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Darla Moore School of Business

MHR and undergraduate alumna excels in Honeywell human resources

Moore School alumna Kendall Smith (’16 human resource management and supply chain, ’17 MHR) drives influential results as a senior human resources generalist at Honeywell, a Fortune 100 company that invents and manufactures technologies to address tough challenges linked to global macro-trends.

Smith recently relocated from Honeywell’s defense and space hub in Clearwater, Florida, to an office in Atlanta, Georgia. She is now a partner for the performance materials technology business, and is currently supporting the United States, Canada and Mexico for Honeywell’s Process Solutions group.

“I partner closely with my business leaders to support our business and provide proactive solutions to challenges we face,” Smith said. “We have a constant conversation about our people, and ensuring we have the right leaders in place so the business can succeed”

Smith began her career at Honeywell as a human resources intern during summer 2017 while she was enrolled in the Moore School’s Master of Human Resources program. She said that the internship was the perfect opportunity to find out if the company was the right cultural fit for her as well as what area of human resources she was most interested in as she prepared to graduate in December 2017.

“Internships are essential to give you the opportunity to use what you learn in the classroom and apply it to real-life situations,” Smith said. “I knew from my internship that Honeywell was the right fit for me, and it allowed me to build connections to help set me up for success in my first role and for future positions.”

From her internship, Smith was hired as a human resources project manager and executive care partner but was quickly promoted to her current role after one year and three months at Honeywell. 

Utilizing the skills she learned through the Moore School’s MHR program like business acumen, human resources fundamentals, executive presence and business communication in her everyday work, Smith said the technical knowledge and professional presence she gained from the Moore School have helped her excel at Honeywell.

Smith emphasized the positive influence the MHR program had on her career through the professional development opportunities as well as her coursework and hard skills.

“USC opened doors and opportunities that I would not have been exposed to otherwise,” Smith said. “The professors gave me constant feedback and challenging opportunities that shaped the type of leader I have become and the confidence to take on experiences outside my comfort zone.”

Having been exposed to a variety of companies through the MHR program, Smith advises students to, “look at any opportunity or experience as a learning opportunity — be the person to say yes because regardless of the outcome you will learn something new.”

Smith took her own advice when she met Honeywell at an information session they held for MHR students. She was interested in the company because of the opportunity it presented her to gain experience in a variety of industries. After interviewing with Honeywell, she said she “knew it was the right fit.”

Smith said she encourages current human resources students to seek internships, consulting projects and anything else that will challenge them and give them deeper insights into the field.

“Step out of your comfort zone,” she added.

Grateful for the people that she met through the MHR program, Smith said that the Moore School encourages students to balance academics, real world experience and fun.

“The students in my MHR program became a family, and the connections I made from my time at USC are not just professional contacts but friends that will be in my life for years to come,” Smith said.

-Erin Mooney

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.