What role do you currently hold in your organization?
I am currently a senior recruiter with SC&H Group. I work closely with hiring managers to fill technical and experienced roles across the firm, as well as support the firm’s college recruiting efforts by attending on-site career fairs and meeting with potential interns and entry-level candidates in close coordination with the HR team.
What are some of the challenges you have faced in your job search journey?
My biggest challenge in applying for positions was my lack of corporate HR experience. I stumbled into HR after experiencing a few different career paths and someone decided to take a chance on me. After that, I never looked back! One of the biggest reasons that I decided to return to school for my master’s degree and pursue the PHR and SHRM-CP certifications was because of the encouragement and support I received from two of my previous managers.
Why did you choose Towson University’s Professional in Human Resources Course?
I am very familiar with Towson University! I am a graduate student pursuing my master’s in human resource development at TU and have successfully completed two semesters. Since my undergraduate degree is in business administration, it was important for me to pursue the PHR and SHRM-CP certifications for my own personal knowledge, but to also build credibility as a subject matter expert within my network and among my colleagues. Both certifications are highly respected in the HR profession and make me a more desirable candidate for senior level positions within my field.
Which certification exam did you prepare for and how helpful was your instructor in preparing you for the exam?
I prepared for the PHR and SHRM-CP exams. My professor Jen Stano, who also happens to be the director of talent management and total rewards at Towson University, was instrumental to my success for this prep course and in passing the exams. Jen went above and beyond in answering questions during class and via email when I reached out. She also took the time to get our input on how the class sessions were being held and was open to recommendations. Jen even sent me a good luck email and followed up with me after each of my exams to see how it went. Her support has been invaluable! I enjoyed working with her and hope to have her as an instructor within my HRD program in the spring.
Did you pass the exam?
Yes, I passed both the PHR and SHRM-CP exams—on the first try—within one week of one another in mid-July, after completing the Professional in Human Resources Prep Course on July 7.
How will your new HR certifications help advance your career?
Earning the PHR and SHRM-CP certifications has helped build my confidence as an HR professional and has given me credibility to be viewed as a subject matter expert among my colleagues and peers. These certifications will also make me a more desirable candidate for senior level positions, especially after I receive my master’s degree, and open the door to many different HR opportunities in the future. I am excited to see where my career will take me!
What would you say to someone who is on the fence about taking our course?
Ask yourself these two questions:
- What do I hope to achieve in taking this course?
- Do I have the time available to commit to studying the material?
I decided to take the prep course specifically in preparation for the PHR and SHRM-CP exams. I know the material was dense and that I needed help in breaking down the content and understand the types of questions the exams would be asking. The course outline broke the content down in a way that was easy to understand, kept me on track, and accountable for reading the material. If you are like me and are using this course to pass the HRCI or SHRM exams, make sure that you have the time available to commit to studying. I opted to take the 8-week prep course and schedule my SHRM-CP certification exam one week and PHR certification exam two weeks out from completion. This way the information was still fresh in my mind and if I did not pass, I could make notes of where I needed to improve for next time.
Anything else you want to add?
Returning to school for my master’s degree and being at Towson University has had such a positive impact on my life following the height of COVID-19. I enjoy being on campus, interacting with my professors, and attending classes (even after a long day at work). I have met many new friends through my program and expanded my professional network. The prep course helped me achieve one of my personal and professional goals, and it was not an easy goal to achieve, especially on the first try!