Holly Mertens '13
Human Resources Management, Hospitality Tourism Mgt
Manager, Total Rewards
1. Tell us about your journey since graduation.
I graduated Grand Valley in 2013 and headed out to Colorado with my boyfriend at the time, whose now my husband. He is also a fellow Laker! I had no job lined up after graduating and took a leap of faith. I packed up my U-Haul and headed West. When we arrived, I was full of mixed emotions...no job, new apartment, no friends and unsure of where I belonged. I began networking as much as I could, connecting with locals, HR boards etc and eventually ended up getting an internship in HR Operations at OtterBox in Fort Collins, CO! From there I began learning so much about the industry and also gaining real experience in HR. My manager at OtterBox, asked me, "Do you want to get into the Total Rewards space and learn about benefits?" I said sure! And my career in HR/Total Rewards flourished from there. I am forever thankful for her mentorship! I now have over 9 years of experience in the human resources space and working towards my CCP (Certified Compensation Professional Cert). I have worked in the technology industry, leave of absence space, and oil and gas software technology! I am also on the board of a local HR network called Rocky Mountain Total Rewards Association and my focus is on education, communications and technology. Thank you Grand Valley for making these experiences possible!
2. Share a favorite Grand Valley memory.
My favorite memory of Grand Valley is working in the Dean's office at the Seidman College of Business. I was able to get to know H. James Williams and also support students. I loved giving campus tours downtown and was so excited to share my experiences with potential students! I love Grand Valley and so happy I got to work with talented people.
3. What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
"If you get to where you can't affect change in your career, then it's time to move on and affect change elsewhere."
4. List three words you would use to describe your Grand
Successful Connected Memorable
5. What difference would you like to make in the world?
I would love more people to volunteer. It not only is a way to help others and make a difference -it serves our soul! Even the smallest good deed has a ripple (Laker) effect, and I want to be a part of that. I recently volunteered at the Colorado Food Bank of the Rockies and packed over 1,000 lunches for students in need! No student or child should go without a nutritious meal and I was so happy to be a part of that.