YOU NEED TO KNOW: Denise Smith
BY CALEB HICKS, JUNIOR/AG COMMUNICATIONS
Get to know Denise Smith, the human resources generalist for the College of Agriculture. The Eufaula, Alabama, native, who goes by the nickname “Necy,” attended Auburn University at Montgomery, where she received a degree in business administration with a management option. Growing up on a small farm with a few chickens and a small herd of cattle, she says she has always had a connection to the agriculture industry.
“My parents taught me and my siblings how to grow good crops, fish, hunt and many other life lessons,” Necy says. “I don’t believe I have ever not had a garden with fresh vegetables, eggs from a pet chicken, sweet potato cathead biscuits or homemade jelly and fig preserves—to name a few. Those are things that I truly appreciate.”
She and her family now reside in Auburn. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, trying new recipes, fishing and other outdoor activities.
What drew you to the College of Agriculture?
An opportunity for career advancement is what drew me to the College of Agriculture. I had been working as a human resources assistant for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and a position for a human resources specialist became available in the College of Agriculture’s business office. I was so excited when I received the offer for the position only a week after my interview. I have been working in the business office for 12 years now and am truly blessed to be a part of such an amazing organization.
What advice do you have for students looking to attend Auburn University and the College of Agriculture?
Auburn University is an outstanding, reputable institution, and the College of Agriculture is the true footprint of campus, in my opinion. There are so many wonderful opportunities and resources available for current and prospective students. We have the best student services department on campus. They are knowledgeable, friendly and, most of all, caring! You will be treated like family here. Come be a part of something wonderful. Call, plan a visit or make an appointment today to find out more about our diverse academic programs and majors.
What does a typical day in the office look like for you?
My favorite part of my job is the people I work with. There is no “typical” day in human resources. In my current position as a human resources generalist for the College of Agriculture and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, I am responsible for multiple human resource functions that involve employment, compensation and classification, employee relations, development and training, payroll and benefits and compliance with applicable laws, policies and procedures. So, no typical day, but never a dull moment either! My customer base consists of administrators, faculty, staff and students of the college, as well as those of AAES on campus and in outlying units across the state—truly good people.
What is your favorite Auburn tradition?
My favorite Auburn tradition is Ag Roundup—Alabama agriculture, good friends, football, fun games, entertainment and delicious food. What more could you need? It is a very special and popular event that draws many visitors to Ag Heritage Park each year. It not only gives our college a chance to spotlight agriculture and what we do, but also provides an opportunity to raise funding for scholarships. It is definitely a tradition that will never go out of style.