Getting Onboard With OBHR

Early bird recruiters are on the heels of incoming OBHR students. So close, in fact, that OBHR senior Sarah Duvall felt the need to research how to better prepare students to meet them.

Duvall started her inquiries last October by drawing themes from personal experiences in the program, conducting surveys, and collaborating with Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) council members and OBHR faculty.

The final result: the OBHR onboarding program.

“I love the program and the direction it’s going,” Duvall says. “I think that HR itself is becoming more progressive, and I feel that the way the program prepares students for full-time jobs should be improving at that same rate. I’ve learned a lot in preparing this program, and I see it as something I can leave behind for the BYU OBHR program.”

The onboarding program is a training resource for recently accepted students in order to set expectations for the OBHR program and prepare them for early recruiting and placement. Students are given a detailed packet describing the program, what classes and careers are offered, and what makes an OBHR student successful. It includes tips on finding internships, shining in interviews, creating résumés, navigating career fairs, staying involved, and much more.

“Organizations often overlook the importance of a strong onboarding program in setting the right tone for new employees, helping them understand and fit in well with the organization’s culture, and having clear expectations of how to perform their roles well,” says OBHR professor Troy Nielson.

After they are accepted into the program at the end of June, students will receive the packet and information regarding a kickoff event in July. Students are expected to review the packet before the kickoff in order to apply the information in practice scenarios during the event.

But the kickoff will have more than résumé-building workshops, networking practice, and mock interviews. The onboarding committee is also looking to implement an outdoor exclusion or a luncheon to help students get to know their new classmates.

“We want our incoming HR students to have a stronger sense of belonging and increased confidence so that they can be successful in reaching their career and academic goals,” Nielson says.


Sarah Duvall, OBHR senior who initiated the onboarding program.