Gayle Sherman '19
Strategic Human Resource Management
MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Briefly describe your new role.
"In my new role in a mid-size academic and research department, I will serve as a human resources generalist, responsible for recruiting, hiring, on- and off-boarding, interpreting policies, managing the rewards and recognition program for the department, handling leaves, identifying needs for training and employee development, managing the annual salary review process, payroll, and handling all transactions. I will also have the opportunity to work with students, post-docs and visiting researchers with their visas and appointments, and to oversee the summer high school internship program."
How did you land this opportunity?
"In my previous role, I was introduced to HR transactions and acquired many HR generalist responsibilities because of a change in senior leadership, but as a senior administrator to the director was also responsible for high profile meetings and events, calendaring and complex travel. I have worked at MIT for many years and realized once I started being responsible for HR transactions that it was a pleasure to enhance the level of service to my colleagues by bringing my institutional knowledge to bear. For example, I brought campus providers to our far-flung offices to provide information and services including: administer flu shots annually, inform us on new benefits available to employees, and offer ergonomic health and financial health assessments."
How did your SJU education impact your professional goals?
"My studies at Saint Joseph's University taught me the strategic value of my actions, which helped me shift priorities to better meet the needs of the organization. I started in the program knowing that HR could be done better, and in a more sensitive way, but I didn't know how. Now in my third semester I have helped colleagues adapt to change in managing work pressures, increase job satisfaction by better understanding their role in the organization, and improve the climate to be more inclusive and diverse by broadening recruitment efforts. My professors and classmates at Saint Joseph's have motivated and inspired me to act on principles of strategic human resource management to provide information, intervention, and leadership at critical moments, and I'm looking forward to my new full-time position at MIT."
Why did you choose to pursue this degree at Saint Joseph's University?
"When I was exploring graduate schools, and thinking about managing my time and the financial commitments, I was concerned about trade-offs that I perceived with a traditional experience - building a community, opportunities for working with others, and personal growth in a remote learning environment. At Saint Joe's, respect, integrity, and compassion are hallmarks of all my interactions with both the faculty and entire community. I most recently completed "Managing Workforce Flow," and had the opportunity to work on a 3-person team to complete 3 presentations to the class, which allowed for deeper relationships with my peers as well as an "expert" understanding of the content areas communicated with the use of modern technologies. Themes explored in class and reflected on in our assignments were key points of my job interview: transparency in the workplace from letting the employees know what is expected of them as well as creating opportunities for continued learning, to strengthening the mission/brand recognition, to figuring out which skills are associated with the differentiated roles so that the department can better manage performance and grow. The MS SHRM program has given me the insights, knowledge, and tools to succeed, and the community continues to inspire me with our shared faith to cultivate more kind, creative and innovative approaches to people management."