Payroll Pro Discovers Passion for HR in Extension’s Program


- Bryan Rodriguez, Human Resources Management Alumnus

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

Bryan Rodriguez had been working in payroll and finance for almost 15 years when he decided it was time for a career change. As a payroll supervisor, he felt like he was “one half of the HR equation,” and like any good mathematician, he wanted a better understanding of the equation’s other half. UCSC Extension’s Human Resource Management certificate program offered the courses he needed to get his foot in the door.

“I started the program lacking a lot of confidence,” Rodriguez says. “But after I took my first class, I realized that a lot of my professional experience will translate well in this new career path.”

Specifically, Rodriguez saw that his accounting expertise would come in handy when planning benefits packages and navigating employee compensation. In his “Compensation Management” course, he saw the impact that effective compensation can have on recruiting and retaining employees, and in “Benefits Management: A Comprehensive Study of Employee Benefit Programs,” he was given the chance to design a competitive benefits package. Not only did he learn how to calculate the financial impact of HR programs, but just as important, he learned how to communicate sensitive issues with employees.

“Networking with students and teachers, I gained a lot more confidence,” he says. “The real-world experience they shared candidly created an environment where we could talk about sticky situations professionally. HR impacts the financial health of a company; it protects its legal and human resources. I really saw how everything in HR is connected.”

Rodriguez completed the HR Management certificate in 2013. His only regret was that he didn’t enroll in Extension’s program sooner.

"I really saw how the whole program was designed to expose you to the different facets of HR," he says. "People shouldn’t be afraid of numbers. When you see something interesting, sign up for the program and jump in!"

Visit our Human Resources Management program page to learn more about Extension’s unique offerings. Browse upcoming HR Management courses.

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