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Student Spotlight | Kanwaljeet Rehal | #VUHRDStory

November 29, 2017

My #VUHRDStory started one mystic winter evening, when I first landed in the US from my home in India to join my spouse who was consulting on a project in the Midwest. While the change of scenery marked a transition in my professional life, I had long known my passion for the HR profession. In India, I earned my Master’s degree in Management (HR) and worked for more than five years in HR roles primarily in the financial sector. My career transition started in this new country by pursuing PHR certification where I was introduced to detailed concepts of HR Management including U.S. laws and regulations. Self-studying for almost six months not only helped me pass the certification but also gave me that eureka moment when I decided to further develop my HR knowledge by pursuing a Master’s degree from a US university.

 

My quest for a perfect Masters HR program ended when I was accepted to Villanova University. I vividly remember when I first visited the campus to learn more about the program and had the opportunity to meet Dr. Cozzens and discuss the program. By the end of the meeting, I was more than convinced Villanova's HR graduate program had all the right components with a blended curriculum focused on business, law, management, and psychology. This program aligned with my goals and was the program for me.

"...I was more than convinced Villanova's HR graduate program had all the right components with a blended curriculum focused on business, law, management, and psychology."

I am in my first semester and currently taking Introduction to Human Resources with Dr. Sawyer. I find this course very interesting as it is coaching me in new focus areas, new experiences and is preparing me to get on track again as a student after a sabbatical. One of the activity assignments of this course is HR field involvement, where we attend HR seminars/events of our choice outside of class. As an international student, the real world experience allows me to gain insight into US industry trends and develop new networks with other HR professionals. The practical approach extends to the classroom with guest speakers.  Their professional experiences complement the course learnings and offer points of reflection and discussion. Dr. Sawyer has put a lot of effort into designing this course.  I would tell any prospective students, if they are going to school after some gap or are new to the industry, this course will replenish you.

"As an international student, the real world experience allows me to gain insight into US industry trends and develop new networks with other HR professionals."

Additionally, I really admire the faculty within the HRD program who go above and beyond to ensure that we are ready to get into the HR field. Apart from courses, there are many opportunities at the university to get involved.  Students can join the #VUSHRM student chapter, which hosts a variety of events, and the HRD mentoring program, which grants students the opportunity to work with successful HR professionals to further develop a range of skills through beneficial discussions and meetings.

 

Undoubtedly, these are the first steps and I still have a long road to travel towards my graduation. As I walk every mile, it uncovers new fears and confusion, yet I am excited about the journey ahead. Apart from gaining knowledge, I am also starting to get acquainted with the American culture, which I find is very impressive.  Although it is hard to understand American memes, it is very easy to love the acres of landscape and the beautiful architecture of the buildings on campus. This is just one leaf of my #VUHRDStory, and I look forward to adding much more in the near future.

 

If you are planning to join this prestigious institution, just fill in the application and pack your bags as this is the best place to be. If you need any further information, then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kanwaljeet Rehal is a first-semester student in our on-campus HRD program. Learn more about her and connect with her on LinkedIn or email her directly at krehal@villanova.edu.

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