At university Geeta developed an interest in HR and chose to specialise in HR as part of her degree. Following university she progressed from an HR administrator to an HR officer and began her CIPD qualification. She was recruited to the HR team serving Corporate Services at the University of Birmingham just over two years ago. She became an HR Adviser and completed the last part of her CIPD qualification.
Geeta describes herself as a very career-focussed person and has a good idea of what she wants to do in her career and by when. With this in mind she had many conversations with her line manager during their meetings about her ambitions and made it clear that she would be looking for a change in role after around two years.
When the post as HR project manager was advertised at the start of 2011, Geeta jumped at the chance to apply. She puts her success in getting the job down to her knowledge of the University, her HR experience and her enthusiasm. Geeta loves her new role as it gives her the opportunity to step back from day to day HR activities and focus on how to improve processes and make things better. The role has also given her more exposure to senior management and the opportunity to raise her profile within the institution. Geeta has recently attended many project management courses the University runs and is now looking forward to putting these into practise.
Geeta says, “For me, talking to people with the experience has been the key, especially before applying for roles as it gets you thinking about what opportunities might be available to you outside of your normal scope. I also think you need to be willing to expose yourself to experiences outside of your comfort zone. I was very nervous about speaking to a room full of academic staff as I thought they would be so much cleverer than me but once I realised that I had acquired technical knowledge that they didn’t have then my confidence increased. The more knowledge you gain, the more your confidence in new situations grows.”