Passion for Human Resources: Paige Rassega’s Story

By Caitlyn Brown

For Paige Rassega — who juggles school, work and extra activities — keeping a positive mind and attitude makes life a lot more enjoyable.

Rassega, a Mineral Ridge native concentrating in human resources, was chosen as one of six students nationwide to receive the 2014 Society of Human Resource Management Foundation Undergraduate Academic Award Scholarship.

“I have always been a proponent of applying for scholarships. Financial assistance is a necessity for many college students,” Rassega said. “I am beyond grateful for receiving a SHRM Foundation scholarship. The SHRM Foundation provides young aspiring human resource professionals with the resources necessary to further our education.”

Human resources is the function within a business that focuses on employment, management and providing direction for the people who work in the organization.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is globally recognized for shaping leadership and guidance. Rassega is president of YSU’s student chapter of the SHRM.

“My favorite involvement on campus is being president of YSU’s chapter,” Rassega said. “It’s opened to all undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in HR, regardless of their major. The student chapter supports students in the newly restructured, SHRM-certified curriculum by providing leadership and professional development opportunities including the hosting of guest speakers, business site visits and individual merit opportunities.”

The student chapter of SHRM is supported by the department of management and the Western Reserve Chapter of SHRM, a local professional HR association.

The 21-year-old senior will graduate this spring, as she has already accepted a full-time position as human resources coordinator with the Brilex Group of Companies in Youngstown upon graduation. Rassega has been their human resources intern since last summer.

Rassega began her interest in human resources from her peer mentor who was assigned to her when she began her freshman year in college.

“She was pursuing her human resources degree, and she talked so highly about it. I decided to do some research and find out more information,” she said.

With an interest in pursuing a career in business already, Rassega decided that human resources was a perfect fit for her.

“I found that human resources exists as a partner to the rest of any business organization to support the achievement of business strategy,” Rassega said. “I feel that I have a strong business acumen and an interest in business performance, such as profits, growth, sustainability.”

Rassega also proved herself to be a natural collaborator in her time at YSU. Her other involvements on campus include being a peer mentor at the Center for Student Progress, a student member of the Williamson College of Business Administration Dean’s Student Leadership Council, as well as a member of the National Society for Collegiate Scholars, Sigma Alpha Lambda, Student Diversity Council and Golden Key Honor Society.

“I have enjoyed all of the opportunities that YSU offered me during my time here,” she said.

Rassega also makes contributions to the community: she is a Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mahoning Valley program.

“I was matched to my Little Sister Brianna four years ago,” she said. “Since we have been matched, her grades have improved, her attitude has changed and she is a much happier child. I believe that she has a more positive outlook on her life. Big Brothers Big Sisters is making a difference … one child at a time.”

Rassega expressed much appreciation to her role model Denise Carissimo, a human resource manager for the JMC Steel Group as well as a part-time faculty member in the department of management in the WCBA.

“She goes above and beyond the call of duty. She is an icon of guidance and leadership for students here at Youngstown State University. She has been a true advocate and mentor. She has been committed to my career development and has guided me toward the right path,” she said. “She is more than just a professor; she is a mentor, a role model, an inspiration and a friend.”

Rassega will be showing off her skills as she will be attending the 2015 SHRM Case Competition and Career Summit in Covington, Kentucky held April 24-25.

“It is wonderful to see such a dedicated organization to the field of human resources,” she said.