What is it?

The Systemwide HR Fellows program is part of a multidimensional Talent Management strategy designed to attract and develop highly capable, competitive and career-focused individuals, thus creating a pipeline of exceptional talent familiar with University's Human Resources operations and the Systemwide HR Office's foundational areas: Compensation, Talent Management, Labor Relations, HR Policy, HR Compliance, Pension Operations, Employee Relations, and Benefits.

As part of the two year program, Fellows will work on assignments designed to enhance current skills, provide practical work experience, and foster in-depth knowledge of the different units within Human Resources. With additional emphases placed on Systemwide impact, organizational visibility, multi-unit involvement and clear deliverables, these assignments also afford unique opportunities to grow Fellows' professional networks and expand their portfolios.

Upon completion of the program, Fellows will be assessed for opportunities with HR.

Who should apply?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in establishing a career in Human Resources
  • Seeking exposure to new HR disciplines and areas of interest
  • HR professionals looking for career growth opportunities
  • Recent UC graduates (undergraduates or graduate) in business/finance, law or other related field

In addition to evidence of high achievement, Fellows are expected to demonstrate characteristics such as: analytical thinking, self-motivated, risk-taking, and the ability to build relationships and credibility.

Can I apply?

The current program cycle is fully staffed, but new applicant windows will open in the future. In the interim, please contact hrfellows@ucop.edu for more information.

Meet our current Fellows

Learn more about us through our newsletter:
The Fellows Tribune (May–June 2020)

Let us introduce you to our current group of Fellows.

Sameer Farooq headshot

Sameer is a Systemwide Human Resources Fellow currently working within Systemwide Executive Compensation. He is undertaking projects such as the Executive Compensation Ticketing System, the 2019 SMG Salary Research Report and the Item Log Project. He previously completed his first rotation in Labor Relations, where he worked on Step 3 Grievance Responses, legal memos, compensation reports and contract research reports. He was also involved in Systemwide bargaining sessions and Systemwide Labor Relations Manager meetings. As a member of the 2019 Systemwide HR Institute Planning Committee, he assisted in the career networking activities for the institute. Similarly, he was able to participate and assist in the 2019 People Management Conference as well. Sameer is again participating as a member of the 2020 Systemwide HR Institute Planning Committee; he will primarily assist with the conference sponsorship and the Networking Hub. In 2020, Sameer will start his journey into Toastmasters International, where he will aim to polish his public speaking and leadership skills.

Sameer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a concentration in Public Administration from Bloomsburg University. He then completed a Dual Master’s program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Master of Arts in Employment and Labor Relations and a Master of Science in Health Services Administration. Prior to becoming a Systemwide HR Fellow with University of California Office of the President, Sameer worked as a Healthcare Recruiter at Virginia Hospital Center located in Arlington, Virginia. In his time there he was a key player in recruiting top tier healthcare professionals in both the clinical and non-clinical divisions.

Sameer enjoys playing and watching sports, traveling, eating and spending time with family and friends. He plans to continue to learn and further develop his Human Resources competencies as a Systemwide HR Fellow.

Sameer's LinkedIn Profile

Michaela James headshot

Michaela, having just completed her rotation with the UC Retirement Administration Service Center (RASC), is now working in Systemwide Employee Relations as her next rotation. One of the projects she is involved in is UCOP’s Affirmative Action Plans (AAP). The AAP Project consists of assisting in preparing and reviewing the AAP for compliance with federal regulations. Additionally, the AAP project includes conducting an internal audit/assessment of personnel practices, recruitment and outreach activities. She is also supporting the Paid Family Leave Committee, as well as responding to incoming PPSM 70 and Article 33 Grievances. She also attended her first CUCSA meeting in March 2019 at UC Merced. Overall, she is very excited to be working with the Employee Relations team.

In her previous rotation, she worked with the Business Controls team in RASC. She implemented a Welcome Plan checklist to be used by supervisors and managers to track all the necessary actions that must be completed before and during the first 45 days of onboarding a new hire, thus streamlining the new hire process. Furthermore, she created a checklist for new hires themselves, through which they could view the orientations and trainings they must attend within their first month. She also worked closely with the Disability team on various projects pertaining to the processing of disability requests and special retirement requests. In addition to working closely with RASC, Michaela was a part of the 2019 Systemwide HR Institute planning committee, as well as the 2019 UC People Management Conference planning committee. Additionally, Michaela is a part of the 2020 Systemwide HR Institute planning committee, where she is leading the social networking team and working on the teacher recruitment team.

Prior to joining the HR Fellows Program, Michaela held a four year position in the Compliance department of her previous company. During her time there she gained experience in customer service, leadership, project management, grievance resolution, data analysis, onboarding and training. Her duties required her to work both independently as a self-starter but also as a leader within her team.

Michaela graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2013 from Fresno State University with a B.A. in English Literature. Additionally, she is an Oakland native who is fond of reading, writing, walking around Lake Merritt, trying new restaurants and collecting vintage fashion. She is very happy to be a part of the Fellows Program and is looking forward to her future with the University of California.

Michaela's LinkedIn Profile

Aafia Ali Khan headshot

Aafia is a Systemwide Human Resources Fellow currently working in Systemwide Talent Management. Her current projects involve assisting with Executive Recruitment & Search, improving the user experience for the Executive Search Firm Usage Report, as well as assisting in the development of a change management and communication strategy for the implementation of the updated UC Core Competency model.

During her recently finished first rotation, in Systemwide HR Policy, Aafia developed a refresher PowerPoint on PPSM (Personnel Policies for Staff Members) 30 – Compensation to assist locations with 2018 policy updates; conducted an analysis of local procedures of PPSM 23- Performance Management; and updated Employment Agreement Templates.

As a fellow, Aafia is a part of the 2020 Systemwide HR Institute Planning Committee, contributing to the Marketing/Communications team, as well as the Networking team. She served in the same capacity for the 2019 Systemwide HR Institute. She also participated and assisted in the 2019 People Management Conference.

Aafia earned her B.S. in Psychology from UC Riverside. At UCR, she was a Leadership Pathway Program Fellow, where she learned about the foundations of leadership, leadership across different social and cultural contexts, and had the opportunity to shadow various senior leaders. Prior to joining UCOP, Aafia worked as a recruiter for a behavioral health company. Through the HR Fellows Program, Aafia is excited to continue her association with the UC system. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, lettering and learning new languages

Aafia's LinkedIn Profile

Davontae Foxx-Drew headshot

Davontae is a Systemwide Human Resources Fellow who completed his first rotation in HR Compliance, Reporting and Analytics. Currently, he is the Fellow for Staff Compensation. Davontae has had the opportunity to take on projects such as the Compliance Assessment for the I-9 Tracker System, optimization review to improve the Family Member Eligibility Verification (FMEV) and Data Integrity Reporting for Staff Compensation. In his current rotation for Staff Compensation, Davontae has completed projects such as a UC Compensation Support Matrix, UC Systemwide Compensation vs. Local Compensation Roles & Responsibilities document and Data Integrity Reports Highlighting Salary Range adjustments for UC Employees.

He is also a member of the 2020 Systemwide HR Institute Planning Committee, in which he is the lead designer for the website, co-designer for the mobile application and co-lead for the marketing & communications team. Additionally, he participated in the 2019 People Management Conference as one of the event photographers.

Davontae was born and raised in Compton, California. He is a first generation college graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in African American Studies with a minor in Anthropology. Prior to becoming a Systemwide HR Fellow, Davontae has had a rich and diverse professional work experience in education, research, healthcare and non-profit sectors. Most notably, Davontae is a published researcher in the New England Journal of Medicine for his key contributions in recruiting and project planning for the Cluster-Randomized Trial of Blood Pressure Reduction in Black Barbershops.

Davontae is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. and is a distinguished graduate from the Alpha Leadership Academy, Omicron Class. With his interest in human-centered design, an approach towards problem solving, he aims to use those methodologies to enhance systems within UC, as he continues to learn and further develop his knowledge in Human Resources. Davontae looks forward to becoming a future stakeholder, transformative leader and champion here at the University of California.

Davontae's LinkedIn Profile