Natalie Sollock had been working in training and development for a decade when she decided to go back to school to earn her Professional Certificate in Human Resource Management from SDSU Global Campus.
“I wanted to meet like-minded people, and to walk away feeling like a professional in the field,” said Natalie. “When I read the courses in the program, I felt like that matched my needs.”
Now, she works for a small tech start-up, where she’s putting her HR skills to use by developing frameworks and processes for onboarding new employees. We wanted to find out more about Natalie and her experiences with our HR program.
What’s your professional background?
I have been in training and development for about 10 years now. My last job required that I do a lot of HR and compliance-related work, so I began the program anticipating it would help me in that career. I ended up finding a new job in Training and Documentation at a tech start-up.
What made you want to pursue an HR Management Certificate? Why did you choose SDSU?
Realistically, I loved the idea of attending classes at SDSU. I’ve considered the Online Bachelor’s in Business, so I wanted to acclimate myself to see if it’s my vibe. I am so rewarded by impacting the development of people. When I was a manager, I loved finding their strengths and emphasizing them to enrich their careers.
Can you tell us about some of your favorite courses and instructors?
I really loved the Performance Management course (BA 0027), Emotional Intelligence (BA 0058), and the Capstone (BA 0028).
Dari DeSousa and Dawn Myers are inspiring women who reminded me why I chose the program in the first place. My current company weighs heavy on policy, and it can be a bummer. That is where I can bring change to the industry. While I have challenges with my current HR team, I realize that it’s a balance of policy and people.
How have you used the program to help you in your current position?
This program has helped in a lot of ways — I understand the various aspects of HR, how to measure my own success, and I developed my own framework for building department onboarding and trainings.
Can you tell me a bit about the framework you developed to build onboarding and trainings in your company?
Yes. I proposed a two-day onboarding schedule for all new hires that consolidates the previous week-long dynamic. The initial idea was to get the people into their roles quicker with more tools in their toolbox. I wanted to create a dedicated onboarding program for each department that could onboard the employee to their specific department.
I researched how to build a department onboarding program, and there really was no framework for that, so I developed one. There are plenty of models for developing individual training sessions, such as the ADDIE Model, but nothing that shows how to approach a larger scope project that has many pieces of training within it.
Inspired by the ADDIE model, the Department Training Framework is a process to identify what each team member needs to know in order to be successful in their role, create the training session roadmap, develop the lessons, then have each employee take the course. By the end of the course, they are certified and accountable to understand their role. The original intention was to create a program with all forms of training, which shifted to eLearning focus for many reasons — COVID-19 being one of them.
I am currently using the framework to develop an eLearning program for our Customer Support team. We road mapped about 40 eLearning lessons, and I have developed 5 in the last few months. The framework also has about a 40-page guide that I am in the process of developing.
What advice would you have for someone who’s new to human resources and might be considering earning an HR certificate?
HR is all about humans. We are working with emotional and diverse beings. The balance of policy and people is crucial for success at HR. I hate when people ask me, “Well, who do I complain to if it’s HR that is frustrating me?” It shouldn’t be that way. HR should be an open-door policy with empathy and room for standards and policy.
Launch A Successful Career in Human Resources
With SDSU’s Professional Certificate in Human Resource Management Program, you’ll learn how to take your human resource skills to the next level. Through online courses taught by experts with years of industry experience, earning your certificate can help you stand out as a leader in your company.
Learn more at neverstoplearning.net/hr.