What do HR students want?

They are the future torchbearers for HR in Asia. HRM speaks to university students specialising in HR as they prepare to embark on a HR career.

Sherina Chng
Course: NTU Business
Specialisation: HR Consulting
 
Why are you interested in pursuing a career in HR?
With the increasingly competitive global economy, the search for talent to sustain growth is getting harder. Pursuing a career in HR allows me to play a part in the search for such talent.
 
Is there any particular aspect of HR that has enticed you specifically?
I am particularly drawn to the area of recruitment and selection of talent. I believe that fitting the right people in the right jobs will allow them to develop professionally, and subsequently contribute and add value to their organisations.
 
What lessons learnt in university do you think will stand you in good stead when you eventually work in HR?
The curriculum at Nanyang Business School is comprehensive and relevant, and covers all aspects of HR including talent sourcing and acquisition, total rewards management, training and development, strategic HR, and managing HR through research. These courses have provided us with much in-depth knowledge of the different HR functions.
 
Did the interest in HR come from your studies in university?
My interest to work in HR came from my fondness of working with different people. Having taken an “Organisational Behaviour” course during the first year of university, I’ve learnt that it’s the people who make up an organisation that really drive it. As a result, my interest to develop and manage people was piqued and I chose to major in HR during my second year of university studies.
 
What do you hope to achieve in your HR career?
I hope that I will be able to help organisations solve their talent management issues which have been increasing in recent years. I hope that I will be able to play an important role in the recruitment and selection of talent for my organisation. Finally, after gaining enough experience in the workplace, I hope to be able to contribute as an HR consultant.
 
 
Lee Ming Yong
Course: NUS Business School
Specialisation: HR Management
 
Why are you interested in pursuing a career in HR?
I see a meaningful career as one that makes a difference to peoples’ lives. The HR function does just that by taking care of employees and creating an environment whereby they can excel.
 
Is there any particular aspect of HR that has enticed you specifically?
I am more interested in the strategic functions of HR, like recruitment, and training and development. The former (recruitment) puts the right people in the right positions to excel, and the latter (training and development) develops employees to their fullest potential to perform.
 
What lessons learnt in university do you think will stand you in good stead when you eventually work in HR?
I remember a recruitment case analysis which taught me that, as much as attracting the right talent is important, putting in enough effort to retain the people that you have already attracted is also important.
 
Did the interest in HR come from your studies in university?
The initial interest in HR was sparked off at NUS Business School because I found myself very engaged and eager to participate in HR discussions in class.
 
What do you hope to achieve in your HR career?
I hope to change the perception that many people have - that HR is just a cost centre and a support function. Increasingly, human capital is becoming more important, and HR will start to serve a strategic function in companies. I hope to contribute to this change.
 
 
Lee Kheh Yang
Course: SMU Bachelor of Social Science
Specialisation: Second Major in Organisational Behaviour and HR
 
Why are you interested in pursuing a career in HR?
With a passionate interest in people and events management, I saw HR as an interesting field where I could widen my knowledge and apply my competencies. To me, HR is a continuous learning process. It trains you to think on your feet, to understand the motivations and needs of others, to see things in a different light, and then act in the best interest of your stakeholders.
As a psychology and HR major student, I find the human side of HR intriguing. It promises a wide spectrum of exciting business possibilities and opens up various career pathways that never fail to fascinate me!
 
Is there any particular aspect of HR that has enticed you specifically?
Sometime earlier on this year, I found myself fascinated by a presentation conducted by a guest speaker from Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). By chance, I landed myself an internship with this awesome organisation some weeks down the road and it was through that first hand experiential learning process in the HR department that I truly affirmed my interest in HR.
 
What lessons learnt in university do you think will stand you in good stead when you eventually work in HR?
I truly believe in the practical, hands-on experiential learning process, which is why I have chosen to make the best out of my university life (through my active engagement in student life and various student leadership positions).
Through my university education, I have learnt to be resilient to take on challenges, and I have become a sponge with a thirst for knowledge.
 
Did the interest in HR come from your studies in university?
Since I was young, I have always had a passion to take on a people-centric role. My passion and dedication to this area shone through when I decided to take on various leadership positions during my freshman and sophomore years.
As a young undergraduate, I now begin to see HR as an integral segment of any organisation, as well as its increasing importance in today’s business world. There is always so much for me to explore, learn and to contribute to the success of HR in any organisation.
 
What do you hope to achieve in your HR career?
I would like to continue with my passion in HR beyond my university years. Rather than asking me what I would like to achieve, I would like to be part of the movement that constantly challenges and redefines the boundaries HR has on any organisation.
 
 
Marcus Toh
Course: SMU Bachelor of Business Management
Ministry of Manpower National HR Prize for Top Freshman in Human Capital Management, 2012
 
Why are you interested in pursuing a career in HR?
There are two main reasons I have chosen a career in HR.
Firstly, over the course of my National Service, studies and internships, I came to realise that I could fit in better in HR-related roles in the various organisations I had worked with, as opposed to other organisational functions. Secondly, through learning and discovering more about the HR industry in Singapore, I realised that the industry has truly progressed from a largely administrative function in the past, to one which is strategic, progressive and innovative in its dealings today.
 
Is there any particular aspect of HR that has enticed you specifically?
While I am very comfortable with HR in general, the role of HR as a business partner to the various functions in an organisation is the clincher for me. Having experienced the role of business partnering in one of my internships, it is truly one which drives you to learn more beyond what you know in HR.
 
What lessons learnt in university do you think will stand you in good stead when you eventually work in HR?
The lessons about HR which I have learnt from my university studies can be broadly categorised into: Theory, Situational Application (in use of cross-functional knowledge) and Practical Skills (in communicating recommendations, collaborating between departments, and making impactful presentations). The lessons I personally find most crucial in my workplace interactions involve a mix of situational application and practical skills.
 
Does your interest in HR come from your studies in university?
I was always interested in HR as a subject even prior to my university studies, and subsequently, my university studies then provided the depth and exposure for me to confirm my career choice. Working with like-minded and aspiring individuals in school played an equally important role in defining my career choice.
 
What do you hope to achieve in your HR career?
I hope to someday become a subject matter expert who can contribute at the forefront of the industry to make it even more progressive and strategic.

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