Human Resource Professional Day 2019 | Spotlight: Amanda Brunson

September 26 is #HumanResourceProfessionalDay. 

Every day, HR professionals positively impact the lives of employees in workplaces around the world and contribute to the business strategy that allows their organizations to compete, grow and thrive. 

We asked our bloggers to share their HR stories.

Let’s Succeed Together

In honor of National HR Professionals Day, I wanted to reflect on my time in the industry. My HR career started about five years ago when I decided to pursue a graduate degree in Human Resources at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. But with no real-life experience to relate my learning too, I struggled with understanding even the basic concepts of recruiting, selection, and retention. Then I was given an opportunity by an HR team at a local beverage distributor to begin an internship. I was finally able to apply what I was learning and it all started to make sense to me! I wanted to be fully immersed into the HR world so that I could pick up on it quickly, so then I joined a few of my classmates to re-activate the Rollins SHRM Student Chapter. Our purpose was to help students reach their professional HR Management goals through learning and networking.

From this point on, I was hooked. I participated in the HR Florida Case Competition, where I was scared to death of public speaking and refused to have a talking part. I only agreed to participate because they said I could do the behind the scenes work and just stand on the stage as the presentation was given. It’s funny to look back and see the type of person I was then compared to now. When I try to tell people how introverted I was five years ago, they don’t believe me. I tell them, just talk to my professor that I had during that first semester; she’ll vouch for me.

But that’s what I love about HR. I have found something I am passionate about and I want to put my all into it, which means, breaking out of my shell and being all that I can be.  Since entering the HR field, I:

  • Have been Secretary, President, and Advisor of the Rollins SHRM Chapter
  • Was part of a winning team at the 2015 HR Florida Student Games and Case Competition
  • Have been on the Board of Directors for the Greater Orlando SHRM Chapter serving roles consisting of SHRM Foundation, Social Media, Communications, and Marketing
  • Was accepted onto the SHRM Young Professional Advisory Council
  • Took a stab at being on the HR Florida Conference team (but had to step down for health reasons)
  • Was on the #HRFL19 Social Media Team
  • Started blogging for SHRM and created my own blog
  • Have led networking sessions at SHRM Annual
  • Have led the SHRM #Nextchat conversation
  • Have made friends from all over the world
  • Have worked for three great companies in the past five years
  • Have developed an HR department from the ground up with just a master’s degree under my belt
  • Earned my SHRM Certification
  • Have been an HR Department of One in my current job and previous job
  • Have had public speaking opportunities in front of audiences consisting of 5 people to 300 people

I don’t mean to write this to brag or boast on my career successes, but I write this to encourage other students and young professionals that you too can be successful in an HR career if you choose to make a career out of HR. I have been very lucky to have great mentors and role models in my HR career, including Ivette Dupuis, Danny Becker, Jackie Brito, and last but not least, Callie Zipple. I call them out because in a time of need, they were there for me, and they continue to be.

Callie will always be in my heart and I will always strive to make her proud, along with my other great mentors and role models. As my career continues to grow, I’ll always look towards these individuals for guidance, but I also want to give back and be able to be a mentor or role model to someone else.

So if you are reading this, and you are looking to break into HR as a student, young professional, or emerging professional, please connect with me. I would love to help you succeed the way that my mentors and role models have helped me to succeed.

Happy National HR Professionals Day, everyone!


Amanda Brunson is on Twitter at @TheHRPanda.




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