Human Resources for Arizona Youth Partnership

Sarah Salanski headshot
Sarah Salanski
Emphasis Area
Business Administration

Sarah Salanski built skills in communication and networking as an intern with human resources for Arizona Youth Partnership.

How did you get your internship?

For my internship at Arizona Youth Partnership, I applied for the position then did follow-up. I first applied on LinkedIn when I first learned about their job opening. After I applied on LinkedIn, I then applied again directly on their website and I emailed the supervisor my details and resume to secure my internship. Because of my dedication in showing interest in the position, they decided to interview me. In the interview, I talked about my previous academic projects and also explained why I was drawn to this organization. I think they recognized my ambition, because they then congratulated me on securing an internship at their organization!

Something that really influenced my decision to work with Arizona Youth Partnership was their willingness to adapt to my wants. They wanted to have me as an intern, but they did not have a position that suited my goals for the internship, so they created one. I would like to pursue opportunities in human resources, so they spoke with the head of Human Resources (HR) to see if they would take me as an intern and they agreed. I chose this internship because it was custom-made for me.

What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience? 

I spent the majority of my internship at Arizona Youth Partnership in the main office with the head of HR. I initially shadowed him and then was able to get involved with what the position entailed on a daily basis. I had the opportunity to network with people from different branches of HR like payroll and even the CFO. I loved having the opportunity to ask questions and learn about what a career in HR actually looks like. On top of that, I got to visit schools and educate teenagers about toxic relationships and how to prevent them.

How was the internship related to your Applied Humanities degree?

My internship at Arizona Youth Partnership was the perfect application for my Applied Humanities degree because they both prioritize the human experience. Throughout my studies in the Applied Humanities, I had multiple projects that centered problem-solving with real people with real problems such as food insecurity. My organization exists because it wants to help prevent problems such as homelessness and drug abuse in children and teenagers. This degree could not have been more perfect for this internship, our mission is to aid those young people who need support.

How did your Applied Humanities major coursework help prepare you for the internship experience? 

The coursework from the Applied Humanities major is what helped me to secure my internship. Throughout my time in the major, I had many projects that required me to reach out to people, even those I didn’t know, and listen to their stories. Something that the Applied Humanities requires that my other classes did not was interacting with people in the community to address real problems—this helped me prepare for my internship because I had gained experience in helping contribute to solutions that required action. The difference in reporting about someone in need versus interacting with them and trying to help is life-changing, and the Applied Humanities coursework prepares you to work with people and for people.

How has your internship experience influenced your plans for your future?

When I was starting my internship, I was set on being a part of HR, but I was a bit hazy about what work in the field actually entailed. I had always heard stories about how the goal of HR was more about helping the company than the people who work there, so I felt a bit lost as to how I would pursue jobs in HR if I wasn’t actually helping people. While I was working at Arizona Youth Partnership (AZYP), I was taught that human resources really does work for the people of the company, not the company itself. I plan on taking that mindset into the next stage of my career, and my internship showed me what HR should be and I want to continue that practice.

What advice do you have for other students as they search for internships?

A huge piece of advice that I would offer upcoming students who are looking for internships would be to go further than just applying online. I was very stressed about whether I could secure an internship because I was entering my last semester. There are ways to stand out as a candidate, and if they do not end up working, there is nothing to lose. Other than applying on websites such as LinkedIn, you visit an organization on-site with your resume prepared, email multiple people within the organization, and apply for internships anywhere they are posted. People like to see dedication and as long as you show your drive, you will find an opportunity.