Bison Spotlight – Gretchen Carlson

The next Bison Spotlight we are featuring is on Gretchen Carlson. She is from Burrillville, Rhode Island and is graduating this upcoming May. She is a double major in Human Resource Management and Hospitality Management. Here on The Hill, Gretchen is very involved. She is a part of the Student Government Association, Campus Activities Board (formerly known as Social Programming Board), the Emerging Leaders Program, the Hospitality Club, the Human Resources Club, and is a Game-Day worker for the Athletics Department. When she finds free time she enjoys hanging out with family and friends, attend sporting events, and binge watch her favorite shows on Netflix, Hulu, and Disney +.  A fun fact about Gretchen is she is a twin.

Gretchen completed an internship with Ivory Ella, a for-profit clothing store affiliated with Save the Elephants, a non-profit organization specializing in the wildlife conservation of elephants. Her role was a Human Resource Intern. She worked closely with the Human Resource Director to execute tasks such as reporting labor hours, analyzing performance reviews, and scheduling employees for community service initiatives and company wide events.

A normal workday for Gretchen consisted of her reporting to her boss to see if any urgent tasks needed to be completed. On some days, she had the chance to go down to the warehouse floor and help fill orders if necessary. Most of the time, Gretchen researched various Human Resource initiatives Ivory Ella could potentially implement. She also assisted her boss with organizing information such as performance reviews.

Gretchen at her desk at Ivory Ella.

When we asked Gretchen what her favorite thing she did during her internship, she said, “The chance to make a connection with all the employees who worked at Ivory Ella that summer. As the Human Resource Intern, I was able to talk to all the employees in both the business office and the manufacturing floor, which was amazing. I got to hear their opinions on the company and fully be emerged in the work environment, which is great for a Human Resource person to know.”

Gretchen’s experience was extremely valuable to her. She said her biggest takeaway was, “You have to be ready to adapt and have to stick to a set plan every day. I completed a lot of tasks ‘on the fly’ at Ivory Ella because every day was different. This taught me a valuable lesson about the true meaning of being adaptable. It also showed me that all the employees, from the COO to the janitor all play a huge role within the company and we should take time to thank everyone for making the organization what it is today.”

To receive this position, Gretchen had to step outside her normal comfort zone. She said, “I had an interesting way of getting the position, as compared to most people. I found the job on a Monday, which it had actually expired two days prior. My roommate at the time encouraged me to call the HR person anyway, because the job was so ‘me’. I called and left a voicemail explaining my interest and got a call back from my future boss, the HR Director, on her way home for the day. We talked for about ten minutes and she requested I interview for the job with her on Wednesday. I sent over my resume and cover letter via email and completed a phone interview that afternoon. By Friday morning, I got an email with the acceptance letter for the internship. I went from having absolutely no internship to a great internship in the matter of five days. This happened because I stuck my neck out even though the job ad had expired. My advice to others is don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, whether there is an open opportunity or not, because you never know what will happen.

Gretchen acquired many skills and life lessons from her experience. The CPDC team is very proud of Gretchen for stepping outside of her comfort zone and cannot wait to see what she does in her future career!

By Maggie Noelk
Maggie Noelk