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

Let us introduce you to our current group of Fellows.

Vanessa Cavallaro headshot

Vanessa graduated with distinction from Sonoma State University in 2006, earning a BA in English. She then followed her passion for direct service through various positions with different Boys & Girls Clubs in the North Bay area until the summer of 2011 when she accepted a volunteer position for the Peace Corps in Cambodia.

From 2011-2013, Vanessa served as a Teacher Training and Youth Development volunteer in Battambang Province, Cambodia. Upon her return to America, she decided to focus her career development in the field of Human Resources.

In early 2016 Vanessa joined University of California, Office of the President as an Administrative Officer in Systemwide Employee Relations. She is eternally grateful for the role, as it taught her much about UC and brought her to the Systemwide Human Resources Fellows program, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a professionals like her who want to commit to their professional development in HR and learn more about HR Human Resources within the UC System.

As an HR Fellow, Vanessa supported Labor Relations, where she learned the basic skills of contract negotiation and administration. She currently works in Talent Management coordinating the Women’s Initiative for Professional Development Program as well as other critical Talent Development programs.

Sarah Tenenbaum headshot

Sarah is a Systemwide Human Resources Fellow currently working on projects in Talent Management. Her initial project in Talent Management provided support to UC locations as they underwent a Learning Management System upgrade, as well a critical coordination for the first ever UC People Management Conference and the development of the Systemwide Managing Implicit Bias training.

A recent graduate of the University of California, Davis, Sarah received her B.S. in Human Development and B.A. in Psychology, as well as a Minor in Human Rights. During her time at Davis, she served as a research assistant with both UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and the UC Davis Department of Human Ecology. She is thrilled to be continuing her involvement with the University through the Fellows Program at UCOP.

Through participation in the Fellows Program, Sarah is looking forward to enhancing her current skills through professional development training and gratifying her passions for teamwork, personal growth, and leadership. She will soon be receiving her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certification and aspires to continue her career in Human Resources beyond completion of the Fellows Program.

Katiria Jimenez headshot

Katiria Jimenez received her bachelor’s degree in American Studies from UC Davis in 2005 and served on the ASUCD Senate. While obtaining her bachelor’s degree, Katiria worked as an undergraduate admissions assistant from 2001-2002 and through the UC Davis work-study program, was on the Board of Editors for the UC Davis Law Review from 2002-2004.

Soon after graduating from UC Davis, Katiria delved into the legal industry as a legal intern at a law firm, while she obtained her paralegal certificate from MTI College in Sacramento. After several years working as a paralegal in the corporate world, Katiria began her career at UC, working in the UCOP Office of the General Counsel as a paralegal specialist in the Educational Affairs, Employment, and Governance group. After 5 years of service with UC, and an April 2018 celebration of 2 years as a Labor Relations Consultant, Katiria is confident that the HR Fellowship program will enable her to utilize her legal and labor relations background to continue to strengthen and expand her knowledge in Systemwide Human Resources at the Office of the President.

As a Human Resources Fellow, Katiria will split her time between Labor Relations and Employee Relations. Her time in Labor will be spent participating in bargaining and advocacy with the Chief Negotiators and Labor Relations Managers. In Employee Relations, she will review local implementation procedures for three University-wide personnel policies and assist the ER team with the biennial Systemwide employee engagement and disability surveys.

Rhommel Canrae headshot

Rhommel is a Systemwide Human Resources Fellow currently working alongside the HR Policy Unit and with the Systemwide HR Chief of Staff, Dianna Henderson. Some of his special projects include: 1) designing education materials for all UC locations pertaining to recent policy updates; 2) conducting policy research on high priority HR policies as identified by the VP-HR; 3) analyzing data on inquiries and frequency of policy matters to improve current practices and policy administration.

Rhommel joined UCOP with three prior years of service at UC Berkeley, working in academic advising for the College of Environmental Design. At Cal, he also voluntarily took on an apprenticeship role in HR, partnering with local HR professionals and taking the lead on projects pertaining to employee engagement, wellness at work, and other initiatives to impact workplace culture in the college.

Rhommel’s career over the past 10 years also spans diverse experience in leadership and direct service ranging from non-profits, health education, and student affairs in colleges and universities. Consistently through the years, he has remained passionate about working in partnership with colleagues to improve and/or innovate processes and systems that enhance the stakeholder/client experience. Rhommel aims to be one of the many champions found at the UC; not only contributing to its mission and organizational excellence, but leading in the effort to positively impact its workplace culture for all UC employees.

Rhommel hails from San Diego, California. He pursued his undergraduate studies in Sociology & Asian American studies at UC Los Angeles. He also holds a Master’s degree in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University (SFSU). Recently, he also earned a professional certificate in Human Resource Management from SFSU.

Olga Zundel headshot

Olga is a Systemwide Human Resources Fellow currently working alongside the Benefits team on the Return to Work initiative, which will involve a workflow analysis of existing disability leave policies and ultimately, the creation of a Systemwide Leave Management policy.

Prior to joining the University of California, Olga spent five and a half years at BlessingWhite, Inc., a leadership development and employee engagement consulting firm in San Francisco, where she handled all implementation responsibilities for Bay Area accounts across a wide range of industries. After working with clients to address talent management challenges of all kinds, Olga decided to apply her passion for facilitating healthy organizations to the HR field. She completed her M.S. in Human Resource development at Golden Gate University in December 2017, and is very happy to join the current Fellowship cohort. She hopes to acquire experience in a variety of HR disciplines during her time as a Fellow and to use those skills to enhance organizational employee experience in all its forms.

Olga holds a B.A. in Rhetoric from U.C. Berkeley, and a Paralegal Certificate from San Francisco State, during the process of which she interned for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and several immigration law firms.

Courtney Brown headshot

Courtney is a Systemwide Human Resources Fellow currently working alongside the Business Controls team within the Retirement Administration Service Center (RASC). Her most recent project is focused on helping to build an employee development plan that will enhance the training process for various roles within RASC.

Prior to joining the University of California, Office of the President as a Systemwide HR Fellow, Courtney graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After graduation, she began working for UC Davis Health where she held two roles working in program and project support for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and the Vice Chancellor of Human Health Sciences office, respectively. During her time at UC Davis Health, her passion for helping others achieve their best in the workplace came to fruition and she decided to shift her career to Human Resources with a focus in Talent Management.

She recently completed her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Learning and Effectiveness from the University of the Pacific and is excited to continue working for the University of California on her new career path in Human Resources through this fellowship opportunity.