My educational background played a key role in shaping my path into HR. After my A-Levels, like most people I did not know what career I wanted. I studied a law degree at the University of Leicester, which is where my interest in employment law was sparked. Despite gaining a first in my degree, I decided a career in law was not for me and turned my focus towards HR.
To further enhance my understanding of HR practices and theory, I decided to study my masters degree in human resource management (HRM) at Loughborough University. This comprehensive programme provided me with a solid foundation in various HR disciplines with a focus on strategic HRM, including employee motivation, engagement and how to align HR practices with organisational goals. I continued my interest in employment law, writing my dissertation on the impact of Brexit on employment relations and HR in the UK.
Meanwhile, while studying my MSc I took a full-time FTC role as a HR assistant at Florette UK, which was where I built up my basic understanding of HR in practice and dabbled in the recruitment side. From there I moved into another HR position in an operations environment as a HR and payroll administrator, until I graduated with a distinction in HRM and gained my Level 7 CIPD qualification.
This led me to a HR advisor type role at Hello Fresh in Derby as a HR executive, which is where my experience in HR really excelled. Working in such a fast paced environment, my feet didn’t touch the floor. The team at HelloFresh are the best and so supportive.
I quickly gained a huge amount of experience from opening a new site, particularly in the employee relations and conflict management, employee engagement and also learning the importance of HR analytics and data driven decision making in practice. After eight months at HelloFresh, I gained a promotion to HR lead at the Derby site (my current role). I also took up a voluntary role as head of network within the new ambassador scheme at Generation Next, where I have met some really inspirational young professionals.
Overall, I would describe myself as ambitious, competitive yet collaborative and goal focused. I believe that my drive to continuously learn/improve and take on new challenges has helped me get to my current position. Outside of work I enjoy keeping fit, anything sports related or creative and spending time with friends and family.
The biggest challenge for me was landing my first graduate role without any experience. I think I overcame this by just persevering and eventually got my foot in the door.
Another challenge I faced which I overcame was slight imposter syndrome, which led to me sometimes lacking confidence. My confidence came through experience and by throwing myself into new challenges and situations. I have also been lucky to have a great support network to help me overcome challenges including family, friends, colleagues and my fantastic manager.
I signed up for Generation Next last year after attending the awards in the summer. I had attended other traditional networking events previously, but did not know this network for young professionals existed until I was invited, and absolutely loved it.
It is a great platform to connect with other like-minded young professionals in the region, get involved in fun events, which take out the sometimes awkward aspect of networking and to take advantage of the great learning and development opportunities you are given as a member. I am excited to see how the network develops further.
I have attended quite a few events since joining. The best one being the awards evening, which was so well organised, fun and inclusive. It was great to see so many young professionals thriving in their careers and receiving awards from the region for their inspiring achievements.
I’ve also listened to some great speakers. I attended an interesting event hosted at Nelsons in Nottingham, which included an informative Q&A from a local MP.
First and foremost, I have gained a great support network from being a member of Generation Next, particularly through the people on the ambassador team.
The events programme covers a wide range of learning and development opportunities tailored for young professionals to learn new skills and build up on existing skill sets, which I have utilised for my own career development. For example, I attended a great webinar on public speaking. I took away tips from this which I use daily in my own role.
By becoming a member of Generation Next, you can access our events programme, which comprises of networking events to help you build a professional network, and webinars that each tackle a topic to build your business knowledge and skills. You can also access coaching support through our mentoring scheme, and celebrate your achievements through our annual awards. Enquire today to join.