Career connections

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 12:10pm

Human Resource Management program bridges the gap between academic and professional business environments

Rafael C
►'Time is life': Professor of organizational behaviour Rafael Chiuzi leads an HRM panel discussion at Deerfield Hall, UTM. | photos by SJ Silva 

“As future professionals at the beginning of your careers, I believe that the way you use and manage your time is one of the most powerful abilities you can develop right now,” said Rafael Chiuzi, professor of organizational behaviour.

Chiuzi was the keynote speaker and served as the panel moderator during a packed Human Resource Management (HRM) information session for UTM undergraduate students, facilitating a discussion that provided insight on the current state and the future of human resource management.

He began by commending students for their attendance and interest in the field, and went on to share his career journey with them, as well as what drives him.

“As a professor and a researcher, the one thing that really excites me is to try and make people’s lives at work better; to make their time count.”

The session featured a panel of HR professionals, who talked about the unique challenges and opportunities in human resources and who also touched upon the topics of networking, hiring and the importance of workforce communication.

The first of five panelists was Rafael Lopes, a human resources manager with Scotiabank, a role that requires him to focus on employer relations and the legal aspects that come with broad restructuring projects.

“HR is the moral compass of the company,” he said. “People look to us to make the right decision.”

Echoing a similar sentiment, Iqra Ajaz, an HR analyst with Peel Children’s Aid Society spoke about the hiring process and the importance of doing background checks to ensure the onboarding of the right people.

“If someone has stolen from the company you need to take immediate action and to set the tone for other employers that this is not right.”

Developing your career in HR: personal reflections on networking
panelists Networking is an essential part of career growth and development. Building a strong, supportive network is key to navigating career pivots and transitions.

Like many of the students sitting before her wondering about the next step to a fulfilling career, Michelle McNabb, a recent Management graduate, remembers being in their shoes.

“I decided to take the MGT480H5S Management and Commerce Internship Course, and I thought, why not try HR as well. I knew I wanted to work with people and I figured this would be a great opportunity.”

McNabb, a snowboarding enthusiast, described a fateful networking event she attended at UTM where she met her current manager.

“I learned very quickly about the advantages of networking because I got an offer not too long afterwards,” said McNabb, now a recruiter at Career Edge Organization.

Tomike Babajide, an employment resource consultant at Youth Employment Services and also a recent Management graduate, talked about the importance of networking and how the Department of Management's Professional Development & Learning Centre (PDLC) was instrumental in helping her make those necessary connections.         

UTM undergraduate Paul Di Ginosa got his first “real” job in HR consultancy.

“It was a very exciting experience because it’s more about the business of HR rather than the practice of HR.”

But after two years in consulting Di Ginosa, now an HR generalist with Canadian Bearings, decided it was time to move away from strategy and to focus more on building a foundation.

“I got some advice early on: you should generalize first and specialize later and that’s what I decided to do.”

Another tidbit of advice from Di Ginosa: know yourself, know your skills and know how to market yourself.

►HR panelists (T-B): Rafael Lopes, Iqra Ajaz, Michelle McNabb, Tomike Babajide and Paul Di Ginosa.  

For more information, visit the Human Resource Management site to learn more about the program.

About HRPA

The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) is Canada’s HR thought leader and the largest HR association in the country. In Ontario, HRPA regulates the HR profession and issues the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation, the national standard for excellence in human resources management.

HRPA has more than 19,000 members in 28 chapters and hosts the largest annual HR conference in Canada. Completion of HRPA’s certification process confers the right to use the title Certified Human Resources Professional.

Visit HRPA’s website for more information about certification requirements.