"I think it was vital"
Ryan Fisher '98
Realizing that a life in laboratories likely wasn’t going to match his longer-term career goals and desire to engage with people, Ryan Fisher switched majors from chemistry to business administration at Bluffton. Now, his career is based around interacting with others.
The 1998 graduate currently serves as director of human resources at Blanchard Valley Health System (BVHS) in Findlay, Ohio. He has held that position for more than five years, but his relationship with BVHS stretches back to his college days.
As a Bluffton student, Fisher thought that human resources might be a good fit for him, so he started seeking internships before graduation. With the help of Gary Schiefer, now an associate professor of business and business department chair, Fisher was able to arrange for a voluntary internship with the BVHS human resources department.
For an entire academic quarter during his senior year, Fisher worked full time in the internship, with daily activities including recruitment, selection of new associates, worker’s compensation, leave management and other HR-related functions.
Fisher particularly enjoyed how much each day can vary when working in human resources. “I don’t like to do the same thing every day. I saw in human resources a lot of variance from day to day, and now I can testify that that’s true,” he says.
During the internship, he was provided the opportunity to manage the hiring for a number of unit secretary positions. Unit secretaries run the main desk of a hospital floor, wing or care unit, and have regular interaction with patients, visitors, staff members, volunteers and physicians. The project entailed recruiting and interviewing several future BVHS employees. “I really enjoyed being involved with the search for the right candidates,” says the Van Wert, Ohio, native. “It was a great experience.”
Although Fisher eventually wound up working for BVHS, he didn’t do so immediately after graduating from Bluffton. However, he did continue to feed his passion for HR-related work by taking an account management position at Ohio Health Group. There, he practiced client relations, customer service and physician relations to assist various employers in creating health benefit plans for their employees.
After two years with Ohio Health Group, a similar position opened at BVHS, where Fisher was quick to apply. He held that job until moving into human resources about a dozen years ago.