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Student Spotlight | Marisa D'Errico | #VUHRDStory

In HR, we are always focused on people - whether that be employees, employers, other HR professionals - and how to make their work experiences better. At Villanova, the HRD program does the same. Our students, the people, are the backbone of our program. Our students come from different backgrounds and have unique experiences, many of which enhance and influence their experience in the program and in their careers in HR. The goal of our student spotlight series is to highlight those unique experiences and to hopefully bring our students together in ways other than strictly through classes.

Our first student spotlight of the year is Marisa D'Errico, a second-year student in the MSHRD program!

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I grew up in Southern California in a town called Santa Clarita, near Los Angeles. I then moved to Austin, Texas to pursue my undergraduate degree at Southwestern University and majored in Business with a minor in Spanish. My mom, dad, and sister "followed me" to Texas 2 years into undergrad. I am very close to my family, and my sister and I grew up doing everything together. Since she is a year and a half younger than me, she is the person I am the closest to. I played soccer for 14 years and competitive golf for 4 years. I have an old puppy, Rocky, who is an 85 pound Boxer/American Bulldog mix. I love to read, especially fantasy and romance novels. I also love to cook, bake, go hiking, go to the beach, and be around friends and family. I am always willing to go on an adventure or travel to a new place!

What drove you to choose the Villanova HRD program?

I chose the Villanova HRD program ultimately because of the culture and community. I really liked that the program offered a smaller class size where I would be able to actually speak with my professor and ask any questions I might have. I decided to apply for the program and that’s when I heard about the Graduate Assistantship. I applied for that and once I heard back that I got it, I knew that this is where I wanted to go. I love that there are so many opportunities that the program offers its students. For example, the connections and networking opportunities, as well as the student VUSHRM chapter. I also love to travel and the fact that this is a different part of the country I haven't explored yet has its own charm.

Tell us about your current job and role, or any past HR experience that you have.

Most of my past experience comes from talent acquisition. I interned with the YMCA and helped them hire lifeguards and then worked with my dad’s company and helped them hire data analysts. I also did some marketing work for their LinkedIn page and created company flyers. This summer, I interned with a company called Sabre Systems, Inc. where I took on a Generalist role and helped with project management of a new length of service award program, helped document ER issues, helped with off-boarding documentation, summarized exit interviews, and shadowed the VP of HR in budget making and looking at data from employee engagement surveys in order to plan for future initiatives. Now, I am a second-year graduate assistant in the HRD program focusing mostly on their marketing initiatives and helping other faculty members with their projects and research. I am also the President for our student SHRM chapter, VUSHRM.

​How do you hope the Villanova HRD program will benefit your career trajectory?

I hope that the HRD program will help benefit my career trajectory by giving me the knowledge I need to be successful in HR. After one year, I can already attest that the program is helping me immensely. I came in with knowledge solely about talent acquisition and was not even aware of the other parts of HR that I might enjoy. I also think that the amount of networking opportunities and connections I make will help benefit me, as well. I received two internships through the program thus far and have met many knowledgeable HR professionals through colleagues and faculty members. From discussions in class, I have learned not only the material, but first hand experience from my classmates.

What has been your favorite course in the program and why? Or what course are you most looking forward to taking and why?

My favorite class was Organization Development, which I took at the same time as People Analytics. I felt that both of these classes helped me to have a better understanding of why data is so important in HR today. Understanding what employees are thinking and feeling is imperative to see organizational success and goes hand in hand with business development. I found that this has become the topic I most want to pursue in my career and look forward to the journey. I am most looking forward to taking Organizational Development because I took it in undergrad and I would like to see what the differences are at this level. It was also the class that originally made me consider pursuing HR which would be such a full circle moment.


Marisa D'Errico is a Graduate Student in the MSHRD program at Villanova University. She is also a Graduate Assistant for the program. Connect with Marisa here!


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