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Fordham @ Work: Eileen Busby


Eileen Busby

Eileen Busby, helping Fordham employees since 2005.

Eileen Busby, helping Fordham employees since 2005.

Who She Is
Benefits Manager in the Human Resources Department. From retirement plans to disability insurance, Busby is one of a staff of four who oversee benefits for Fordham’s employees.

Where She’s From
A native of New York state, Busby’s family hails from the Bronx with strong ties to Fordham. Her father, Eugene O’Brien, graduated from Fordham College Rose Hill in 1948 and from Fordham Law in 1951. Her aunt, Sister Mary Walter Santer, attended the Graduate School of Religion.

She worked in human resources at Gannett newspaper’s Journal News in Rockland County, New York. “The main difference between my job at Gannett and my work here at Fordham is that was a small HR location of a larger corporation. Most of the decisions were made at the headquarters. Here at Fordham we do everything. We’re responsible for the medical coverage, retirement accounts, working with vendors—and for handling the billing.”

Biggest Misperception of HR
“I think when people are told to call HR they feel that its not a good thing, like they’re in trouble. But we’re here to help you. It actually makes everybody’s life a lot better if employees come to us to ask questions about benefits rather than asking a co-worker. Your co-workers may have an idea, but they don’t know all the answers. There are four of us here and this is all we do.”

Getting Personal with the Personnel
“Sometimes people are hesitant to talk about personal issues at work, but, honestly, people come to us with intensely personal business on a daily basis, and confidentiality is of the utmost importance. It never leaves our office. Sometimes it’s about a serious health issue. We are trained to deal with confidential issues and be sensitive to what employees are going through.”

The Key to Good HR
“This job is about listening. Sometimes people just need to talk, but mostly they want to understand the specifics of their benefits.”

The Payoff
“My favorite part of this job is when someone comes to me with a real problem. By getting them the information they need, I feel that I’ve lifted their burden a bit—even if it’s just a little.”

The Fordham Baby Boom
“We also get to hear lots of good news around here too. People come to us when they’re purchasing houses, getting married. Babies are one of the best parts of the job. The University is experiencing a little baby boom right now. I love to hear about that—and the adoptions!”

Down Time
In the warmer months, Busby and her family get out onto the Hudson River for sailing, a pastime, which has become the subject of her photography. Several of her photographs hang in her office. She has exhibited and sold in Rockland County. In addition to shooting the sailing landscapes, she often pops into Manhattan to shoot street scenes.


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