No one said college would be easy, but dedication and hard work really do pay off. After taking classes, interning with OppenheimerFunds and serving as the president of the CU Denver student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), CU Denver graduate Brandon Wiegand’s hard work paid off when his internship with OppenheimerFunds ended with a job offer in the field he loves – human resources.
For Wiegand, there’s more to human resources than just handling employee concerns. “Human resources has grown into something much more strategic,” he said. “Today’s generation moves around a lot, making employee retention more important than ever.”
The success of a business today might very well depend on its ability to find and keep employees. “Our generation wants to know how the work we do fits into the bigger picture and why it matters,” he said.
Wiegand and his wife moved to Colorado after living in Indiana for a year. “We are originally from Illinois, but we wanted to start our relationship in an unfamiliar place so we’d have to lean on one another for support,” he said.
With a brother working in the same field, human resources is more like a family business to Wiegand. “My older brother is currently getting a PhD in labor and employee relations,” he said. “He’s always liked the research side, and I’ve always been drawn more toward the practitioner side. I guess I’ve been invested in the field for a long time.”
After recently graduating with a BS in business administration, majoring in human resources through the CU Denver Business School, Wiegand has plans to innovate in the field. “I enjoy helping to increase the value of human resources across an organization,” he said.
Making the most of CU Denver resources
Collaborating with the Business Career Connections (BCC) office, Wiegand had the opportunity to work as an intern at OppenheimerFunds and put his passion for HR to good use. “Working with the BCC office was so important in helping me get where I am,” he said. “I met my first OppenheimerFunds representative at one of the CU Denver business school career fairs.”
The BCC is a student resource center to help students land great jobs. “We coach students through the job search process – starting with the resume and LinkedIn profile and carrying through to targeting companies, interviewing and even negotiating compensation,” said BCC Director Sue Wyman, EMBA. “A win for them, is a win for us.”
Wiegand worked one on one with Stephanie Sindt, MA, a BCC career advisor. “Brandon is a wonderful example of a student who took the advice and tips we give in Business Career Connections and leveraged them to create success in the job marketplace,” Sindt said. “Brandon and I worked together to clarify his career goals and direction, which gave him a clear brand on his resume that employers respond to.” The BCC is a valuable resource for students in their quest to find their dream job.
More than just a student
One of Wiegand’s secrets to success is a commitment to self-improvement – something he learned from his CU Denver professors. “If not for the courses I took at CU Denver, I wouldn’t have asked for as much feedback,” he said. “I learned to be humble and simply ask where I could improve and how I could do better.”
At the beginning of this year, Wiegand started his new career in human resources with OppenheimerFunds. He enjoys working with people, which, he said, is what human relations is all about.
“There are so many opportunities available to CU Denver students,” he said. “My advice is to just keep their minds open to the kinds of partnerships that are out there.”
For Wiegand, there is always room for growth. In addition to challenging himself academically and professionally, he is gearing up to be a father. “I’m excited to be a new dad,” he said. “I want to make sure I’m present to answer her questions and teach her.”