Paola Castillo has been an intern at Elevated for the last 3 months. We thought we’d get her to tell us what she’s been up to, what she’s learned and where she thinks she’s going in her career. By the way: If you’ve been in the workforce for a while now, I’m hoping you remember back to what you were like as a recent graduate and ask, “Are we really that different generationally or do we all just have to embrace time?” Not the point of the blog mind you, but just a good reminder of “are we really that different generationally”). Okay. We digress. This is Paola’s blog! 

With less than a month left in my internship (which feels like it could be tomorrow, since time. will. not. slow. down) I wanted to share with you a few takeaways from the internship and my Skills Wishlist (you know, to keep me accountable!)

Lessons Learned (To Date)

  1. Communicate:

Communicate to a point where you ask: Does my boss really need to know about my dog’s eating habits? Well, I don’t really know what your relationship is with your boss, but always CYA (cover your butt).

Transitioning from a full-time student to a full-time 9 to 5-er is always a shock to the system. In university, no one cares if you decide to complete an assignment at 2:00 AM and hand it in at 10:00 AM. On the flip side, 2:00 AM is not business hours. Now, I’m not saying I’m blasting off e-mails at 2:00 AM. However, I am saying communication is a way to show you respect your coworkers and their time.

The way I like to put it: You’re in a group project, with the best team. However, your group members have other projects outside work hours. Solution? You always get your stuff done on time so you can ask to help others!  

And at work we have so many tools: from text, to email, to Slack to phone (notice how phone is last…) The point is you just can’t communicate enough – always be asking, always be talking.

Be Accountable:

Ownership is one of Elevated HR’s values, and I have grown to love this one dearly. Why? Because, being able to say, “I messed up”, without the fear of failure is a HUGE learning incentive and opportunity.

Being accountable is more than just handing in your homework. It’s ‘fessing up to eff ups, and saying “Yes, I aced that!” too. Having a team of seasoned HR experts who stand by their word and take responsibility when they’re wrong is humbling.

I find the positive side of Accountability/Ownership can get lost in translation. At Elevated I am given the chance to speak up, when I am proud of an accomplishment. So, don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back!

My Skills Wishlist

Okay… I’m not gonna ramble off a list of skills and pretend I didn’t Google them, ‘cus I did. It started by searching “HR Consultant Requirements” and ended with “examples of Culture Change Programs”.  Google didn’t fully answer that last search. As a result, I decided to simply ask myself what skills I want to have in five years.

In five years I see myself in a power suit, killer heels, and an undefined hairstyle due to the ever-changing nature of fashion. I can effortlessly convince clients of the importance of investing in an HR strategy unique to them, with my superpower of successfully mixing my finance background and HR passion.

I also hope to be specialized in an area of HR I can comfortably label my specialty. Part of me thinks it might be recruiting. I am intrigued by the recruitment world and fascinated by talent. On the other hand, it might be change management. My life circumstances have taught me only change is constant. So why do we suck at/avoid change?

For now, I will focus on learning the basics of HR and explore different HR paths. In five years you can let me know how bang-on or far-off my “Wishlist” was. And if time keeps moving like it does, I will have to go buy those killer pair of heels soon… Stay tuned!


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