Get to Know Juliette Finney

Why did you choose HR as your field?

I actually started out in teaching. I got my undergrad in Elementary Education from Bloomsburg University, what I saw myself doing since I was ten years old. I became a substitute teacher and made some realizations pretty quickly (after about 6 months) that I wasn’t fit for that role. An opportunity presented itself through an acquaintance of mine for an HR Assistant within her company. I hadn’t yet thought about where my career could go and what I was interested in, so I decided to try it out. I found that some of the things I loved about teaching were found in HR and I quickly fell for being an HR professional! I got my PHR and SHRM-CP certifications after a few years, and I am now pursuing a Master’s of Science in Human Resources Management through West Chester University. I couldn’t be happier!

What is your current job or role?

Currently I am the HR Manager at F.A. Davis Company. I have been with F.A. Davis my entire HR career, going on seven years. I manage the company’s benefit plan design, wellness program, and serve as an employee relations business partner.

In your current job, what gives you the greatest sense of reward and accomplishment?

Probably building the HR department into what it is today. We started out as a department of two, known as the “personnel dept”. Now we are a department of three and really act as business partners to the rest of the organization. My top successes right now include the implementation of the company’s first HRIS, our move to a self-insured medical plan, and the development of the company’s first compensation plan. Having a strong HR department really feeds into the rest of the organization. Due to the changes we have made I see a difference in the overall engagement of the organization and that is the best kind of reward.

What is your greatest personal or professional accomplishment?

It kind of overlaps. Earlier this year I won the 2018 Delaware Valley HR Rising Star of the Year Award! I still can’t believe it when I say it (or write it). I am more of an introvert personality, so I rarely seek outward attention and/or praise. The nomination was a surprise and I almost didn’t go through with the application process because I wasn’t sure if I wanted that attention. The win has become a milestone in my career and it feels good to bring a win home for my company.

What words of wisdom would you offer to someone entering the HR field?

Absorb everything you can. HR is always evolving and changing, and you must stay current. I would also say to keep a steady mind. My greatest virtue in this profession is patience and listening skills.

What have you found most valuable about being a member of PSHRM?

I was asked to be on the PSHRM Board this July. You hear every day “it’s who you know”, and PSHRM is the one area of my life that I knew no one. I joined about 5 years ago and wanted to get involved with the chapter. I applied to be on a committee and was selected about 4 years ago. That committee drastically changed my professional development. I got to meet so many HR professionals and grow my network. It was so easy to get involved and they were all so welcoming. After three years of volunteering I shared my interest in wanting more and was able to get a seat on the board after leading a piece of their annual symposium. I have loved every minute of being a part of PSHRM! Everyone was so welcoming of me and they really do have a passion for helping our HR leaders.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

To be honest grad school is taking up most of my time now. But I am a closet chef and love to be in the kitchen creating new recipes and cooking for my friends and family. And when I do have a chunk of time to relax I try to find a good show to binge watch!

If given an opportunity to do something really extraordinary or adventurous, what would it be and why?

I am a simple person, I know I would love some travel in my future but not sure how adventurous my plans would get! Something I would love to pursue later in life would be to combine my too passions of teaching and HR and one day help teach a future generation of HR leaders; that may be low on the extraordinary scale but would be extraordinary to me.

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