Shaping an Inclusive Workplace
Tamara Garraway ’18
Organizational Leadership Major Learns to Lead at PPL
When it comes to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace how does a corporation carry out these initiatives on a day-to-day basis? What does it entail and how is it executed? That’s what Tamara Garraway ’18 set out to learn through her internship at PPL.
“What drew me to apply for an internship at PPL was the responsibilities I would have supporting diversity and inclusion in a corporate setting, and also the new skills I would learn, such as SharePoint website editing,” Garraway says.
Garraway employed her organizational leadership major and communications minor toward the wide array of tasks she supported as a member of the electric company’s corporate human resources team.
Her main responsibilities were to work on diversity and inclusion initiatives, videos, and communications for human resources and the business resource groups. But she also assisted with the planning and coordination of summer community events such as PPL Community Day, and provided administrative support to leadership preparing for professional development training.
“I got to see different leadership styles play out right before me and how employees react. This was helpful for me to see because I picked up some really great do’s and don’ts.” –Tamara Garraway ’18
It’s one thing to discuss management theories in the classroom, but it’s an entirely different experience watching these techniques used in real life, as Garraway learned. “I got to see different leadership styles play out right before me and how employees react. This was helpful for me to see because I picked up some really great do’s and don’ts.”
Along the way, Garraway gained some key takeaways she knows have prepared her for her future job search. She says that she learned the value in seeking informational interviews at work, the essential art of networking, and the gains in taking on new projects that are out of your comfort zone in order to challenge yourself and learn new skills.
The internship confirmed for Garraway that she would like to devote her career to support diversity and inclusion efforts, and now she knows exactly where she’d like to do so, she explains.
“It has shown me that there is a difference in how the work needs to be done in a corporate environment and at an educational institution, and I can say this job has confirmed my interest in higher education.”
While she’s still researching her options, Garraway also knows that she would like to eventually enter a graduate program to further her studies in either public policy or social work.