Student Profile: Amanda Robertson
Amanda Robertson is trying orange as her new favorite color, after four years of green and white at Michigan State. She joined the incoming class at LER this August, and is proud to be one of the newest students on campus at Illinois.
The LER alumni network was integral to her decision to make LER her home for graduate studies. She originally met Becky Barker at a graduate school fair on her campus, and Becky put her in touch with Courtney Ward, MHRIR 2013, and Megan Kloosterman, MHRIR 2014. Both alumna were undergraduates from the state of Michigan who made the decision to travel south for their graduate studies, and are now pursuing HR careers in Texas with TI and Shell.
Their advice caused Amanda to visit campus, where she met with faculty, staff and students. After that visit, and learning about her career goals, Nell Madigan helped her connect with Lavette Bass, MHRIR 2015, and Lhea Randle, MHRIR 2016, to talk about their experiences on campus and their internships and career goals within large companies with strong HR structures, PepsiCo and Yum! Brands. She also talked to Christine Walsh, MHRIR 2006, about a combination of the move from Michigan and the promise of the HR career with the degree from Illinois.
“I loved that visit,” says Amanda. “The whole staff at LER went above and beyond to show me all the opportunities available to me and provide me with personalized help. The connections with alumni and the view into what my career could be were outstanding.
The other thing that surprised me was how truly helpful the connections were. They gave me great advice, and our call wasn’t just a formality. I learned about what classes to take, what to watch out for, and how to build my network before I even arrived on campus.”
One other alumnus that she hasn’t yet met, but hopes to in the future, had perhaps the biggest impact on her decision to come to Illinois as an out-of-state student. LER Alumnus R. Wayne Anderson and his wife, Dottie, established the first alumni-endowed fellowship at LER. The fellowship was created to enable industrious, promising and appreciative students to achieve their educational and professional goals. Recipients are selected on the basis of financial need, scholastic ability, and evidence that they worked throughout their undergraduate years. Wayne served as the senior vice president of HR for Amoco Corporation.
“I am so grateful for Mr. Anderson’s support. I may not have had this opportunity without it, and would have ‘settled’ for something else that wasn’t a great fit. Not only that, but now I don’t have to work as I go to class and worry about paying my bills. For the first time in my college career, I can focus on class and recruiting, not how I will pay rent.”
All things considered? It’s going to be a wonderful 18 months, in Amanda’s eyes. “I’m so excited about starting my HR career, and I know I picked the right place to do it.”