CAMDEN — Ashley Graber knows that successful businesses are often strengthened by quality employees. Since starting her job at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia in March, the Rutgers–Camden graduate has been working to ensure a quality core workforce as a human resources coordinator.
"I always felt that strong employees make for a strong business or organization,” says Graber, a Williamstown resident. “I wanted to be part of building a strong workforce for a company, keeping up employee morale, and ensuring satisfaction among employees. It makes a huge difference in a company and you have the power to make that happen when you’re in human resources.”
The Barnes Foundation is dedicated to the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture. It fulfills its educational mission through public access to its collections of art and plants and through related programs. As a human resources coordinator, Graber posts job descriptions, performs background checks on applicants, schedules orientation for new employees, and administers benefits.
Graber, a Williamstown High School graduate, earned her bachelor’s degree in management at the Rutgers School of Business–Camden last December. She says her experience at Rutgers–Camden was instrumental in preparing her for the workforce and, ultimately, her job at the Barnes Foundation.
“The professors I had at Rutgers–Camden were very inspirational,” she says. “There was such an emphasis on becoming a professional and Rutgers–Camden prepared me for my career. It taught me how to communicate. Sometimes you can’t wait to get out of class, but I couldn’t get enough.”
Graber says the most important lesson she learned at Rutgers–Camden is that communication, in all aspects of business, is key.
“My communication skills certainly grew throughout my time at Rutgers–Camden,” she says. “I can attribute my success in the business world to the communication skills I learned at Rutgers–Camden. I was taught how to develop a polished and professional resume, which led to an interview at which I applied those skills, and I got a job in which I have to utilize proper communication skills in every sense.”
Like many Rutgers–Camden students, Graber’s professional development extended beyond the classroom. While a student, she worked as an intern at The Evergreens, a continuing care retirement community in Moorestown.
“Sometimes students overlook internships, but a lot of the professors at Rutgers–Camden really stress the importance of gaining real-world experience through an internship,” Graber says. “It goes hand-in-hand with a degree and I can attribute a lot of my professional success to that internship.”
Graber says gaining any kind of professional experience is essential for current students, especially when so many graduates face an uncertain job market.
“I feel fortunate to be in the position I’m in and a lot of credit goes to my professors at Rutgers–Camden,” Graber says.
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Media Contact: Ed Moorhouse