For my first interview, I am writing about a member of management from Russellville, Arkansas’ JC Penney. This interview was conducted with Holly Skiles, who is the human resource manager at JC Penney. For those who don’t know, Russellville, Arkansas, only has a few major department stores. Those stores include Belk, JC Penney, Cato’s, Maurices, and Goody’s. Out of these stores, JC Penney has been one of the earliest department stores to open in Russellville. This store has been a source of employment for a large number people in this town throughout the years, even until now. Currently, this store is mostly in the business of hiring college students from Arkansas Tech University, due to their flexible scheduling. Although it is a retail job, there are many things that can be learned by working in a department store like: communication skills, team work, time management, conflict resolution with multiple customers, operating new software, and problem solving. Thanks to this company being located here, many college students, high school graduates, and others have been given a chance to work here over the years. That being said, the position held by Holly Skiles is an important one to everyone that works for her, and is full of adventure every week.
As for our interview with Holly Skiles, she works as a human resources manager at this store, beginning in 2015. As a human resource manager, Holly is responsible for hiring new staff members, making sure they are properly trained, creating work schedules for all the sales associates, approving time off requests, purchasing food and supplies for the store, ensuring the store has enough money in store, conducting interviews, and is a supervisor over a couple departments as well. With all these daily tasks, it is not hard to see why she spends a big part of her day in her office, working on the computer. It is clear that Holly puts in a lot of effort every day to help keep JC Penney functioning and staffed as needed.
Holly lives in Lamar, Arkansas and has two daughters that she loves to spend time with. Holly is originally from Mena, Arkansas, where she grew up and graduated from high school. She later went on to several universities including Rich Mountain Community College, Southern Arkansas University, and University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She has lived her whole life in Arkansas, but that has not stopped her from taking annual family vacations to Gulf Shores Beach, Alabama, and occasionally to some beaches in Florida, during the summer. When asked where you she would to go on vacation, that she has not been to yet, Holly said “the Fiji islands, because she would love to stay in huts that sit above the water, and enjoy the gorgeous view.” Although she has tons of fun with her daughters and other family members she also like to do other things in her spare time. Some of her other hobbies with her family include reading books, hiking, kayaking, watching funny movies, going to eat at restaurants, and helping her daughters with science projects. For those who do not know Holly, should know that she is a supervisor that is always walking around the employees with a smile on her face and a positive attitude, and loves to cheer anyone else around her who is not already smiling. When asked what genre of movies she replied “comedies.” Some of her favorite funny movies are: Step Brothers, Forrest Gump, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Shawshank Redemption. I believe her love of comedic films, inspires her to feel uplifting and to cheer up those around her through out her day.
When asked about the value of attending and finishing college, Holly says “college was totally worth finishing, and I would absolutely do it again. I had to work really hard for my degree. I worked full time and had children and paid my way through without acquiring any debt. I think higher education is beneficial for everyone and should be more accessible to everyone.” Something that stood out to her while in college is what she described to her: “I learned a lot in some classes, not so much in others. The ones I learned the most from were the classes that had a professor who was passionate about what they are doing and knew how to connect with students and people. On the flip side of that I took several classes that I felt were a complete waste of time and money. Overall, college was a worth while experience and has helped me with some valuable life experience and helped to further my career.”
Overall, Holly has proven that college can make you available to new social experiences, and help you acquire a better career. She has proved that hard work does pay off and that working hard can be accompanied by a positive attitude and smiles. Even though she is a human resources manager at JC Penney with a busy schedule, she still takes time to have fun with her family.