Q+A with Traci Tompkins, Senior Human Resources Generalist (Dearborn)
How do you describe your job to people outside of the industry?
I recruit, hire, and support a team of professionals that work in architecture, engineering, and internship roles. I also manage Ghafari’s internship program.
Why did you decide to go into HR?
I was always interested in industrial/organizational psychology and knew I wanted to work in a business setting. My whole career since being a co-op at college has been in the HR field. I spent time in the manufacturing and creative arts industries prior to joining the engineering + architecture environment here at Ghafari. I really enjoy getting to be one of the first connections that a new hire has to the company and sharing information about our workplace and the great opportunities here.
How would you describe life at Ghafari?
Any day in HR can bring new challenges to be met. Whatever the challenges, the environment is very welcoming and rewarding, while professional and fast-paced. There is a feeling of pride in the wide variety of projects that Ghafari has been involved in around the world. Everyone is committed to the shared goal of growth and success.
What is the most exciting thing that has happened during your time here?
It’s been exciting to build the company’s internship program that grows in participation and meaningful content each year, with the end result of finding many talented future team members. And when the HR team won the Crain’s award this year for Excellence in HR, that was especially gratifying to have our efforts recognized.
What is a key idea or lesson you have learned while working at Ghafari?
The team that we build is critical to the success of the organization. Although I don’t work on the “production team”, I enjoy the challenge of learning about our various discipline areas and being able to discuss our needs and expectations with candidates and managers.
How do you like to spend your free time?
My perfect weekend would include a visit to a farmer’s market or new restaurant, long walks (usually with my husband and standard poodle), reading a great book, and spending time with family. We are enjoying this stage of life with three adult children – one with two young children, one getting married later this year, and the youngest returning soon from a year-long study abroad! I also enjoy scrapbooking retreats throughout the year with lifelong friends.