- Photo by Nora Lewis
As vice president of Human Resources & Administration for Dassault Systèmes Simulia Corp., an industry-leading developer of Realistic Simulation solution technology, Denise Hempe is often asked for advice from job seekers, especially in this difficult economy.
Without hesitation, the former English major suggests networking—reaching out to professional and academic contacts who are well-placed in their fields and asking for assistance. Hempe’s recommendation is based on years of professional, as well as personal, experience.
“Once I decided to pursue a human resources career, I obtained a Certificate in Human Resources Management from Bryant University. I needed to get my foot in the door and told my instructors that I was willing to work in any part of the field. When one of them received a call from GTECH’s compensation manager, he recommended me for an interview.”
That meeting began Hempe’s distinguished career in global human resources with multinational companies. In her current role, she oversees the development and execution of human resources strategies, plans, and programs.
To help others benefit from her experience and her extensive network, Hempe serves on URI’s Women’s Development Council, which is designed to help the advancement of current students and alumni. “I feel passionate about helping women advance. The council’s events help young women practice their networking skills. It has gotten better for women in the corporate world, but can still be hard.”
Hempe is also registered as a mentor through URI’s MentorNet, a complimentary Career Services program through which alumni can query a database to identify fellow graduates they can contact for career advice or help with networking.
“I’m surprised I have only been contacted once through that program,” says Hempe, who welcomes contact from alumni through MentorNet, LinkedIn, or other avenues. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without URI. I’ve found great companies to work for and enjoy ‘paying it forward’ to help others who need guidance.”
—Maria V. Caliri ’86, M.B.A. ’92