Alumni Accomplishments

Change Crusader

OU HR alumnus Stephanie Marji works to align company goals and employee interests

A woman leaning on a wall.

Photo Credit: Robert Hall

A woman posing.

Photo Credit: Robert Hall

icon of a calendarAugust 25, 2020

icon of a pencilBy Patti Georgevich

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Oakland University alumnus Stephanie Marji believes her human resources career chose her, not the other
way around.

“HR is a fast-paced field and each situation is unique. I always wanted to be part of mutually-beneficial change and progress for a company and its employees,” says the human resources management (HRM) alumnus.

Marji had been working in the field for several years as an HR specialist, but knew she needed to earn her bachelor’s degree to gain knowledge and skills for her job as well as be marketable and eligible for future career opportunities.

In December 2015, she’d earned her associate degree in pre-pharmaceutical studies at Macomb Community College but wanted to transfer those credits toward her bachelor’s degree at OU. She then met with OU Academic Adviser Marlin Hunter. Hunter recommended Marji consider the fast-track degree-completion program in HRM offered at the OU Anton/Frankel Center in Mount Clemens.

“Marlin was phenomenal from the moment we met — and she supported and guided me until I graduated. There was no greater feeling than walking across that stage to take my diploma,” Marji says.

The Eastpointe resident took her HRM fast-track courses at the OU Anton/Frankel Center in Mount Clemens and liked that they were delivered in a hybrid format.

“The eight-week accelerated classes — combining work in the classroom with online assignments and group discussions — were easy to fit into my busy personal and professional schedule. They were challenging but I love challenging myself. And, they helped me finish quicker and graduate sooner.”

Marji says OU’s HRM curriculum was relevant and practical — making her a more well-rounded HR professional. And, the faculty shared real-life experiences, giving students scenarios they could experience on the job. She says all her professors were wonderful but there were two standouts: Nancy Savage and Greg Thrasher.

“A mentor to us all, Nancy provided many resources we’d need as we moved throughout our careers — especially regarding benefits and compensation. I use what she taught on conducting market reviews for my HR projects,” says Marji. “Greg taught me about the psychological aspect of HR — leadership and motivation or work behavior employees exhibit and how to recognize it. That knowledge helped me earn my spot as coordinator and head of the alternative dispute resolution committee.”

When Stephanie graduated from OU in May 2019, she was hired as a human resource associate at Henry Ford Health System’s (HFHS) Wyandotte Hospital. Debra Temrowski, HFHS’s south market director of human resources and volunteer services at Wyandotte Hospital, says Stephanie brings enthusiasm, interest and desire to learn and grow in the HR profession.

“She excels at manipulating and analyzing data and quickly became our resident expert developing metrics and presentations for the department,” says Temrowski. “When Stephanie takes on a new project she does so with enthusiasm, tenacity and determination. She loves to stretch her skills whether it’s completing a pay analysis or a climate assessment. Stephanie’s an invaluable asset to our team.”

In her tenure at HFHS, Marji has spearheaded many HFHS initiatives and projects: analyzing and reporting turnover metrics, leading climate assessments, reporting requisition and hiring data, collecting information for market analyses, aligning and reviewing job descriptions, converting paper files to electronic files and partnering with the compensation department to calculate and align pay equity.

“HR is never monotonous. I deal with a new project or assignment each day. It keeps me on my toes,” she says.

Marji gives many reasons why someone should consider a career in HR.

“If you’re an analytical person who enjoys problem solving and providing advice and recommendations for leaders, this is the career for you. You can go in so many different directions, like HR staff recruitment, benefits and compensation or employee relations,” says Marji. “I do what I love and I love what I do. And, I use what I learned at OU every day as an HR professional.”

Learn more about OU’s bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offered at our locations in Clinton Township and Mount Clemens at OU Macomb.

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