Because HR manager Barb Brown knows firsthand the quality education WCC students receive, she never hesitates to bring them on board when graduation rolls around. | Photo by Anne Savage

“Life in HR is different every day,” said Human Resources manager and Washtenaw Community College alumna Barb Brown. “There’s never a dull moment.”

After working 15-plus years in Human Resources, Brown has seen and heard it all at IHA Internal Medicine–Domino’s Farms.

It can be something as simple as determining an employee’s start date or something as challenging as resolving conflict among colleagues. No matter what lands on her desk, Brown seems to handle it with ease. She credits the solid foundation established during her time at WCC for her success.

WCC alumna Barb Brown. | Photo by Anne Savage

In 2011, Brown earned a Human Resources Management certificate after many years away from the classroom.

The mother of three says she always planned on returning to school once her children reached a certain age.

Naturally, though, Brown had some qualms about going back to school, but she says everyone at WCC — from the advisors to the bookstore employees — went above and beyond to make her feel welcome.

“The smaller classes, knowledgeable deans and professors, affordable tuition, community feel — you can’t find that anywhere else,” Brown said. “From the moment I arrived on campus to the moment I graduated, I loved my time here. WCC gave me confidence.”

Brown carries that same confidence with her into her office every day.

Part of Brown’s responsibilities include problem solving, training and recruitment. So, what does she look for when hiring a candidate?

“Of course, education and experience factor into making a decision, but we place a lot of emphasis on attitude, both the candidate’s and our own,” she said. “People will remember how they were treated above anything else.”

And because Brown knows firsthand the quality education WCC students receive, she never hesitates to bring them on board when graduation rolls around.

Within the Family & Internal Medicine Division, Brown oversees a group of approximately 350 people, so the workload can be overwhelming at times.

“I can’t help everyone, but I can help someone,” she said. “Knowing that makes me feel good at the end of the day.”

Maintaining a good sense of humor through it all, Brown insists, is the key to fostering a healthy and nurturing environment, something she says she experienced while at WCC.

“I never felt like a number at WCC. All my instructors knew my name, so I felt like I mattered,” Brown said. “I can’t say enough great things about the college. I felt so safe there.”

By PRINCESS GABBARA
Writer, Public Relations