A Career in Personnel Management

From the moment I graduated from high school, I worked full-time while taking courses at my local community college. Throughout my two-hour bus commute to work in West Hollywood from my home in South Los Angeles, I did what I could to complete homework assignments. Unfortunately, I had to prioritize work due to my mother struggling to pay the bills on her single-parent income, so my education sat on the backburner for some time. I did my best to enroll in a few classes each semester but found myself straining to maintain the energy required to excel in my courses while commuting by bus and working full-time.

I was excited to begin my first job as a barista, but after a few months, my coworkers and I were subjected to extreme sexual harassment by a supervisor. As a vulnerable eighteen-year-old, I had no idea how to react.

I felt dehumanized and humiliated. I was afraid to speak out against the abuse for fear of losing my job, which I desperately needed.

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Initially, I tried to ignore the abuse but the harassment became unbearable. I decided to consult some of the female employees at a neighboring restaurant and was advised to contact the human resources department. I can remember my coworkers feeling hopeless and expressing sentiments that nothing would come of reporting these issues. To their surprise, the human resources department opened an investigation and dealt with the issue promptly. Seeing the faces of my co-workers fill with hope and relief after being informed of our supervisor's termination sticks vividly in my mind to this day.

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I felt an immense sense of accomplishment for taking the steps necessary to make sure that my coworkers and I were treated fairly in the workplace.

In October 2012, I was hired at a retailer called Urban Outfitters and was able to leave my position at the aforementioned organization. I began as a seasonal part-time sales associate, and within a few years, I was promoted to Department Manager. This experience instilled a passion within me for working with individuals to help build their careers and influence positive change in the workplace. A few years into working at Urban Outfitters, I enrolled at California State University, Dominguez Hills as a Psychology major. In the spring semester of my junior year, I enrolled in a Cultural Pluralism class which often hosted various guest lecturers. One of these lecturers was Dr. Thomas Norman, who gave a motivating talk about his extensive experience in management, specifically in human resources. As I listened to his lecture, I felt something that can only be described as a “click” in my brain. I was invigorated by the idea that I could couple my interests in studying the functions of the human mind in my psychology courses, with my passion for working within an organization to improve the workplace for all.

I decided to enroll in Dr. Norman’s management course the following fall semester to further explore the world of management theory. I felt that my life had come full circle, recalling the incident at my previous workplace in which I had my first experience with the human resources department. My mind was made up. I would pursue a career in human resource management. My numerous years of relevant work experience varies across various levels of management. From being an entry-level associate, to team-lead, to frontline manager, each experience has instilled an eagerness within me to master and apply the theories and practices that will allow me to develop and lead change within organizations. As a human resources professional and future executive, I will work to formulate better working conditions and practices in the workplace. Developing improved conditions for disabled persons in the workplace as well as improved policies for working mothers are a couple examples of policies I want to work on ratifying given the opportunity.

Cornell’s Master of Industrial and Labor Relations program looms large in my mind, primarily because of its outstanding faculty and interdisciplinary approach to the study of labor relations. The flexibility in the curriculum, such as having the opportunity to take four elective courses, sets the MILR program apart in my eyes. In my quest to find the graduate program best suited to my interests, I was thrilled to learn about the various diversity programs at Cornell such as “The Making it In Series”, and the “Diversity Zone.” I am especially interested in contributing to the Cornell HR Review, as this is the only program I have researched that offers such an extraordinary opportunity for students, academics, and human resources professionals to periodically collaborate in publishing their knowledge and experiences. Additionally, I would like to participate in the ILR Graduate Student Association at Cornell, as this is a great way to become involved in implementing positive change within the program.

As part of my continued research, I was excited to learn that Dr. Vanessa Bohns teaches at Cornell. I found Dr. Bohn's article entitled “Rejecting Unwanted Romantic Advances is More Difficult than Suitors Realize” not only enthralling but profoundly relatable. Furthermore, I am inspired by the work of Dr. Tove Helland Hammer and am acutely interested in her research concerning the effects of physical and psychosocial work environments on the mental and physical health of employees, as well as her research on workplace bullying and harassment and their effects on physical and psychological health.

My professional and academic experience thus far has adequately prepared me to take the next step into the field of human resource management. I feel I have hit a ceiling with my current credentials, and I am ready to apply my education and skills beyond the undergraduate level. The most important aspect of an organization is human capital, and I am ready to expand my knowledge and enhance my skills so that I may positively influence organizational practices in the business world. I am continuously captivated by past alumni’s continued interest and dedication to the success of all MILR students. I would be humbled and honored to be part of such a distinguished group of individuals. Attending Cornell would enable me to fulfill my dreams of enriching the workplace through the mastery and application of management theory. I know I am more than qualified and capable to begin work as a Masters student to forge a career in human resource management.

Updated: Feb 21, 2023
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A Career in Personnel Management. (2023, Feb 21). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-career-in-personnel-management-essay

A Career in Personnel Management essay
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