Being an intern at ApexHR
As a recent graduate with no HR experience I was equally excited and nervous about beginning my internship at ApexHR. Kevin got in touch with me through LinkedIn after coming across my profile. The simple act of him requesting to meet in person as opposed to continuing an e-mail exchange made his people centered approach evident from the start.
During my time with ApexHR, I shadowed Lisa Lynch the Culture and People Development Advisor. While most internships are limited to office work and administrative tasks, I had the chance to engage in a variety of hands-on exercises too. On my second day, I sat in a meeting with a client to observe the advising process for HR related issues. The client’s case directly related to current issues surrounding employment laws and the IR35 that I reviewed prior to the meeting. I found great value in the combination of real life examples and research because it showed how policies create a need for HR professionals.
As part of my first week, I accompanied Lisa to a Bullying and Harassment seminar. This prevalent issue is gaining more and more recognition from people outside of our field. Similarly, to the previous example, I studied the Equality Act 2010 the day before the seminar which was especially beneficial as the panel of hosts included Martin Stevens, a conciliator and mediator at ACAS. Once again, I saw the power of being aware of our rights as employees and how that translates into real life solutions.
Finally, on my second week, I attended a workshop in Bristol dedicated to challenging outdated cultures. A lot of criticism of the people centered approach that ApexHR stands for questions why people with authority should listen to their employees. If they get their profits regardless, why should they spend time and money that could be spent in other ways on employees? To contrast this, most of the people that participated in the workshop had a managerial or higher status. Managers do care, they do want their people to enjoy and feel challenged by their work rather than angry and overwhelmed. Going to this event showed me that changes are really happening in organisational cultures and that it is an incredibly interesting time to join the workforce.
Throughout these three weeks, I felt constantly supported by both Lisa and Kevin. They paid extra attention to designing my tasks around my interests and the knowledge I’ve gained from my degree. More importantly, I saw how the work I’ve produced benefitted the company and future clients and as a result I felt valued and encouraged to do more (the people centered approach in practice). I could not have had a better exposure to a HR environment and to say that I have high expectations for the next HR department I will work with is an understatement.