The business sector is a vast and complex field with hundreds of specific professions that operate together to allow a company, corporation or industry to run smoothly and efficiently. But as specific and particular as these professions may be, from finance to accounting to marketing, each of them benefits from knowledge in the field of human resources. Skills in human resources help you to better manage people, find employees and employers, and to mediate situations within the workplace.
With this in mind, Brock University’s Human Resource Management Association (HRMA) hosted the Lunch and Learn event on Friday, Oct. 24, in the Sankey Chambers from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They invited students to explore the HR community by listening to industry professionals discuss their experiences within the field.
The afternoon consisted of five guest speakers who gave testimony and insight into their particular fields of expertise. The speakers in order were: Cara Boese, a Talent Acquisition Manager who spoke about the importance of an online identity, specifically dealing with the social media site LinkedIn as a way to communicate with businesses; and Jodi Fitzgerald, CHRP and HR Officer for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation spoke on the progression of a career in human resources, highlighting the structure of a job in the field as well as the many tasks that human resource professionals must perform on a daily basis.
Three members of the Human Resource Professionals Association Niagara Chapter also presented, Melissa Gouveia, Chapter Relations and Member Coordinator; Director of Membership Dino Falvo; and Lisa Kuiper, Student Liason and Government Relations Director did a presentation on the possibilities and benefits associated with becoming a member of the HRPA. They discussed the importance of increasing the abilities of the HR professionals, putting an emphasis on the importance of networking and how to set yourself apart while still being a valuable and marketable commodity.
“We are here to connect students with professionals in the industry of human resources. It doesn’t matter what industry they are in, they are going to need HR skills,” said Alyssa Waldes, President of the HRMA. “This is why the HRMA chose to have this event open to all students in any year or study, not just business students.”
For those in the business program, the HRMA is always looking for new individuals to get involved in the realm of human resources.
“The benefit of being a member is that we have the ability to connect with industry professionals, as well as offering a forum to practice and explore the skills associated with human resources,” said Waldes.
The Lunch and Learn finished with a half an hour of designated networking, allowing students to approach the guest speakers and further discuss the topics that were presented in the seminar. Kuiper and Fitzgerald shared their thoughts on some of the difficulties within the human resources profession, both agreeing that an HR representative must always be proactive and have considerable interpersonal skills. Conflict resolutions, analyzing personal documents and finding the right people for the right job are all in a day’s work for an HR professional, and it becomes readily apparent that the profession has an abundance of layers, requiring much more skill than most people think.