“This is a career transition for me, I previously worked in college athletics so I am getting this Master’s to start in HR.”
Carmen began her career in the sports admin and management field then realized she wants to work in human resources. She says, “I was growing in my previous field, gaining those skills, realizing they are really transferable, and trying to figure out where I would like for them to go.” She has always had an interest in HR as she has a passion to help people. She likes the idea of “being able to help the company but also people in general.”
After a few years of working at the University of South Carolina as an Assistant Director, she decided it was time for change but faced some difficulties in the recruitment process, “Especially with doing a career transition, it is really hard to make your resume stand out when it is not specific to the job you are interviewing for.”
Currently, she says, “I am an HR intern for a company that I really appreciate because they went off of talent” rather than purely experience. There, she is delving more into the work of an HR employee while also looking for new learning opportunities.
The 3000th Student
After hearing about Forage through her professor and went on to complete the GE Explorer Series: Human Resources Program, where she was the 3000th student to finish the program. She thought the program was “a free way to get a really good insight in 5-6 hours.”
She found “it did give you a great look into some realistic projects you would encounter working in HR.” It added to her internship experience as she got two different perspectives of what it is like to work in the field.
Carmen found the model answers really helpful as they gave her an insight into the cues she should use while communicating with a colleague. She notes, from the one assignment, “I gained some emotional intelligence to take into consideration when giving feedback.” It showed her how to ensure her words are properly received while on the job.
Another major takeaway Carmen took from the GE program was the lean methodology that is used in a lot of HR departments. She says, “I have never touched it before so anything on the basics of lean I did not know about and now, I at least understand a little bit… It was really interesting to see that it is what HR professionals would be strategizing on and how to change processes to be more efficient. ”
“I would definitely recommend Forage to anyone who wants to work in HR… if they are starting or if they haven’t done those types of things since there are different disciplines in HR.”
Advice on Career Redirection
As Carmen is in the middle of successfully changing her career towards the HR track, she reassures others that “it is completely possible… It does take real work to step outside of the industry you are currently in to try and break into a new one but it does pay off eventually.”
She continues, “You really have to work hard at changing your career path just because that’s a whole new network, a whole new skillset, and sometimes you may need to get professional help to figure out how to cater it.”
“Really try to network, be okay with asking for help, and just stay focused on it.” – and of course, find upskilling experiences like Forage!
Connect with Carmen on Linkedin here.
Follow Forage on LinkedIn here.