Business Graduate Brings Servant Leader Mindset to Human Resources Career

May 7, 2020 | Features, Graduate News, News, UToday, Business and Innovation
By Joe Bellfy

When Carley Palmer is sitting across from someone as a recruiter and getting to know them, she is truly in her element.

The human resource management major has developed that passion throughout her time at The University of Toledo, and she will join Owens Corning’s human resources team after receiving her bachelor’s degree in business administration May 9.

Graduation Cap

CELEBRATING SUCCESS: During this time when we cannot come together to celebrate our graduates, UToledo is recognizing the Class of 2020 with a series of feature stories on students who are receiving their degrees. Help us celebrate our newest UToledo alumni. Visit to share a message of support to graduates and come back online Saturday, May 9, to take part in the virtual commencement ceremony.

In addition to its beautiful campus, Palmer chose UToledo on the strength of its student organizations and found her place in the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. While she started as a nursing major, she discovered a niche for herself when meeting and developing new members for the organization — where she ultimately served as vice president for recruitment.

“I took a tour of UToledo and fell in love,” Palmer said. “I knew right away I wanted to be involved in Greek life. Alpha Omicron Pi taught me a lot about servant leadership, and I wouldn’t have found my career path without that experience.”

Palmer’s resumé includes a broad set of experiences that have paralleled her work in the classroom. As part of the Klar Leadership Academy in 2019, she learned the importance of aligning the complementary skills of classmates and colleagues.

“Being involved with Klar really taught me how important it is to work as a team,” Palmer said. “I learned that when working toward a common cause, my strengths will offset others’ weaknesses and vice versa.”

She began learning some of the basic principles of human resources during an internship with MaritzCX, a customer experience and research company. There, she saw how critical it is to recruit the best people and how high employee turnover rates can devastate productivity.

Carley Palmer in front of Owens Corning sign

An internship with Owens Corning led Carley Palmer to a full-time position at the company’s world headquarters in Toledo after she graduates with a bachelor’s degree in human resource management.

During an internship with Owens Corning the following summer, she connected what she learned in class with real-time assignments at one of the company’s facilities in Aiken, S.C.

“That was one of my most challenging, yet rewarding experiences,” Palmer said. “One project was to create a training program that would get approved by the employees’ union. I actually used a proposal developed in class to help develop the program, and it resulted in a pay increase for people. To see that impact makes me excited to join the profession.”

Palmer will begin a three-year rotational development program at Owens Corning’s world headquarters in Toledo this summer.

She is one of the 2020 recipients of the Student Pacemaker Award, the College of Business and Innovation’s highest honor that recognizes individuals for outstanding achievement in business as well as contributions to the community.

“Carley has been an amazing, resourceful and driven student since she came to the College of Business and Innovation,” said Alison Devolder, a co-worker of Palmer’s in the Business Career Programs office, where she has worked part time since 2017.

“She has been able to easily translate her passion for human resource management and marketing to the benefit of the office. I am excited for her as she journeys on to what I know will be a bright future.”

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