|Sociology, Human Resource Management|
|Engineering and manufacturing / HR, recruitment and training|
|Large business (250+ employees)|
Like this profile?
Add this profile to your favourites so you can return to it later from your account.
A day in the life of a HR Officer in the United Kingdom
Always do what you can't
What I do
At Arla Foods, I sit within the UK's HR Operations team, as part of a wider global matrix. I am currently responsible for a range of learning and development operations in the UK Home Office, with some Supply Chain cross-over. I am joint project lead on 'Learning Week' 2018; analysing local learning needs; forming a project management team; and overseeing the process from planning stages through to execution. I am also responsible for working towards embedding a culture of contiunous learning and development within the business; where I am currently co-ordinating & delivering 'lunch and learn' workshops as part of this goal. A third main responsibility is that of owning the new 'Welcome to Arla' day-long inductions. I am part of the 'WTA Training Team'; delivering these sessions to new starters, whilst also working closely with the global team to ensure consistent operational excellence.
Skills I use and how I developed them
Organisational Skills - I have always described myself as organised, but my skills have developed in this area through studying at York (my dissertation in particular taught me to be very disciplined in time management). I've also become more organised through a training course at work based on prioritisation and productivity.
Analytical Skills - For my MA dissertation I used mixed methods. I had to upskill myself in analysing quantitative data through SPSS (which was a real challenge to begin with). I am glad that I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and developed skills in this area. Through work, I have become more analytical through taking a number of training opportunities in the form of excel/data program workshops.
Communication and Networking - I have definitely developed this skill the most through starting my career. As learning and development contact for the UK, I often communicate with colleagues in different countries, and also my UK colleagues within a range of different departments. Pushing myself to network more at university is something which I think would have helped me when initally faced with this role.
What I like most
I love the communication side of my role. I would describe myself as very creative, and I really enjoy designing posters/email content/logos that advertise upcoming learning opportunities. I also like to help out other departments with these tasks where possible.
What I like least
I would probably describe my least favourite part of the role as the admin side of things. I prefer to think creatively and work on new and exciting projects. I have recently worked closely with the global HQ in order to reduce my admin responsibilities through more efficient use of existing systems.
What surprised me most
What surprised me most was my ability to jump into the deep end and survive! If someone was to tell me exactly the types of things that I would be doing in my first full-time role, I would have been full of self-doubt and avoided applying for the position. I now feel as though I can push myself and succeed, even when in doubt.
My career goals when I graduated
I wanted to start my career in Human Resources, and expected to be successful in a HR Administration/Assistant role, due to lack of experience.
My career history
2012-2013: Waitress - Black Horse Restaurant
2014-2015: Waitress - Ed's Easy Diner
2014: YSIS (Teaching Placement) - St Mary's Primary School
2015-2017: Receptionist/Customer Relations - Hatfields Jaguar
2015: Reception/Admin Work Experience - Remploy
2016: Human Resources Work Experience - ASDA
2017: HR Officer (Current Position) - Arla Foods
What has helped my career to progress
My MA was accredited by the CIPD (Level 7). This gave me practical skills needed for a career in human resources e.g. negotiaion, interviewing, training, strategic planning, downsizing conversations etc.
Courses taken since graduation
IGD Fast Track to FMCG - This is a course which has introduced me to the industry. I have gained knoweldge about 'Fast Moving Consumer Goods' organisations and future trends to be aware of. This has helped me in designing a training plan for our upcoming learning week.
How my studies have helped my career
Theoretical and practical knowledge/skills in the area of human resources.
What surprised me about my career so far
How flexible the organisation is in terms of personal development and elements of my role which I want to develop in the most.
Where I hope to be in 5 years
I don't have a specific 5 year plan. I like to push myself to develop personally, and put aside time each week to read/reasearch/listen/watch/learn all sorts of different skills/information relevant to my industry/role/interests. I find that through doing this and pursuing areas of work which I am really passionate about, I will be in the best place in terms of my career in 5 years time.
My advice to students considering work
Really prepare the best you can for interviews and assessments. The opportunity is likely to only come around once and being prepared and confident is definitely crucial. I'd also say though, try to remain calm and relaxed because this will really help you through. However, if you aren't successful, try not to be too disappointed for too long! You will work things out and hopefully come across a great opportunity that you may not have ever considered otherwise. Stay confident!
My advice about working in my industry
FMCG's move at a very fast pace (as I'm sure most other industries are also doing!) It's important to think creatively and set aside time to come up with new ideas for the future and how you see your role developing. If this sort of planning isn't explicitly in your position description, then be confident and speak with your manager. You could really add some inspiration and brilliant ideas/results to your organisation if you speak up, and 9 times out of 10 you will get the support if you air your views and think about innovative new ideas.
Ask as many questions as possible, to as many people as you can. Especially at the beginning of your career! It's so important to network with others in your organisation, even if you don't work directly with them - you're bound to be able to ask for a favour in the future if you make connections as soon as you can.
Please feel free to contact me - I'm happy to answer any questions.
If you like the look of Becki’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Becki a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Becki to be your mentor.