One of the most professionally rewarding experiences for me is the opportunity to mentor students on career choices. I love wide-eyed, the world is an oyster, enthusiasm. I received a tweet last night from a UCBerkeley Psych and Linguistic double major student contemplating a career in HR - specifically recruiting - I decided to come here to help her with her choices by invoking the power of all of us to answer her question.
"Hi Karla, how'd you get started in HR? and most HR asst jobs ask for experience but I don't have any. how I can get some to begin my career?"
I came to corporate HR and recruiting through the back door. By that I mean I worked in operations management at a company for many years and often found myself in HR making recommendations on approaches to employee relations, diversity initiatives, training, recruiting, retention strategies, etc. One day there was an opening for a Recruiter and I jumped on it because I wanted to make an impact on the organization not just my division.
My suggestions to get some experience are to do a non-paid admin. internship for an HR department, ask your local Chamber of Commerce if there is a HR task force you could join to work on projects with professionals, and contact your local SHRM chapter to see if they have a mentor program.
I invite others from the Recruiting Blogs community to answer this question as well. We have such diverse experience and expertise through which we can help others learn from our careers.