About the Author

Rebecca Reese

Rebecca Reese, SPHR is the VP of Human Resources for Adknowledge. She's been with the company since 2007 and has been in the human resource field for more than 10 years. Rebecca completed a human resource management certification with Cornell University in 2006 and her SPHR in 2007. She is based at Adknowledge's Kansas City headquarters.

To Say or Not to Say: Compensation

The uncomfortable question for most candidates to answer and employers to ask: "What are you making right now?" I see a lot of articles and educational materials on this topic, and almost everyone has a strong opinion either way. Here’s my take: job candidates should not be afraid to give their salary histories, or what they’d like to earn in the next job.


It’s Not About Coffee Runs: Getting More from an Intern

“I’ll take a venti mocha cappuccino with whip, please.”

There are many companies out there today still using interns for coffee and lunch runs, and giving them mundane projects, like filing.

Top companies provide true responsibility, independence, mentors, creative thinking, with an opportunity to deliver real results. The best take it one step further and offer permanent employment opportunities to the rock star interns in an effort to improve the overall team talent and chemistry.

5 Steps to a Better Internship Experience

During my tenure in the human resources field, I’ve seen what I call “collegitis” in many applicants: job or compensation entitlement based on college education and degree. Students who work hard during college but get no professional experience along the way are most afflicted by this ailment. There is currently no cure; however, there is a treatment that will alleviate some of the pain. It’s called an internship.

Anyone who has attended college knows how hard it is to juggle a full class load and a job, which is why internships are more available during winter and summer breaks. There are even some internships that run in the evenings year-round to deliver the “real life” experience needed upon graduation.

There are all types of internships out there and I’ve heard some horror stories. Interns might have to make runs to the local coffee house. They might even experience the opposite end of the spectrum and get thrown into an advanced project where they have no idea what they’re doing. Either way, there are steps they can take to make the most of the opportunity.

Step 1: Start your research early

There are internships available even to freshmen. Make a decision of what field/industry you’d like to research and experience first. Really dig into the companies you think would be of value and send out request letters. Don’t expect to be paid, but that being said, you most likely will be. Employers are now required to offer minimum wage unless they have an in-depth internship program and a relationship with colleges for course credit (these are few and far between). Send your inquiry, even if the company is not advertising internships. You still may be considered.

Step 2: Select the right company for you

Many students will be lucky enough to have multiple options. Some questions to consider: is the position in line with your career choice? Does the company have a mentor to work with you? Does the company have resources? Is there potential for full-time work after graduation?

Step 3: Be flexible and adaptable

Once you’ve agreed to work for a company, remember no matter what the task, attitude is half the battle. The flexibility to run errands, complete remedial tasks, or offer insight on current projects will take you far. Don’t procrastinate, even on the most boring of requests. Get it done. A good intern goes the extra mile; they go above and beyond to do the best job possible, no matter the assignment.

Step 4: Don’t be afraid; be resourceful

No one knows everything. It’s every employee’s responsibility to find and complete training development activities. The most experienced employees are consistently learning and evolving. You’re in college and have little real world experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a solution on your own. As an employee, you have to learn how to accomplish tasks without your manager’s help. A good employee is resourceful, has the ability to find answers, and knows when to speak up. If you really can’t figure it out, don’t be afraid to ask for help, versus spending too much time on something and ultimately getting it wrong.

Step 5: Ask for more

When you complete a task, don’t sit back and wait for another project—ask for more. At the end of your internship, ask for recommendation letters to use as you seek future employment. Also, don’t wait to be asked back. Let the company know you’d like to work there after graduation. Companies can, and will, give letters of intent to their rock stars!

As my CEO says, “Never be satisfied.” Avoid “collegitis” with a preemptive strike. Consider internships as part of your college education, both from a learning and expense stand point. Successfully completing one will add to your résumé, your overall value and potential opportunities post-graduation.

Performance Management – The Dreaded Self-Evaluation

Everyone knows the saying “perception is reality.” Self-assessments are a perfect way to ensure your perception of how you performed in your role matches what your manager believes.

Performance reviews are not just an opportunity for managers to grade you on the previous year’s performance, but an opportunity for you to brag about the things you have accomplished, to voice your interests, to discuss your failures or weaknesses and areas for development.


Ad Tech Meets Talent Management: 3 Steps to Building Your Workforce in 2014

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Bill Gates

Talent management is the lifeblood of a healthy, growing business. As much as we’re focused on boosting profits and operating efficiency, we need to make sure that our people are getting appropriate feedback and are committed to driving the success of our most valuable business initiatives.