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Dimondale, Michigan, United States
My passion is workforce development! I've been actively networking with Lansing professionals over the past year - trying to build relationships with employers and job seekers alike. I would like to see talented folks get connected with businesses that are looking for them. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @tiffenator

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Management Trainee Programs


BNSF Railway currently has a management trainee program in which they are looking to recruit talented college graduates that may have little to no actual on the job experience. There are high expectations placed upon potential management trainees - 3.0 GPA or higher, leadership activities within the school/community and excellent communication skills to name a few.

My GPA is 3.92, I'm a pending member of the National Society for Leadership and Success and I have excellent communication skills. I would potentially qualify for this opportunity. Unfortunately, the corporate headquarters is not in Michigan and I would be part of the "brain drain" that has plagued the state.

I feel that if more companies within the state of Michigan would adopt similar programs to this Management Trainee program that BNSF Railway has, less college graduates would leave the state. As it stands for Human Resources positions, many companies want a bachelor's degree as the minimal education in addition to 3-5 years of actual HR experience. How discouraging must it be for these young people to have gone to school and invested four years of their life along with thousands of dollars only to reach graduation and have no prospect for a local job?

On the other hand, there would seem to be more college graduates staying in Michigan if companies lowered their standards in recruiting. Yes, these college graduates may be willing to accept less money - provided they are given a chance to get the actual experience they need to complement their degree. If a company gives these potential candidates their initial chance, that will remain with them and a sense of loyalty will be fostered.

What's the benefit of a company to have to continue to re-post job openings for HR professionals because they want somebody with a master's degree preferred, but would settle for a candidate with a bachelor's and 3-5 years of HR experience? Why keep on posting the same advertisement when the selection criteria is not fielding potential hires? Why not develop a management training program for position? Assign a mentor to a recent college grad in lieu of having the expectation that this person needs to have extensive hands on experience.

Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that not every college graduate is in their early 20's. There are non-traditional students with extensive work history that possess a variety of transferable skills. In my case, I have over 7 years of medical experience. While some may scoff at this, it has a lot to do with Human Resources. In order to succeed in the medical field, you need to have people skills, communication skills, grace under pressure, time management skills, logic, reasoning, mathematical and problem solving aptitude. These are all skills that I possess and can take with me into my future career as an HR Manager.

It just worries me that when I graduate in May 2013 I won't be able to find a job locally due to the fact that I won't have 3-5 years of HR experience on top of my bachelor's degree.

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