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Supplying New Ideas

Hannah Dorough, center at front of stairs, with her team at HD Supply

This past summer, Hannah Dorough (psychology ’18) found career inspiration on her internship with the Human Resources Operations team at HD Supply in Atlanta.  To call it a summer internship is to stop too soon, however, as she continues to work for the company as a remote human resources coordinator while finishing up her final semester at Georgia Southern.

During the summer Dorough worked primarily with Community Affairs. “I was responsible for complete management of the initiatives and strategic relationships of the Community Affairs department,” she said. “I worked on project committees to implement compliance strategy.” This semester she is able to work remotely from Statesboro, occasionally traveling to Atlanta, to participate in and lead corporate events.

HD Supply is an industrial distributor across North America. The company provides a range of services and products for a variety of business needs, such as the newly constructed Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta.

While on her internship, Dorough was given the freedom to design and plan her own projects such as Take Your Child to Work day, donation drives, and lunch-making events to feed children in Atlanta. She focused on creating events for the betterment of the employees as well as the local community. “I created the company’s first employee resource group built around volunteerism to increase retention and promote recruitment to different markets of individuals,” Dorough said.

Dorough found herself drawing on her coursework in psychology and human resource management, taking knowledge gained in the classroom and using it in a professional setting. “I was impressed by how much my undergraduate research transferred into workplace skills. After a couple of days on the job, I felt fully competent,” she said.

She also found herself drawing on experiences gained as an honors student. For two years, Dorough worked with the Student Advisory Board (SAB). This program created events for the freshmen to build and to develop their friendships in the Honors Living Learning Community. She was also a vital member of the student consolidation committee, a group of students who had the opportunity to present research on the Statesboro-Armstrong consolidation at the 2017 Southern Regional Honors Conference. “My leadership roles within the Honors Program have translated well to the workforce, giving me confidence to work with professionals in this field,” she said.

Dorough also found a mentor through this internship in her boss, Christine Burrell. “Christine is the director of HR Operations, and my team consisted of some of the most powerful and intelligent people in the industry. My boss quickly taught me the importance of believing in yourself and your competencies. She has been a driving force in some of my career decisions, and as the Chief HR Officer she is living proof that you can climb the ladder if you work hard and treat others kindly. By having a strong support system, I was able to show myself my worth and to see the true value of human resources,” Dorough said.

The range of projects Dorough worked on this summer was diverse; however, she found her work with corporate social responsibility to be the most rewarding. She was able to affect the work lives of HD Supply employees. “I was recognized by the CEO as an embodiment of the company’s values, as my work played an integral part in forming more of an intimate ‘work family’ environment within our large, new headquarters building,” she said.

While summer may have ended, Dorough’s work with HD Supply continues. “I am doing the same exciting work that I did during my internship, but now as a part-time employee,” she said. And when she graduates a semester early in December, she will have valuable experience to take with her.

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