Phaedra Buxmani

Phaedra Buxmani

For over a decade, Phaedra Buxman had been a business professional in positions ranging from customer and client services, to office manager. She had also been a human resources assistant with a large retail company, and her goal was to get back into HR. To achieve that goal, she researched online for an accredited program and enrolled in the Human Resource Management Professional Certificate program at SDSU’s College of Extended Studies.

“I left my full-time job running a law office to take all the classes and be completed within one year,” said Buxman. “I took two or three classes a week, as many as were offered.”

While in the program, she made a valuable connection that led to her current job with Aspen Risk Management Group.

“My Health and Safety Management instructor, Steve Thompson of Aspen Risk Management Group, was one of my first instructors in the program,” said Buxman. “I related to how keeping employees safe should be a key part of what HR is involved in. Once I completed my certificate, I sent him and a few of the other instructors my résumé. Steve hired me as an independent contractor, and the position grew into a regular full-time job with continued growth opportunity.”

Of all the things she learned in the program, one gem of wisdom stands out. “Hire slow, fire fast,” said Buxman. “While that may sound like a negative, I find that doing more interviewing and research on the front end is far better than a string of documentation to fire the wrong hire.”

Would she recommend SDSU’s Human Resource Management program to others? “I absolutely would,” said Buxman. “Not only did I gain additional knowledge about HR and how to be a strategic HR partner, I made friends with other students and instructors. It’s never too late in life or your career to look at bettering yourself and your life. The learning environment as SDSU was warm and encouraging. I value all the time I spent in the classes with the students and instructors; I was able to learn by the experiences they shared.”

For more information on the Human Resource Management Professional Certificate program, visit