In our last post, we shared an interview with new investigator Steve Minor. In this post, we are sharing our interview with Denise Goldner, who is another one of our EEO investigator training students who made the successful transition into EEO investigations. After completing the online training, Denise has quickly immersed herself in conducting Federal-sector EEO investigations.
EEO Investigator Denise Goldner, Investigator since early 2016
- What is your background?
I was an administrative assistant and office manager in the construction and heating and air conditioning industries – nothing related to EEO or investigations.
- Why did you decide to be an EEO Investigator? I became involved mainly because I felt I was working in a hostile work environment when I worked with a particular construction company. I left because of the hostility and, by happenstance, I was invited by an EEO vendor to help organize the incoming work, and review and package the deliverables, which were mainly EEO investigations. In doing that, I learned the ins and outs of investigations. The vendor asked if I was interested in becoming an EEO investigator, and I, of course, said yes! Shadowing an experienced investigator during an entire investigation, which included accompanying the investigator to conduct in-person interviews, accelerated my learning experience.
- Has you experience in the first year of investigating been what you thought it would be? I’ve been investigating for a year now and, to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. What I can tell you retrospectively is that it is hard work! If others are saying otherwise, that has not been my experience.
- What have been you biggest challenges as a new investigator? I had an advantage over most people entering the field because of the office support I provided to the EEO vendor before I became an independent EEO investigator. The biggest challenge for me has been getting to the point where I could increase my caseload without feeling stressed. Being well organized and creating systematic work processes are strengths that have helped me in that regard.
- What has helped you the most in your first year as an investigator? The decision not to stay with one vendor helped me a lot. Companies work differently and they also have cases from different agencies, which also helps one build a broad and diversified investigative experience. I found some EEO vendors have a tremendous support system for their investigators, which I would not have learned had I stayed with one vendor. Also, to be an independent contractor and own my own business has been a good thing for me as well. I easily work from anywhere and have a flexible schedule. That has been invaluable to me.
- What were two of the most useful features of the online training? Before I decided to go with Art of Resolution’s EEO investigator certification training, I did my research and determined Art was the best company for me. Part of my research was asking quite a number of certified investigators, who I came in contact with while working with my first vendor, who they would recommend for the 32-hour EEO investigator certification training. I was recommended to Art of Resolution. I contacted Art and received the fastest response and the most personal engagement. The responsiveness and ongoing support of the Art team has been extraordinary. In addition to the superb customer service, the actual online course teaches is easy to navigate, self-paced, and the instructor support is phenomenal. The course prepares one well for tackling the practicality of actual investigations.
- How did it help achieve/enhance your aspirations as an EEO investigator? Art’s training provided an exceptional foundation and the ongoing support has been great. For example, even though I completed the course more than a year ago, I still go back to the manual at least once per month. Everything and everyone has been very helpful and useful in my first year.
We are grateful to Steve and Denise for sharing their perspectives, and we hope those of you considering getting into this exciting field find it useful!