuracy & integrity of data at all times.
• Editing of the associate newsletter called “An Nuacht”, which involved proof reading for content & grammar, creation of promotional articles and ensuring the timely completion of the newsletter.
• Keeping track of Associate anniversaries & when they were due.
• Setting up & maintaining personnel files.
• Organising monthly themed associate lunches, including designing menus and promotional materials.
• Guiding new employees through their induction process.
• Allocating students on work experience to various departments.
• Organising a large recruitment event in order to hire temporary Christmas associates which included scheduling over 200 interviews, putting together the paperwork for the approximately 96 successful candidates, and assisting in their orientation day.
This wide-ranging experience allowed me to fully understand the workings of a HR department. I also enjoyed how approachable and friendly all the associates were and how the many associate events made it easy to make new friends. During my placement in The Shelbourne Hotel I gained so much more experience than I ever expected, I was really thrown in the deep end and I was all the better for it.
Everything I learnt from my first two years in Commerce really helped me to apply this experience to my theoretical knowledge. Although this placement was specifically in HR, I felt as though my exposure to all areas in business helped me to be a more effective HR assistant as I was able to relate to the work being done in all departments. I particularly found any work we covered in employment relations, finance and employment law to be helpful for this placement.
For anyone thinking of applying for a placement, I would advise to submit your placement early and to ensure that you have all your paperwork filled out correctly. Most importantly, I think it is important to be yourself throughout the application and interview process. If you are confident and happy in yourself, it will shine through.

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