“Since I deal with different clients and candidates from different cultures, the topic of organizational culture and change is very relevant for my job."
graduate Culture, Organization and Management
HR consultant at Diversity Source Manager
What do you do for a living?
I work as a HR and diversity consultant in Paris. My job is to attract, select and retain so called diversity candidates. I also assist in various diversity projects, manage HR and women’s mentoring projects, and build relationships and networks with international clients. I have been recently certified by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
How do you feel about your job?
What I enjoy most in my job is the variety in activities and the fact that I never have the same day. One day, I interview candidates for my clients, the next day I manage a new HR project. It is stressful at times, but I am never bored and enjoy the daily interactions I have with different kinds of people.
How did you find this job?
As a member of a professional women’s network, I contacted the director of one of the companies that was in the network‘s catalogue to have more information about her career path. A few months later, when I resigned from my previous employer because I wanted to focus on HR and diversity issues, I contacted her again. And she had a job available at that time! I was interviewed for the job and within one month, I was working as a HR and diversity consultant in her organization.
Is this your first job after graduating in the Master’s programme at VU University?
After completing my programme in Culture, Organization and Management in Amsterdam, I worked for two years as a recruitment professional in the Netherlands. I recruited, selected and searched candidates for my clients on an international level. As recruitment professional, I had broad responsibilities in various areas, such as networking, drafting advertisement, headhunting, recruitment consultation and dealing with contracts.
What aspects of your current job relate to the Master’s programme?
Since I deal with different clients and candidates from different cultures, the topic of organizational culture and change is very relevant for my job. It is important to understand different approaches to managing cultural change. Moreover, the aspect of qualitative study helps me in interviewing candidates. This has been an important aspect of my career. Interviewing, listening and assisting research projects are all related to qualitative study.
Did having this Master’s degree help in any way to get your job?
My skills, personality and perseverance have mainly helped me to get the jobs I wanted. Even though it was tough and frustrating at times to search for a job, I never gave up. The fact I studied in a recognized university such as VU University have certainly provided me with more visibility.
Why did you choose this Master’s, and what job did you expect to find with this degree?
I chose this programme because I wanted to get more insight in how to manage organizations from a cultural perspective. After this Master’s I expected to find work in HR or diversity area and I always focused on those two areas while I was hunting for jobs.
What should students expect of life after graduation?
You should be realistic about the current market, and keep an eye on what is happening. The competition is high in the job market at the moment, but with enough perseverance and motivation, you can find the job you want. It might not be the job of your dreams, but something you enjoy and which is close to your expectations. Also, prepare that the first job experience is not always easy. It is something new and there might be a lot of pressure from the employing organization. But with skills and motivation to learn, anyone can make it.
Do you have any recommendations for students for their education or careers?
I recommend to stand out from the crowd by being visible and to not be afraid to contact people directly. Additionally, I would advise to attend career events and meet people that are relevant in their areas. Moreover, being mobile, flexible to work on an international level is definitively beneficial for anyone’s career.