From intern to full time employee

It’s summer 2018, and Mai Xiong is working as an intern at SICK in the HR department. Little did she know that this was the beginning of her SICK career. Working on the talent acquisition side, she enjoyed the amount of opportunity and impact she had on the company.

Fast forward to today, and this is still Mai’s favorite part of her work at SICK as a full-time employee.

Mai pursued another opportunity after her summer internship, but took the offer to join SICK full time when the HR manager reached out to her.

“I decided to jump on it because the company is great. I had the opportunity to grow and advance as well,” Mai said. “[SICK] provides these opportunities along with amazing people. The industry is complex yet challenging.”

Working as an HR Specialist in the Compliance and Safety area, she’s very active on the technical side. In addition to initiating background checks and ensuring employees’ confidential information is secure, she’s also checking in with employees to make sure they have the right resources.

For example, when an employee’s workday takes them to a customer site, it’s Mai making sure that the experience is safe and compliant for both SICK employees and customers. And this wouldn’t be possible without a wonderful team.

“The HR team is phenomenal. We work well with each other, and it’s really cohesive,” Mai said. “We have each other’s backs and [we’re] helping the company grow together. We work on one goal together to make the company strive, too.”

College years

Mai started at St. Cloud State University pursuing a nursing degree. But when she felt it wasn’t the right fit, she turned to studying Human Resource Management. That way she could still pursue people-centered work focused on getting to know and working with other people.

A battle with Lupus took Mai out of school during her third year, but she completed her degree at Metro State.

“[It was an] interesting journey, but it changed me for the better,” Mai said.

All fun and games

Outside of the office, you can catch Mai playing board games, particularly Sequence and Settlers of Catan.

“Those games get my mind going and I get really competitive,” Mai said.

If the board games are tucked away, she’s got her chef hat on—her specialty is soup and egg rolls, and she’s excited to expand her cooking beyond Asian food. She also loves to bike and can’t wait for her baby girl to be old enough to be her biking partner! Speaking of…

From intern to full time employee to brand new mom!

“First baby, first time mommy! [I have a] good time looking at her and watching her grow,” Mai said of her now almost one-year-old, born February 2021.

“A little change makes me happy.”

And how does Mai incorporate this little bit of change into her life? Fun hair color! Mai’s naturally blonde hair already stands out in her Hmong culture, but she likes to take it a step further by dying it. She’s rocking purple tresses as of December 2021, but we’ll see where she lands on the color wheel in 2022.

Words of wisdom

With her grit through college and success at SICK, it doesn’t seem like Mai’s younger self would need any advice. But if she did, this is what full-time employee Mai would tell intern Mai.

“[There’s] a lot of noise—what I mean by noise is there’s a lot of comments, people who are rooting for you, people who can take advantage of you, but you pick the people who support you,” Mai said.” You ultimately choose what you take in and learn, [so] take in the positivity. Life is too short. You just have to take the positivity and live life to the fullest.”