A Diverse Experience: My Internship at the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources

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Albright, Brooke
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After securing an internship at General Motors in the Human Resources Department, I was under the impression that my job description was going to be a lot different then what it turned out to be. I thought that I would be working forty-hour weeks in the Renaissance Building in downtown Detroit. After doing a little research on the Internet I found some information that I thought pertained to my internship, but I did not realize that the information was just a tiny sector of what was really going on. I thought that there was a need for interns in this department because Daimler Chrysler Corporation, General Motors Cooperation and the International Union (UAW) joined forces with America Online. To my knowledge, through Workscape Inc, the leading provider of online human resource applications, employees would be able to tap employee portals from work or home offering a broad array of comprehensive corporate information and personalized human resource tools. Daimler Chrysler and General Motors were also partnering up with HUGHES to offer hourly and salaried employees HUGHES cutting edge direct TV interactive television services with Phillips Electronics to provide leading edge technology. The UAW lobbied for this and is proud to provide its members with a low cost access to the latest in e-communications. Sun Microsystems is providing the network -computing program that will be the power behind this joint venture. As an intern in the human resources department, I thought I would be helping to organize this venture and to make sure that everything is running properly. Once the system is a go, I thought the department would then focus on educating the employees on how to properly use the new programs. I wanted to begin my project by researching the history of General Motors and the UAW and discussing how the relationship between the automaker and the labor union has developed throughout the years. I wanted to begin the SIP with a discussion on the rise of the labor organization from the growth of industry in the twenties and the devastating of the great depression in the thirties. Then I planned to lead into discussion of the organization of the UAW in 1935 and how when and why the UAW and GM joined forces and some of the projects that their relationship have begot. I then intend to begin to talk about the relationship between the UAW, GM employees and how the human resource department is the mediator. This in turn will lead into the last section of the paper, which will include a lengthy description of the current joint venture. I will also include my personal evaluation of the internship, a professional evaluation of the program and company, why the Human Resource Department is important in any business and how the department specifically functions at General Motors. In actuality I was off base with my first thoughts. The UAW -GM joint venture is much larger and much more complex than what I had first perceived.
ii, 108 p.
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