There are lots of things that university teaches you outside of what you learn during your lectures, seminars and contact hours. How to make £17 stretch until your next maintenance loan drops, for instance. Or how to make a square meal using only spare cereal, instant noodles and everything in your fridge that’s nearing its expiration date. These are skills you will inevitably need in later life, and many of them also prepare you quite handily for the world of work.
If you’re the glue the holds your student house together, the star of the seminar, or the belle of your society, you may want to consider an HR graduate job. If you’re a people person, it’s an awesome place to start your career, with all kinds of places you can continue on to later. And the best part is, you already have a natural aptitude for it. Let us explain.
People defer to you when it’s time to choose a week night to go out. You pick the restaurant, the pre-drinks playlist and the house Netflix series. And you know why? Because you’re a safe pair of hands that always gets it right. That’s precisely the kind of person that is needed in human resources.
HR employees make lots of decisions for a company, ranging from who to hire to how to resolve a dispute between employees. So the kind of critical thinking you show at university is perfect for weighing the pros and cons of an event, and then make a decision.
By day, you’re the beacon of your society’s exec committee. By night, you’re making a rota for the washing machine and alphabetising your pencil case. If you’re even half as organised as this, you’ll thrive in an HR graduate job.
Human resource employees handle lots of paperwork related to hiring, firing, and various employee benefits and attend lots of meetings. They’re the gatekeepers if you will. All this information can give you a brain-ache, so it’s important to stay on your toes and keep it – and your schedule – accessible and in order.
You’re the referee in the group chat and the first port of call when there’s a kitchen dispute. You don’t just make the law. You are the law.
You’ll hear a number of conflicts between your fellow employees in an HR graduate job, and eventually you’ll learn how to resolve them. Negotiation and mediation are the key here. Just like when your friends disagree, you need to listen to both sides if you hope to resolve the issue in a respectful and appropriate way.
You really can’t get way with not being a good communicator at university, nor can you in the heady world of human resources. Whether it’s your lecturers, your group project buddies or your housemates, being clear and straight with them is good practice for the workplaces.
Working in human resources means you will have to communicate effectively with people from the top of a company right to bottom and everywhere in between. That includes verbally and in writing, while also being a good listener. You’re going to be the first port of call when it comes to company policy.
Other than that, you’ll need strong communication skills to conduct interviews and give presentations. But after honing your interpersonal skills by making impassioned speeches to your housemates on which is the best Stranger Things kid, it’ll be a breeze – trust us.
University is the time when people stop doing things for you and you have to learn to do it yourself. If you relish that autonomy and you’re able to maintain your quality of life at university by staying organised, you’ll take to HR like a duck to water.
Human Resources is all about self-starters and positive people who take the initiative to solve problems. It’s a tough job, but it’s hella rewarding and the skills you already have from university will see you off to a great start.