Becca Callaghan

Becca Callaghan

Senior HR Advisor, Griffin’s Snacks
Bachelor of Business in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations

Being able to complete workplace experience as part of her degree was a key reason she chose to study at AUT, says Becca Callaghan who completed a Bachelor of Business in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations.

“I really enjoyed studying accounting in school, so thought I would give a business degree a go. I chose AUT as I really liked that it has a workplace experience course as part of its degree structure. I thought that having the work experience on my CV would give me an edge over graduates from other universities; which it did.

“My workplace experience was probably also the most influential factor in sparking my passion for HR. I had found a real interest in HR through my courses, but my work placement really solidified that by getting hands-on experience. I was grateful that the decision I made three years earlier to go to AUT had paid off.”

Another highlight of her time at AUT was being asked to join the university’s student ambassador team.

“I loved the opportunity to become a student ambassador at AUT. I’m someone who has always liked getting involved and giving back to communities I’m a part of, so becoming a student ambassador enabled me to do this for AUT. I got to meet some amazing people as part of the student ambassador programme and learned life skills that I still use today. I was always fairly shy around groups of people I didn’t know, but through this experience I gained a lot of confidence and learned about speaking up in public.”

A passion for HR
Now working as a senior HR advisor for Griffin’s Snacks, Becca enjoys the variety her role offers.

“My role is a generalist HR role, so I have touchpoints with every part of an employee’s life cycle; from recruitment to leadership development, and disciplinary procedures to employee engagement.  My role also sits on the Site Leadership Team where I work with senior leaders on site to ensure everything runs as smooth as possible or help make strategic decision onsite.

“I love the variety of my work. Having a generalist role means that no day is ever the same. It keeps me busy and challenges me. I enjoy being a valued member of my site team as well as the HR team.”

She is proud of the career progress she has made since graduating from university in 2017.

“I’m particularly proud of the promotions and secondments I’ve been offered since graduating. When I worked at the Waikato District Health Board, I was offered a secondment into an HR business partner position covering a colleague’s parental leave. At Griffin’s, I started in an HR advisor role and then worked my way into my current role due picking up more senior tasks, taking on a direct report and challenging myself. I’m proud of these achievements as they recognise and solidify my passion for my job and HR in general.”

Advice for other students
Becca has some great advice for other students who are only at the start of their university journey.

“Get stuck in, put your hand up, be engaged and work hard. If you put the work in and have a great attitude, you’ll be rewarded for it for years to come with a great career.”

Her own hard work throughout university saw her receive plenty of recognition while she was at AUT.

“I was honoured to receive a top management student award in 2016 as well as in 2017, and on top of that was inducted into the AUT Beta Gamma Sigma honours society in recognition of my achievements during my studies.”

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