We continue our Employee Spotlight series with our Human Resources Generalist, Megan Strohlein. Megan started with InterSolutions in August 2021 and has made a positive impact on everyone she’s worked with at InterSolutions. She was our 2021 Rockstar Rookie!
Continue reading to learn more about how Megan found her way to the InterSolutions HR department, what she likes to do outside of work, and the TV show that she’s hooked on!
How did you get your start in Human Resources?
My first job out of college was working in an accounting office, which I really enjoyed. Then I was given payroll responsibilities and eventually additional responsibilities such as benefits and onboarding. I just loved the work and I loved all of the human interaction it gave me versus accounting so, I started attending Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) meetings. SHRM has events in the city where you can go and just learn about topics in HR and meet other people in the industry. That’s what led me to get my SHRM CP certification and pursue my master’s degree at Villanova.
What drew you to InterSolutions?
I wrapped up my master’s degree in the summer of 2021 and I was looking for a growing company where I could just keep on learning. I had worked for a very small staffing company through the pandemic and a mutual connection told me about an opportunity with InterSolutions and spoke very highly of the contacts she had there. I was introduced to the management team, and started soon after!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love working for a company that is just growing and changing and we’re all learning together. We’re all developing better practices and processes together and I love that the whole company is a team. We all look out for each other and try to help each other succeed.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I used to really want to be a lawyer, I think probably from growing up watching Legally Blonde, but I ultimately decided that law school was not for me. I do really like the compliance part of my role and I am always very fascinated by everything our internal counsel teaches me.
What are your three favorite hobbies? When did you discover them?
I like to play the piano. I actually have a second bachelor’s degree in music. I took lessons from my church organist growing up and I got really into it. I went to a school called Moravian that’s known for music and I picked up a second degree in music– not that I’m using it very much! I teach lessons sometimes, and that’s about it, but I really like it. I also really enjoy yoga. I used to live behind a hot yoga studio, and I just completely got addicted. I really take to workout classes in general. The only way I can get myself to work out is if I show up for a class. My third hobby right now is learning to cook. My husband’s grandmother gifted me her Le Creuset pan collection and I’m trying to make her proud. She says my meatloaf is pretty dry, but my quiche is good!
What have you learned since working at InterSolutions?
I’ve learned just so much being able to interface with so many people across different departments. Most importantly, I learned that it takes so much teamwork to rapidly grow a company remotely, and we all have to work together, and we have to support each other to make sure the new hires feel welcome and part of the team. I’m just so proud of any relationships we’ve been able to build, even though we’re not physically in the same office.
Tell us about your pet bulldogs!
You can always hear them walking around breathing. They don’t breathe very well. I have to kick them out sometimes if I have to meet with one of our clients because they do make funny noises. Their names are Rose and Ned, and they really like to nap in my office while I work. Ned is named after Ned Stark and Rose is named after a Doctor Who character.
What inspires and motivates you most?
I’m motivated by building an organization where everyone is able to showcase their talents and excel. I love the fact that at InterSolutions every single employee is an essential part of the team, and we develop all of our talent to grow with us.
What do you think makes you great at your job?
I really like to build relationships and I like to understand what motivates people to do great work. So, a lot of that is making sure that our employees are properly compensated and rewarded, that they’re recognized for their achievements, and that they feel like their company cares about them as a person first. I think it also means providing employees with opportunities to grow, like creating jobs that will be challenging to them and then also providing them with support so that they can be successful in these new challenging roles. I think that’s really going to motivate our employees. So, I think that because I really love those things, and I really like helping to create a company where people can be their best, that helps me be good at my job.
What was your favorite subject in high school or college?
I loved English class. I like to read and learn about other people’s life experiences through literature.
If InterSolutions announced a last-minute day off for tomorrow, what would you do?
This year I got married and prior to that, we had purchased a fixer-upper home that needs a lot of love. I have not had much time between starting this job, my wedding, and finishing school, so I would like to finish a few small projects and paint my kitchen.
What tv show, movie, or book are you currently hooked on?
I really like RuPaul’s Drag Race and every Friday night I DVR it and then the next morning I go to my mom’s house, and we make brunch, and we watch it together. Everyone in the cast is so ridiculously talented they can do everything. They can sing, dance, do standup comedy, and we really like the fashion and makeup components of it. So, that’s our little thing that we do together.
What are your top three tips for a productive workday?
I make lists of everything I need to get done and then I try to knock out the smaller items first, so they don’t pile up on me. I get a lot of emails throughout the day, just people asking for things, so I like to flag them as red if I have not gotten it done yet, and then I change them to green once they’re completed. For bigger tasks, I like to block off time on my calendar so that I remember to do them. I think blocking time off on my calendar for bigger tasks I need to get done is essential.
What is your go-to morning drink?
Oh my gosh, I love Diet Coke. Sometimes I’m asked how many Diet Coke cans I have on my desk during meetings!
Do you prefer the country or the city?
Maybe the city. I feel like there’s always so much to do, and I like dressing up and going to brunch. I always visit the city even though I’m in the suburbs.
Do you have a favorite meal?
I really like lasagna. I feel like it’s very hard to mess up.
Do you have a long-term career goal? What is it?
I would like to just keep growing and learning as much as I can. I think someday I would like to be an HR manager. But in the meantime, I just want to keep learning as much as I can.
If you could travel anywhere in the world next week, where would you go?
My husband’s family is from Denmark, and they have a house there, but I haven’t been able to visit because of the pandemic. So, I would really like to go see their house in Denmark and spend time there.
While you’re working do you listen to music, podcasts, or do you need total silence?
I need total silence. I get distracted easily so a podcast would be out of the question!
What is your advice for anyone who wants to land a role like yours?
I think if someone wanted to transition into a role like mine, I might recommend checking out the SHRM website or events. They have a lot of local chapters everywhere, just meeting more people in the industry, learning what’s going on in HR trends, or picking up some classes too could be very helpful. I think a lot of schools offer a condensed course where it might only span three classes but it’s a great place to start.