They value my opinion now

Julie Dawson CPHR, RSM Australia

The APC Program not only secured Julie Dawson a new job, it has raised her standing at work.

Julie Dawson, based in Perth, WA, recently secured a job with global professional services firm, RSM Australia. Julie is currently enrolled in the AHRI Practising Certification (APC) Program in Perth, where she is close to completing Unit 2. Here she talks about the impact that the APC Program has had on her confidence, and how it has helped to advance her career.

“Before I went for this new role with RSM, I had been working for a smaller, not-for-profit organisation in a lower level HR position and working towards my HR certification. It’s interesting how, since I’ve been doing the course, I’ve noticed that it has boosted my confidence and my ability to put across to an employer the credentials that I have for the role.

“The APC Program has a strong focus on strategic HR which has really made me think differently about the needs of the business, rather than just what’s good for HR. The effect of that has fed back into the way I’m treated within the organisation. By thinking and operating in a more strategic way, I have started to get more feedback from my business partners. They come to me with their concerns and they value my opinion a lot more than they used to.

“A huge benefit of the program overall has been the discussions that we have in the APC classes. These  are open facilitations for people to contribute their ideas and opinions, and share their own experiences, and that has been really invaluable.

“Reflecting on how the APC Program helped me to secure this role at RSM, when I had the interviews, I was able to talk about two things: what I have learnt about HR tools and the practical approach the APC Program adopts – and then combine that with the theoretical knowledge of HR that I had learnt during my undergraduate degree.

“There were two rounds of interviews for the job. The first one was with my immediate supervisor and the second one was in front of a panel that included the national director – which was quite pressurised. When I was asked about HR trends, I was pleased that I could answer straightaway using a degree of knowledge and insights that I hadn’t had before I’d embarked on the APC Program. My answers went down well and as a result, I got very positive feedback from the panel interviewees.

“I was also told that the HR director at RSM is encouraging the HR team to complete the APC program, so it’s good that they are already supportive of the idea that certification is good for the profession. It made me feel that that completing program already was to my advantage.

“What has particularly helped me is doing the work-based integrated report that is part of the APC Program. The one I chose to do relates to my previous employer and has involved me building a business case for changing their entire recruitment process. It’s a 4,000-word report and once it is complete, I can provide it to their executive team. By doing something like this, it provides you with the material you need to get your ideas across the line.”

Read the employer's perspective: Elizabeth Nunez FAHRI, RSM Australia