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5 in 5! with Bridget Devereux, HR Specialist of Maritz Motivation Solutions

July 2, 2013

Bridget Devereux started at Maritz Motivation Solutions in September of 2013, and was converted into a full-time HR Specialist role in April of 2013. She graduated from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management. As an HR specialist, she works on a variety of function in HR, ranging from Compensation to Employee Relations to Training and Development.

Maritz Motivation Solutions believes that understanding people is at the heart of success in today’s world. This people-centric approach is nothing new for us, but the way in which we’re approaching it today is. They offer Employee Recognition, Sales Incentives, Channel Loyalty, Rewards Programs, and Non-Awards Fulfillment for 30 of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies.

1. How did you get started in the industry? How can someone who is interested in your work get started?

When I was a freshman in college, I wanted to study English and become an editor. However, as part of my freshman orientation class, I took a career aptitude test, and learned I was apt for Human Resources and Social Work.

Bridget Devereux, HR Specialist at Maritz Motivation Solutions

I did some research on the fields, switched my major to HRM, and never looked back. Best decision I’ve ever made!

One of the most helpful things to me in starting a career in HR was reading blogs. HR blogs (and there are SO many- gave me the extra knowledge about the industry so that I could have conversations with tenured professionals in the field and know what they were talking about without having to ask. HR is HR and most of our problems are similar. Reading blogs can help you understand those problems, and thus understand the professionals you want to emulate.

2. What’s the future of your industry or job?

Big data and talent gap are the obvious answers for the near future of the Human Resources industry.

Using data analytics to make people decisions can help HR departments contribute more by making better predictive decisions. The talent gap is what we will experience when the Baby Boomers begin to retire, but there aren’t enough qualified people to replace them. Employer branding can play a part in this because it will increase the number of applicants, thus minimizing this problem.

3. What do you look for when you hire an intern or entry-level candidate?

One of the most important things I look for is a good personality. If the interview turns into a conversation, that is always a good sign. Also, since the incentives industry is so complicated and hard to understand, when an applicant does research and can speak intelligently about it, it speaks volumes about their work ethic. Even more, if they know what Maritz is or what we do, I am immediately impressed. I obviously look for the basics–a degree or the pursuit of one at least, but more than that, I want to see passion for what they are studying. We always ask what their favorite class is, and that’s an opportunity for them to describe what they like and why (hopefully with passion), and if they say their favorite class is outside of the field they are studying, that’s a red flag!

I also love it when potential candidates reach out to employers in means other than just applying on the website. Use LinkedIn to link up with someone at the company or even the recruiter for the position. Find the recruiter or the company on twitter and reach out to either about your interest in an opportunity. These are ways to make yourself stand out in the pile of resumes for internships.

4. What is one thing an intern can do to make a favorable impression?

A manager once told me that an Interns is an extremely long interview for a full-time job. Think of it as a 24/7 interview – they have to be on their best behavior and do their best work.  If an intern is constantly thinking about the impressions they are making and who would vouch for them when the question of full-time employment comes up, they will be successful. Every situation is an opportunity to show others what they are capable of, and as long as they continue to work hard and do their very very best, the interview will go well.

5. Can you share a positive intern story and an intern horror story? No names needed…

My positive intern story would be about an intern we just hired for this summer. During her third day on the job, she suggested we implement social media into one of our client’s programs. The client loved the idea, and we are both benefiting from it now. Often interns are hired to bring a fresh perspective to the table, so be sure to use this to your advantage. Discuss a fresh idea or a new way of doing things with your mentor to make sure it will be received well, and then share it! People will remember the impact you have if you do this.

The number of interns I’ve seen fall asleep ON THE JOB in the last few years is unbelievable! Maybe they are used to snoozing through lectures, but naps have no place at work! Don’t do it! Caffeine, listening to music, and staying busy are your best friends when it comes to a sleepy day. Falling asleep is a deal breaker – you wouldn’t fall asleep in an interview right? Then don’t do it during your internship!

One of Bridget’s goals is to publicize what a great place Maritz Motivation Solutions is to work! Maritz is a people company, and this is evident in their everyday activities. On the campus in Fenton, Mo, there is a gym, doctor’s office, two cafeterias, and a sippy deck. One of the floors has a “Flash Dance Friday” at 9am to wake everyone up and celebrate the end of the week. They have employee sales twice a year where people can purchase discounted merchandise (can you say 50% off an iPad?). They have an employee engagement team whose sole responsibility is to plan fun activities for employees. These activities include: 5k’s, rocket day, employee appreciation month, games week, and holiday parties. Maritz Motivaation Solutions is an AWESOME place to work!

Maritz Motivation Solutions will be attending career fairs this fall and spring to begin the search for their Summer 2014 class of interns! Make sure to check out their blog and follow Bridget on twitter!

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