The SHRM Foundation provides certification scholarships for HR professionals seeking SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certifications. Applications for certification scholarships are now being accepted for the spring testing window. To apply visit the SHRM Foundation certification webpage. Deadline for submissions is Monday, December 21, 2015.

Meet Mike:

I have been a local and national member of SHRM for many years. We at Northwest Louisiana SHRM have always been very conscience of the SHRM Foundation and its work to increase knowledge of the HR professional and assist many with the expenses of sitting for exams and purchasing study materials for them. The support of the SHRM Foundation certification scholarships is something for which I have a great deal of gratitude.

Where did my HR career all start? My formal education is a bachelor’s in accounting and a master’s in computer systems. So how did HR enter the picture? I believe the business profession is still in its infancy, or maybe toddler years, understanding the role and importance of human resources. Larger institutions are more onboard but it takes time for smaller, local and regional organizations to “catch on.” It’s interesting to see managers, directors, and VP’s light bulbs light up when they are faced with new challenging personnel tasks now required due to more regulatory requirements for businesses. These issues need the attention of someone educated and trained in human resources.

Continuing with my story—back in 2000 my previous employer decided to create an HR department. I was handling payroll and accounting and computer functions and I was chosen to be the first HR director, but I kept all my payroll functions and duties. I am sure this type of story is not uncommon. My VP suggested I find a professional organization that I could join that is oriented and focused on HR. After a quick trip to the internet I found a local SHRM chapter.

I realized the importance of education and certification in human resources. That’s when I decided to test for my certification. The biggest struggle with my new position as the HR Director for my current employer is having upper management let go and trust its HR department with personnel issues. Through trust obtained from hard work, I am now a resource on employee relationship issues. So what about all that accounting education and experience? I found accounting and financials rather “easy” and not much of a challenge. People are the new challenge. It’s nothing new it’s just that organizations are now seeing that the “bottom line” is truly effected by the employees involvement in the business, not just numbers or inventory or the market. Front line HR professionals march on to continue to promote the HR profession. We do this through our dedication, professionalism and knowledge which the SHRM Foundation continues to assist individuals with just such a desire.

***Your donation to the SHRM Foundation makes an impact by helping people like Mike. Donate today



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