HR Generalist Developed Key Leadership Skills in Extension Courses

priya raman

- Priya Raman, Human Resources Management Alumna

Term : March, 2014
Department : Business and Management
Program : Human Resource MGMT

By the end of her one-day “Human Resource Management, Introduction” course, Priya Raman had decided that she wanted to be a corporate trainer. Though she had worked in HR in India before relocating to California, Raman wanted to gain a strong understanding of American workforce culture before jumpstarting her career in the United States. It helped that the introductory course broke down the various roles and functions of HR.

“The course was very precise, and the instructor explained things in a nice way,” Raman says. “She started at 9, and by 5 I was sure I wanted to be a trainer.”

Prior to finding UCSC Extension, Raman had completed an M.B.A. in India and was studying for the rigorous Professional in Human Resources® certification exam. She was attracted to Extension’s program because of its focus on leadership and people skills. In her “Credibility: How to Earn it, How to Keep it” course, she appreciated the instructor’s focus on diplomacy and sensitivity in the workplace.

“One of the basic elements of being an HR professional is that you have to learn humanity first,” Raman explains. “[The instructor] taught me that you can work with machines, products and software, but human capital is the most confusing and dynamic. Every employee is different, so you need to be well-equipped.”

Extension’s courses gave Raman a strong foundation in the soft skills required to manage a global workforce. For example, the “Facilitation Skills” course explored critical differences between workplace communication styles.

“I was well-versed with HR practices in India, but when you step out of your homeland, you need to update yourself globally,” she says. “In our course, I had to act as a facilitator, and my instructor helped me see that I was trying to impose my ideas on my team. I learned that real leadership sometimes takes a backseat and lets the organization grow. The course taught me to be myself in a professional environment.”

Raman is especially excited to learn practical approaches to working with international talent. “It’s become increasingly important to learn how to handle a global workforce,” she says. “We all come from different countries, but we can all have the same ground rules. What makes Extension’s program different is that it focuses, first and foremost, on leadership and people skills.”

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