AIKEN, S.C. (July 5, 2018)—Mikhaela Kelson has turned her passions of problem solving and helping people into reality this summer as a labor relations intern with Savannah River Remediation (SRR).
Kelson is pursuing her Master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources (HR) at Winthrop University, which Kelson said was an easy transition from her undergraduate studies in Sociology.
“I chose HR because it allows me to take what I’ve learned from my background in sociology and apply it to real life situations,” said Kelson. “I figured out how to incorporate both of my college degrees into one career field in labor relations and human resources.”
Kelson said her sociology professors’ enthusiastic teaching styles kept her interest in studying people and social institutions.
As an undergraduate, Kelson learned more about the HR career field as an employee for the Dish Network manufacturing plant. Through this experience, she noticed how organizations consider human resources as a strategic partner that bridges the gap between those who are behind the scenes in the company and those who are in the field performing work.
That experience led her to pursue a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in HR.
Feeling more confident in her choice of career field, she searched for a human resource-related internship this year. The labor relations internship position with SRR was the right fit. Kelson helps oversee the onboarding process for SRR construction workers and helps integrate the new workers into the company.
Kelson said she enjoys working with people and being able to gain real-world work experience this summer, by doing work that would have otherwise been completed by full- time SRR Labor Relations professionals.
“Onboarding a new SRR employee is important work, and I get to experience that in a hands-on way,” Kelson said. “I wanted to get an internship that would prepare me for my career after I graduate. I get to be the liaison between the Labor Relations Manager and the craft workers who are hired, which is work that I appreciate and enjoy.”
SRR is the liquid waste contractor at SRS for the U.S. Department of Energy. SRR is composed of a team of companies led by AECOM with partners Bechtel National, CH2M, and BWX Technologies. Critical subcontractors for the contract are Orano, Atkins, and AECOM N&E Technical Services.