Enthusiastic about diversity and inclusion in HR recruitment
Ruby Green’20 started her adventure as an aspiring musical theatre talent in Beloit. After digging into market research and completing an I-com internship in Brussels, she walks us through her journey to discovering the passion for creating diversity and inclusion in HR and recruiting.
How do you think that your high school experiences have prepared you for college?
I went to a highly competitive college-prep high school, St. Mary’s Academy, in Portland, Oregon, where I graduated with comprehensive writing skills and high-level math courses. So, in terms of academics, I almost had no pressure when taking college courses later on. High school was also when I had my passion set on getting into a professional musical theater program (I initially planned to pursue a BFA degree, but later I realized that I wanted to be financially independent). Thus, many of my extracurricular activities involved theater and choir, and some even were at a professional level working. These experiences really paved the way for my success in college.
What attracted you to Beloit College?
I was looking for a liberal arts school that would preferably not be located in Oregon to get exposed to a new environment for my college experience. At that time, I applied to Beloit College as my high school college admission counselor was highly recommending it. What attracted me to Beloit was the people, especially people in a cappella group Bits & Pieces, whom I met during my college visit. Surprisingly, some of them are from Portland, so I got to know them more even after my visit. Learning about how friendly and welcoming the school is and the amazing opportunities to pursue my interest in the theater made me decide to attend Beloit. It was the feeling of having my belonging community in place before coming there. Also, the generous financial aid that Beloit offered played a determining factor in my decision.
What were your majors and minors at Beloit? When did you declare each of these? Could you briefly tell us stories behind your decision back then?
I came to Beloit with the intention to get into the economics field since I had a solid background and strong inclination toward its math side, so I quickly registered for economics courses right in my first semester staying there. I remember taking Principles of Economics with Professor Laura Grube and was amazed by her ways of teaching. She is very nice and supportive, but at the same time, she doesn’t tolerate others’ absurd nonsense, such as constantly coming to class late or not submitting their assignments. She has shown me that women definitely can succeed in Economics. So, I decided to major in economics in my freshman year and later major in critical identity studies.
With a clear vision of what to do in college, what opportunities did you take as a first-year student?
In my freshman year, I joined Bits & Pieces as a member and stayed with the club as its Music Director for the next three years. I also got my on-campus job in the costume shop in the second semester of my first year. I continued working there through my senior year and got promoted to the supervisor position in my junior year. The costume shop work experience really connected me to my musical passion. I had a chance to design and assist other designers in bringing out the best dancers’ appearances to support them in delivering the best performances visually and emotionally. I have also sharpened my leadership, time management, and project management skills as you have to get things done in a timely fashion. During my freshman and sophomore years, I got my first internship at a market research firm in Portland, Oregon. That summer, I also earned the Field Experience Grant to go to London, where I attended free public lectures at the London School of Economics. It was a great experience for me to be exposed to different aspects of the economics field and sparked my interest in doing economic research.
Could you share with us your very first internship experience? What skills did you gain through it?
I got that opportunity through my personal network and worked there flexibly between the Business Outreach and the Accounting Departments. I mainly cold-called people to recruit them for the company’s studies and did some accounting work. Since I was their first intern ever, I trained myself to become a more proactive person. I always asked for tasks to do or feedback to improve myself further. Cold calling also taught me how to deal with uninterested people and be confident in starting any conversation. The whole experience actually got me familiar with my current job responsibilities.
You mentioned that you started your leadership role in Bits & Pieces in your sophomore year. Were there any challenges that you experienced when first leading the team?
The biggest challenge for me as a leader was dealing with my expectations of the group. Given my experience of working with talented professionals in high school, I held my team to high standards and expectations regarding practicing and being committed to the work. However, I realized that not everybody had the same professionalism and was as passionate and dedicated to professional musical theater as I was. So, I learned to accept that fact and tried my best to motivate and lead the team to their best. I also learned to control my emotions to keep working professionally and be more empathetic with others’ circumstances which plays a huge role in preparing me for my current position.
Within the economics department, which experiences have supported you in finding your career path?
Initially, I wanted to pursue an academic career in economics as a research assistant. So, being the Teaching Assistant (starting from my sophomore year) for multiple courses has helped me deepen my knowledge, express myself effectively, and hone my communication and instructional skills. In my sophomore year, I also worked as a research assistant for Professor Darlington Sabasi on his research on Okun’s Law. This position has introduced me to the process of conducting economic research and helped me gain numerous hands-on experiences in doing so. After this position, with the encouragement of Professor Sabasi, I successfully completed my own economics research in the summer of my sophomore year. I even got selected for the undergraduate research competition at the Midwest Economic Association Conference. Sadly, due to COVID-19, I was unable to present my work since the conference got canceled.
What off-campus opportunities did you enjoy the most while attending Beloit?
The study abroad opportunity. I spent the spring semester of my sophomore year in Brussels, Belgium, for the study abroad program, where I had the chance to secure my second internship at the Institute for Competitiveness, I-com as a part of the program. The experience with I-com was amazing; I had the chance to meet and work with many high-ranking officials from the EU Commission. I was honored to act as the I-com representative for many events while listening to senior leaders sharing their thoughts on implemented or upcoming policies. Through this experience, I have leveraged my ability to communicate with different people to the next level effectively in business settings.
How have your time and education at Beloit College prepared you for your current career pathway?
Beloit College has always instilled in me the ability to think critically and thoroughly, which built on my high school experience. All the courses from Beloit College are rigorous and taught with an interdisciplinary approach, which has prepared me well for any business or academic career path. Econometrics with Professor Jermaine Moulton in my senior year has equipped me with a solid background in data analytics to take on the economics assistant journey. However, what is unique about Beloit is that Beloit College always aspires to its students to try new things. That comes to my career change path story. Initially, during my senior year, I applied to tons of research assistant positions and got myself scheduled for some interviews. At the same time, I got introduced to work in the HR field and decided to take my chance with the offers. Honestly, I did not think I would enjoy working in the HR field this much, but I’m glad that I got the courage to choose this unexpected path.
What tips would you give senior students on searching for jobs?
I would say that apply for all the jobs, even though you might think you are not qualified. Because most of the time, what the recruiters/hiring managers/companies are really looking for is your willingness to learn, grow, and contribute to the groups’ successes, leave alone your previous working experience. Talking from my experience, I was technically not qualified for my current position since they required candidates to have at least two years of recruiting experience. However, during my interview, I shared my experience working as the Head Driver for SEAL about interviewing student workers (around 10 students in a year) and showed that I wanted to further my skills and knowledge through my applied position. That was why I got my current job. I want to highlight that even if you only fit 50 percent of the qualifications, apply anyway. What is the worst thing that could happen? Do they reject you? They don’t contact you? So what?
What is your current job? Could you give us an insight into your daily work routine?
I’m currently working as the RIS Site Manager at a recruiting firm, Randstad USA, specializing in diversity and inclusion in hiring. My work involves a full-scope talent management process. It covers finding and recruiting talents, helping them onboard with the required paperwork and technical set-ups, managing their performance, providing coaching or one-on-one consulting if needed, and potentially ending their assignments in some cases. I’m also responsible for maintaining good relationships with our clients by providing the best solutions to their HR problems. My typical day of work will spend most of the time interviewing talents. I also meet my supervisor and team to discuss the best practices to tackle clients’ challenges, such as recruitment ideas, choosing platforms to pull out talents, searching words included in the job descriptions, etc.
From a recruiter’s perspective, what skills do job seekers need to have or improve on to nail their interview?
Talking from my perspective, I think it is important for interviewees to be well-prepared about the company and the applied position-related information and to be able to have a good conversation/interaction with the interviewer. Because, most of the time, the recruiters or the hiring managers you are talking to are going to be extroverted. From my experience, I found it challenging to make a good impression on a candidate that has not engaged with me during the interview regardless of their capabilities. Suppose the job description requires candidates to have verbal communication skills or to work in a team. In that case, I want the candidate to prove to me first that he/she/they are capable of communicating efficiently. To be specific, candidates need to know how to present themselves confidently as the best solution for their current problems. I think it’s really helpful to invest your time in understanding the company and doing the mock interview. So, if any seniors want to have a mock interview, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via LinkedIn. I’m more than happy to do so.