Human Resources Management Student Dazzles Employers
Vandals studying academic programs in the College of Business and Economics have endless flexibility and countless opportunities in their professional fields.
Anthony Rizzo, a senior expecting to graduate in Spring 2023, is studying human resources management and operations management in the CBE.
After sustaining a football-related back injury his junior year of high school, Rizzo shifted his focus from pursuing collegiate football to a Human Resources career-driven college mindset.
Rizzo is a recipient of the Outstanding Sophomore Achievement award, the Dean Veteris award, the Outstanding Junior Lance award and the Human Resources Association of the Treasure Valley Student Scholarship.
“I feel like it shows that I’m being recognized for my hard work, and giving back to University of Idaho,” Rizzo said.
In addition to these accolades, Rizzo is president of the Society for Human Resource Management chapter on U of I’s campus, also known as SHRM. His involvement with the chapter provides connections and opportunities within his major and college and opened up the door for him to apply for the SHRM Foundation financial scholarship for students pursuing HR-related roles.
Involvement with the chapter is one of the ways Rizzo is making the most of his college experience and forming valuable connections during his education.
“I can do good in school, and I can also feel like I’m making an impact on other people… I want to help people through what I’ve learned and the experiences I have,” Rizzo said. “I want to help other people so that they can realize their potential.”
Rizzo applies these skills to help people with volunteer work, company recruitment, resume advice, LinkedIn profile workshops, and more. He encourages people to take advantage of the small-school mentality at U of I, conferencing with professors, getting involved with national organizations, and building personal networks.
Rizzo has been supported by his family, faculty members and fellow peers during his time at U of I, allowing him to find his path as a Vandal.
Jeff Bailey and Yung Chung, two professors of management and HR in the CBE, taught and advised Rizzo throughout his studies, imparting advice on leadership, development, decision-making, and navigating SHRM during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From the beginning, Erick Larson, the student engagement director, and assistant clinical professor of management/HR encouraged Rizzo’s enrollment at U of I.
“He sat down with me, my brother, and my parents when we were checking out the school before we registered,” Rizzo said. “I think it was three hours, he sat down and talked to us about the opportunities here. He always has great ideas and helps students get involved.”
Their guidance inspired Rizzo to join Bridging the Gap, a national organization focused on students interested in pursuing management consulting.
Looking back, Rizzo believes that he could have taken advantage of Career Services resources like resume review or career preparation as a first-year student.
“Earlier on, I didn’t realize how seriously Career Services could help me with preparing or connecting me with recruiters or contacts,” Rizzo said. “I just think students, coming in, need to know that they need to go out and search for these opportunities themselves and pay attention.”
Rizzo encourages students interested in an HR-related role to consider everything the field has to offer, whether that be retention, compensation, performance improvement, or benefits.
He also urges that students realize that HR is more than recruiting, and that it can have a serious business impact on any organization.
“We manage the people in organizations, and we align the organization’s mission to the people; we bridge that connection.”
Rizzo has had several unique experiences to expand his skillset and jumpstart his career throughout his experience at U of I.
To begin his professional experience as a student at U of I, Rizzo pursued a management-centric internship in Spokane, Washington that focused on recruitment, HR development and talent acquisition for Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc.
The internship paved the way for Rizzo to secure an internship with The Boeing Company on their HR team, a dream opportunity for him.
“It’s my No. 1 company that I wanted to work for, so the interview process was stressful because of the importance to me. It was my best interviewing I’ve ever done,” Rizzo said.
Rizzo prepared for the interview process by writing down commonly asked questions, working out his own responses, and practicing his pitch to recruiters. He redesigned his professional online profiles, including his LinkedIn account and resume. As well, he applied the STAR (situation, task, action, result) interviewing method during his recruitment process. Rizzo learned this practice at U of I’s own Vandal Solutions and Career Services as he became more involved with the office. He also participated in mock interviews with U of I advisers to prepare for potential questions and scenarios.
Rizzo participated in the internship during the summer of 2022 in Seattle, Washington. He is currently completing his senior year at U of I. After graduating, Rizzo will be returning to The Boeing Company as an HRCFP associate, a position that was offered to him after the completion of his internship.
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