The person that I interviewed was Vicky Young, who works right here at York College of
Pennsylvania. York College, is a private college for the liberal arts, and may be a private college,
but it is as inexpensive as a public college. It has been growing by great numbers in the last
couple of years, and with that has come many new obstacles. As the Human Resource Benefits
Specialist at York College Miss Young has to deal with the different complications that come
Vicky Young has worked for York College for the last year and seven months. Even
though she has not worked at York College for a long time she has seen a lot of changes in the
little bit of time that she has been here. She worked at RiteAid Corporation before she came to
York College, as well as a Benefits Representative for the west coast district of the corporation.
After some time at that position, she worked her way up to become the Lead Benefits handler for
the whole west coast division for the RiteAid Corporation. When Miss Young got to York
College, there were a lot of different problems that she had to deal with but one of the biggest
was the problem with the benefits package that they gave employees. York College has a middle
man that they pay to take care of the benefits for the teachers. The problem with this is that if
there are any changes made in the benefits at York College, it does not get changed around in the
computer system for about five months. For those five months, the employee still expects to get
benefits so it has to come out of York College’s pocket. The insurance that the college has
covers only about two to three months of that period, so Miss Young has to find a way to fix this
problem. This is just one example of the many problems that she has to deal with in her job
As I stated earlier, York College has been growing and expanding faster then ever in the
last couple of years. This can be seen just by looking around the campus. You notice a lot more
new faces each year and the college is growing to hold all these new people. They just finished a
new dormitory two years ago, and they have plans to expand out into the surrounding community.
This is very good for the college, but with all of this growth there are problems that come with it.
Miss Young feels that because of this growth and the age of the teaching staff, there is going to
be a lot of turnover in the next five to ten years. Many of the professors at York College have
been around for over ten years and they are getting up to the age where they are looking to retire.
If a professor retires, the college has to go out and find a new person to take over that position.
As with any other job when you bring in a new person, you lose a lot of the knowledge and
experience of the person that came before them. Miss Young has to deal with this problem, and
how she can make it the easiest on the staff and the customers, the students. Miss Young’s job
has a lot of interaction with people so she will have to build all new relationships with the new
employees that come to the college. Along with the teachers, Miss Young believes that there will
also be a high turnover in the administration. The administration are the people that Miss Young
must work with and the people that affect her job. If a new dean or president were to come in,
they may have a whole different view of what part Miss Young would play in the future of York
One of the big problems facing Miss Young now and into the future will be the benefit
packages of the teachers at York College. The teachers are talking about a new deal where they
will still get benefits when they retire and not have to pay for it. Miss Young has to find a way to
make the teachers happy, while at the same time not just give away the college’s money. A lot of
the time Miss Young has to almost be a middle man between the college and the teacher so she
has to do what she thinks is best for both parties and what will keep them happy.
Miss Young’s days are not always full of such immense problems. Her job changes from
day to day and that is what she loves about it. She does not have to be dealing with the same
people or doing the same task every day that she comes into work. This keeps her job new and
exciting. Although it is hard for her to categorize what a typical day’s tasks would be, she
narrowed it down to the few tasks that she usually has to do. Miss Young is responsible for the
payroll of the whole campus. This is a big job if you think about how fickle people can be over
their pay. If you got your pay stub and realized there was some money missing, I am sure that
you would be in Miss Young’s office very soon. She has to make sure that everyone is getting
what they are suppose to and there are no problems. She must also audit all of the benefit
billings. She must make sure that all of the payments are received from the employees and that
she makes the correct payments to the company that covers the benefit package of the college.
Miss Young must also write internal policies affecting the college and the employees. Through all
of these tasks she must also answer the phone. You may not think of that as a very hard task, but
while I was there she had three people call her. If you were in the middle of trying to get
something important done and people kept calling you, you would quickly learn how distracting
that could be. Some of the phone calls Miss Young gets she does not know how to answer so she
has to then go and research the answer for the person. Although Miss Young does all of these
tasks in a typical day, the majority of her time is spent auditing and on the phone. She must also
“put out fires.” This means that she must help to solve problems or emergencies that can come up
at any moment. These can cause problems for Miss Young because sometimes she will not be
prepared for the problem and she will have to contact different people or get information that can
Being a human resource manager is not the easiest job and it is not for everyone. There
are certain skills and abilities that you must possess that not all people have. Miss Young believes
that to be a good human resource manager you must possess a few invaluable skills. You must be
an organized person. A lot of the time you are spread out over many different areas and you have
to be able to keep everything together and be able to find information if you need it. You can not
be sloppy or keep bad records or else you will get yourself into a problem when your boss asks
you for information and you can not find it. You also must be an understanding person. A human
resource manager is no longer just the person you contact if you are in trouble, or if you are being
fired but now handles many of the problems that employees have. You must be understanding of
their problems but not be to empathetic. A lot of the time you will be either on the phone or in
person talking with people so communication skills are very important. You must be able to
communicate well with others and be able to get your point across to who ever you are
communicating with. This is one of the most important traits that you must possess because so
much of your job will use this skill. Miss Young also feels that a business degree is important to
be a human resource manager. A lot of the issue you have to deal with involve business and the
way businesses are run. A good understanding of how to schedule is also important because you
may have to schedule. It is not as easy as just putting someone down for a certain time each
week. You have to deal with people who quit or get fired and you must also deal with people
who do not show up for work. You must become comfortable and accustomed to these problems
and how to deal with them on a regular basis. The law plays a big part in being a human resource
manager. You must follow the different laws and how they are changing in your field. You must
be aware if a new law is in the works or has been passed that will effect you or the people you are
dealing with. Miss Young reads law publications and uses the Internet in order to stay up to date
on what is going on with the laws that affect her and her job.These are the basic skills that Miss
Young feels that you need to learn and possess to be a great human resource manager.

Miss Young believes that the number one reason why people fail at being a human
resource manager is because they lack people skills. You must be able to communicate because
so much of your job is dealing with people. She also feels that you will fail if you can not be
organized. You may be able to do your job for a little while but sooner or later it will catch up to
you and you will either have to become organized or go and look for a different profession. A lot
of the knowledge and skills that you use as a human resource manager will be learned on the job.
If you are not willing to learn and adapt to your business then you will not make a good manager.
Seminars are an important source of learning for human resource managers. Miss Young attends
about two or three seminars a year and the knowledge learned at these seminars is invaluable to
her. She feels that these seminars are very good learning tools and they also help to make you
aware to what is going on outside of your business in the world of human resource management.
Some of these seminars York College asks her to attend, but many of them she hears about
herself and she inquires into whether she can go to them. Many of the times the college will
approve it and they will also pay for the seminar for her. She will go to these seminars and learn
ways to improve her job and bring that knowledge back to the college and try and implement her
new ideas. Some people do not like going to seminars and having to sit and listen to them for a
couple of days, Miss Young feels that these people should not go into the human resource
management field. This is where most of her ongoing knowledge comes from and if you are not
willing to go to seminars then you will miss out on many of the benefits that come along with
An important concept in any job is lifelong learning. This means that as you work you
keep learning from different types of training or seminars or through your job. Miss Young feels
that this is very important. She feels that if you want to advance in your field you must be well
trained and willing to learn. You should be over trained rather than having no training at all. A
lot of times your employer will not keep offering training to you, but you will have to go out and
ask for it. It is important that you look out for different training and seminars that interest you
and that you feel will improve you as a worker. When you find one that interests you, you should
ask your employer to sponsor you and most times they will be happy that you want to further
your education. Miss Young also feels that having a mentor is very important. As I said before,
most of your skills and knowledge are learned on the job. A mentor will pass down his or her
knowledge to you and make you aware of the problems you will face. It is much easier to learn a
job from someone who has worked at the job site then coming in and trying to learn it all yourself.
Miss Young did not have a very good mentor when she came to York College and she feels that
she may have been better off if she had someone that was more knowledgeable in the position that
Miss Young has not been in her position for that long of a time, but she has realized a
change in the field of human resource management over time. She says that the human resource
department is not viewed as the monster of a corporation anymore. People do not fear going
there as they used to. Ten to twenty years ago, if you had to go to your human resource
department, you felt nervous, as if you were going to get fired or you had done something wrong.
Today human resource managers do many different tasks other then just firing people. People
come to them when they have questions now and it is not a department to fear anymore. Miss
Young does not feel that much else has really changed in the field except for that.
I learned a lot from interviewing Vicky Young. She put a human side to all that we have
been talking about in the classroom. You can not truly identify with something until you
experience it or get to see how it really works. I learned that the job is constantly changing and is
different everyday. I thought it was like most jobs, where you do the same type of tasks
everyday, but Miss Young made me aware to the fact that her job is new everyday. I also did not
realize how important people skills were in the field of human resource management. While I was
interviewing Miss Young, she was constantly being contacted in person and on the phone about
different topics. In her scoring of what is important in her job, Miss Young cited facilitating
change and recognizing and solving problems as the two biggest parts of her job. This tells me
that she is in the thick of things and that she is around when new things are on the verge. I find
this very exciting because I think that it would be fun trying to implement change and seeing what
your decisions are doing to an organization. I also saw how computers are very important in the
workplace. Miss Young could not do most of her work without her computer, all of the payroll
and important files on the employees at York College are on computers. Miss Young must go
and use this information everyday. There are problems like in any other job but her computer
system is very important to her. It was very interesting to hear how important the law was to
being a human resource manager. Miss Young must read different publications about the
different laws that will effect the college and the division that she works in. I never really thought
about how the laws would effect a human resource manager and it was interesting to hear the
different implications that they had. One of the most interesting things that Miss Young told me
was how she keeps learning even though she already has her position intact. She said that a
college degree just helps you get in the door and most of your knowledge will come from the job,
but the degree is important. I did not know that you would have to keep going to training and
seminars in order to learn more. I feel that this interview helped to show me what the everyday
workings of a human resource manager is like and shed some more light on what their job is like.


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