When Kimberly Franklin earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources during the recent Purdue University North Central spring commencement ceremony, she was thrilled with her accomplishment and eager to move ahead with her career.
The Valparaiso resident enrolled in PNC because it offers a degree in Human Resources. Franklin was redirecting her career and had already earned an associate degree from Ivy Tech Community College. She wanted to make the most of her academic opportunities so that she could position herself for success.
At PNC she quickly got involved with the campus chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She was elected secretary and the next semester was elected president, a position she held for several semesters.
“I took it upon myself to think of this as a full-time position,” she explained. “I approached it like anyone would approach a job. I planned, scheduled and directed events; I led membership meetings and organized volunteer work. It gave me an enormous insight into the Human Resources field and left me with a database of valuable contact sources and inspiring speakers.”
As president she also put together a procedure binder for future SHRM officers to follow.
Her efforts helped to earn the chapter the SHRM 2014-2015 Student Chapter Merit Award for providing exceptional growth and development opportunities to its chapter members.
The opportunity to build relationships
Her involvement with SHRM helped to foster a close relationship with Anne Christo-Baker, head of Purdue University Northwest’s Department of Managerial Studies and associate professor of Organizational Behavior and Leadership.
“She has been an inspiration for me,” Franklin explained. “She encouraged me to believe in myself. She is a wonderful mentor, professor and above all, a friend. I enjoyed working with her and will miss our conversations and her words of wisdom.”
As a student, Franklin always looked for opportunities to learn. That is why she accepted an internship with Oak Grove Retirement Village, in DeMotte, even though it was not required for her degree.
Off campus, Franklin works for the Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission. Her position exposes her to new opportunities to attend seminars and volunteer at local events. She’s also attended a few local groundbreaking ceremonies, including one for the new James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex on the North Central campus.
Her secret to success
Franklin is married and a mother of a daughter, so keeping a very strict schedule and being organized is important.
“But I always try and set aside time to spend with them. Quality time means a lot,” she said.
She does admit, “There were times I thought I couldn’t take another semester and was going to give up, but I didn’t. After each semester I would highlight my finished classes and count the ones to complete and remind myself that there are only a few more semesters left.”
Along the way her grades earned her a place on a number of semester academic honors lists.
Her advice to other students is simple, “A degree can give you a fulfilling life in a career you love. But to reach this goal, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. It isn’t easy, but anything worthwhile usually isn’t easy. Try to focus on one semester at a time and not the long haul; before you realize it, graduation will be here.
“I made the right choice attending PNC.”