photo of Thomas Costello


Thomas Costello
BA, HRM & LER '19
MHRM '20

Analyst - Policies & Practices in Global HR Compliance & Policy

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Recent project: Implementing new policy management system in 30+ countries.

The value of your degree from SMLR: Achieving my Bachelors degree from SMLR opened many doors, and achieving my Masters degree helped me to step through those doors!

Any advice to current students: INTERN! Having that experience as an undergraduate will not only help you with school but gives you credibility when stepping into your first full-time role.

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Leslie Reyes
BA, LER '17
MLER '18

Employee Relations Manager
Rutgers Institutional Planning and Operations

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What does a work day look like for you?   My days vary between defending management’s disciplinary decision at a grievance hearing, interpreting contract and policy language for management, attending arbitrations for fact checks, drafting discipline, consulting with management on how to address issues that may be dictated by CBA’s, and overseeing a disciplinary tracking system.

What’s the value of your SMLR degree?    The expanded knowledge base for succeeding in my career.  The courses: Conflict Resolution, Employment Law, Workplace Violence, and Collective Bargaining, help me grasp the gravity of the issues that I deal with on a daily basis. 

Also, I have been visiting RU since I was 5. My loyalty is deep.  My mother was a custodian at RU and retired after 38 years!

photo of Thea Zaferellis


Thea Zaferellis
BA, LER & HRM '19

HR Coordinator, MJH Life Sciences

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Projects: I work on multiple HR systems based functions such as onboarding, terminations, and benefits administration. I also work on wellness initiatives: organizing flu shots, coordinating chair massages, and initiating a walking challenge to motivate our associates to lead healthier lives.  

Advice to students: Take advantage of all that SMLR has to offer! Apply to job postings and if you are offered a position, always remember what Professor Dwyer taught us: Negotiate! The transition can be difficult, so just remember that the Great Wall was not built in one day.