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Cathy Doust

Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management 2015

Human Resources Business Partner - The Edward James Foundation

Can you tell us how your career has developed since you left university?

Following an HR restructure in August 2016 I was promoted from HR Officer to HR Business Partner.  I was supporting the Property & Campus Operations, Finance and ICT areas of business, and liaising with the CEO and Executive Management Team in relation to policy, L&D, Employee Relations and Benefits.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The dual satisfaction of motivated and productive employees together with an effective HR service which contributes to the long-term strategic direction of the Foundation.

What advice would you offer our students/recent graduates who would like to work in a similar role?

To succeed in any career, you need to feel passionate about your choice.  In HR, you need to be able to think on your feet, be empathetic but firm, possess an ability to support both the employee and the organisation's strategic direction and be able to demonstrate knowledge of HR best practice and employment legislation.

What skills did you acquire through your studies and how have you used them in your career to date?

In addition to theory and best practice in relation to HR skills, project management, research and knowledge sharing.  Furthermore, the confidence gained by studying at postgraduate level has enabled me to exude the same confidence in dealing with challenging situations, conflict and senior management.

What top tip would you give to today’s students in order to make the most of their time at university?

Embrace it.  Enjoy it.  But in addition, listen to the tutors and mentors who are there to assist you, have been through it on a plethora of occasions and can offer invaluable advice, whether in relation to course content or strategic support.

What are your best memories of studying in Portsmouth?

Being part of a renowned, top local university who supported me every single step of the way and made me believe I could achieve.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

Being around like-minded HR professionals who were driven and keen to make a difference and this strong camaraderie has ensured I have made life-long friends.

What would you class as your greatest achievements, either personally or in your career?

My greatest achievements are twofold:  firstly, graduating with a Post-graduate diploma in Human Resources Management and secondly, the promotion to HR Business Partner and the contribution the new HR team is making to the Foundation.

Did you encounter any difficulties during your time at university that you are happy to share with us?

After the first 2 months, I did have a few doubts as to whether I would be able to work full-time, study to post-graduate level and also run my family.  However, through sheer determination and strong will-power I persevered and I can honestly say it was one of the best things I've ever done.