Growing up with a certified executive chef father, Valerie Holsinger became well acquainted with the world of hospitality at an early age. Today, the human resources professional still carries that same passion and feels she was destined to join the Harrah College of Hospitality team.
What is your current job title and what are a few of your duties?
I am the assistant director of human resources for the Hospitality College. I handle job postings and recruitment for all of our vacancies; position changes within the college; and extra compensation for faculty.
What about UNLV strikes you as different from other places you have worked or where you went to school?
Besides the unique location next to the Las Vegas Strip, the energy of this campus is very different from where I went to school. My alma mater is a quiet school tucked away in the green hills of Ohio (Ohio University). UNLV, in the middle of the desert, has an international tourist destination only a couple of blocks away. The location of UNLV alone makes it a very interesting place to work and study.
What inspired you to get into your field?
I really love the aspect of helping people. I enjoy helping candidates find a job that’s right for them, then watching them succeed. I also enjoy helping employees with the mundane HR tasks so they can focus on the goals of the organization.
What is the biggest challenge in your field?
Recruitment is a challenge because you want to create a diverse enough pool of qualified candidates. You want the committee to be able to pick someone because they’re the best choice for the position, not just because they’re the last candidate standing. It can be a challenge to find someone that not only meets or exceeds the position requirements but also compliments the rest of the team.
Tell us about a time in your life when you have been daring.
Moving from Ohio to Las Vegas with only my husband and my dog. It took some time to connect with people in this transient town, but we’re feeling well-established after seven years here.
If you couldn't work in your current field, what career might you like to pursue?
I honestly wouldn’t want to do anything else. There’s so much in HR I still want to learn, so if I couldn’t do recruitment, I’d probably want to get into the employee development side. Once my son is in school full-time, I’m considering going for my Ph.D. in workforce development and organizational leadership.
Tell us about an object in your office that has significance for you and why it is significant.
A beach scene print my husband and I found when we were newlyweds. It helps remind me to relax and focus on the bigger picture when things get too hectic.
What is your proudest moment?
One of my proudest moments was becoming a Society of Human Resource Management senior certified professional. I passed the exam 10 years after I completed my degrees, so it was a great way to challenge myself and stay up-to-date in the HR field.
Who is your hero or inspiration?
My father. He travels a lot for work, but he always makes sure he has time for family. He gave me a great example of how to find work/life balance.
Pastimes or hobbies?
I love to cook and bake. My father is a certified executive chef, so it was like growing up with an in-house instructor.
What books do you have on your bedside table?
I have two. One is Why not me? by Mindy Kaling, and Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I'm a classically trained violinist, but I haven't played in a while. I played the violin for about 15 years.