SHRM Foundation Annual Conference Scholarship Testimonial: Jonathan Dearmond


In 2015, the SHRM Foundation awarded SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition scholarships to HR professionals from each of the five regions of the U.S.—the Northeast, Southeast, North Central, Southwest Central and the Pacific West. Jonathan DeArmond was the North Central award recipient and attended the SHRM 2015 Annual Conference and Exposition.

Indiana state government employee, Jonathan DeArmond, began a career in HR to provide for his growing family.

Meet Jon:

My road to becoming an HR professional was a bit untraditional. My first attempt at college out of high school was not successful. I didn’t have a shred of drive in me at that time. I wound up bouncing around service industry jobs and found myself a shift manager at a local diner.

One day I woke up and realized I would be stuck in restaurant management for the rest of my life if I didn’t make a change. Motivated by the birth of my daughter and the need to support my new family, I enrolled in school and started working toward the business degree I started seven years earlier. I went to school during the day, delivered pizza in the evening, and stayed up studying late into the night. After two internships my senior year, I graduated in December 2013 with a 3.58 program GPA, and a month later I received a job offer for the position I was targeting. When I look back, I am proud of the obstacles I have overcome to be where I am now. I also look forward to the challenges that lie ahead as I get where I want to go.

I am very interested in any certification preparation I can attend. Obtaining the SHRM-CP is one of my short term goals. Also, the HR Generalist series would prove very beneficial. I am currently in a generalist role for the State of Indiana and that series could provide valuable learning I could put to work immediately. Going through the list of concurrent sessions for the Annual Conference I see many interesting options. I am very interested in the personal and leadership development sessions.

Currently, I have a mortgage, car payment, bills, student loan debt, before and after school care, and a wife still in school. Long story short without this scholarship going to the annual conference, the Indiana conference, and any SHRM-CP prep is financially not an option for the foreseeable future.

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