Q&A with Carl Gilbertsen
MBA – MHR Candidate ’15
President, Illinois MBA Association
Human Resources Leadership Program Intern, Halliburton
Q. What led to your Halliburton internship?
A. An alumnus of the School of Labor and Employment Relations—where I’m a joint degree student—contacted me. He works at Halliburton, and found my resume in their resume book. He reached out to me, as he thought I'd be a good fit at Halliburton. We had two phone interviews and I was given an offer within the week. It was a surprisingly smooth process.
Q. Which internship program are you doing at Halliburton? What are your responsibilities?
A. I'm a Human Resources Leadership Program intern, working for the change management team. My primary project is analyzing various Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from vendors being considered to deliver an internal consulting skills workshop aimed at augmenting the skill set of Halliburton’s HR business partners. I’m responsible for evaluating vendors’ strengths and weaknesses, and presenting my recommendations to our HR leadership team. I’m also working on a group project to create a roadmap for a new applicant tracking system (ATS) rollout, which represents a $24 million investment and will affect 40,000 applicants a year.
Q. Tell us about the best part of your internship.
A. The best part is being able to see where theory can be applied in my particular function, where it’s perhaps outdated, or at the very least, not applicable. Coming to an HR position with finance and accounting knowledge has also been incredibly useful—seeing how much even basic knowledge of these subjects can translate to credibility and persuasion.
Q. What advice would you give MBA students about the internship process?
A. Realize that it’s as much about skills and learning as it is about networking and branding yourself as an employee. Keep a list of all the tasks and skills you’ve developed, and come up with ways to demonstrate your value to the company when it’s time for evaluation. Be aware of when you should say “I” and when you should say “we”—it's a fine line to walk.
Q. What’s something you learned during your first year as an Illinois MBA student?
A. How to manage my time and how to work with people of diverse cultural and professional backgrounds. Working in the oil and gas industry, both are vital.