Student Summer Spotlight: Jodie Zhou

In this series, students share a firsthand account of their meaningful work in private and public agencies, non-profit organizations and government offices.

Graffiti, open space, plants, a fish tank conference room and a laidback husky are some of highlights of my summer intern company, Digital Control, Inc. (DCI). DCI is a small-size privately owned manufacturing engineering company and the leader in the horizontal directional drilling industry. Headquartered in Kent, DCI has five other international offices in Australia, China, Germany, India and Russia.

I am a MJ student with a focus on Employment and HR law and a HR intern in DCI. During my internship, I help to implement the law and deliver the meaning to every single document. I don’t file complaints or write any motions, but I sat in our safety meetings to make sure that we meet the OSHA requirements. I organize the U.S. and international employee files in order to align with the state privacy law and some international privacy laws, such as the General Date Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) in Europe. Even though I don’t handle HIPAA complaints, I help employees have a better understanding of HIPAA.

Jodie Zhou

At this mid-point of my internship, every class I took in law school, whether it is law-related or skills-related, has been very helpful to my every day work. For example, all the practice I had in Drafting Business Documents class not only makes my written communication more efficient, but also makes my daily work more efficient, as well. Another example is the practice I had with different listening and communication skills in Counseling Workshop, Mediation, and Negotiations classes increased my sensitivity level when it comes to employment. The final example would be Employment law and Labor Relation and Law. I can’t appreciate enough the knowledge and perspective that Professor Vaughn shared with me because being able to understand the perspective from each department makes my work relationship with other departments much smoother.

When I return to school in autumn, I will follow my original plan, which is taking Business Organization, International Contracting and Immigration law. After working here, I see the needs and direct benefit from understanding the structure and the law behind company and immigration.

Law school classes have prepared me with all the skills that I need to work in the HR field while DCI shows me the importance of creative working environments, healthy work-life balance and free but respectful communication styles. I have gained so much valuable knowledge and many incredible stories and experiences just from meeting people, and I know I will continue to learn more from the people in DCI in my last month here. Without Professor Kuszler’s advice on classes, I wouldn’t have had the chance to work in this wonderful company, meet amazing people and have this priceless experience in DCI.