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Human Resource grad races to the top

If you’re detail oriented, great with people, and have a knack for making quick decisions, the human resources field might just be what you’re looking for. It was what Christine LaMott was looking for and her degree took her from a an everyday job to a lifelong career.

This is Christine’s story:

As a 28-year-old woman with a two year old child and an infant of five months, I was certainly not looking for more to do. I was however feeling like… “now what.” As a girl I always had this picture that I would grow up and fall in love and get married and have kids… sounds familiar right?! Well… I never planned beyond that. I figured that would be what I would want. After my son was born I felt differently.

The Road to DCTC

So I started looking at what I was doing with my time during the day. I had a good job as an office/accounting guru in a small company in St. Paul. I enjoyed my job to an extent but it was just that… a job. I needed to find a career, and something that I was not only good at but enjoyed doing. Thinking hard about this I ran into the fact that I loved dealing with our employees, I loved problem solving with them and helping to create a motivating environment. What better way to do that than Human Resources?

I’ve now decided “what” I wanted to do but now “where” to get it done? I looked at places that were close to my home and there were two. I looked then at the classes and the times and DCTC seemed to fit everything I was looking for. So I made an appointment to get my application submitted and got my classes booked. I was able to talk to my employer and found out that not only were they going to support my education 100% but they were going to put me in the Human Resources position after six months of schooling.

First Impressions

My first class was terrifying. What was I doing going back to school. I don’t have time for this and I’m not college age! I’m 28 and I have a husband and a family, how is this going to work. The first class I had was with Scott Gunderson. It was a great class and by the end of it, I felt SO much better. I felt like I could do it. The demands on me weren’t what I thought they were going to be. I found out that I could do it and that I was excited to be moving forward.

I continued on my journey of my associates degree and couldn’t have done it, had it not been for Scott and Harold and many other instructors along the way. They were the ones that didn’t expect more than I could give but expected enough to be challenged and to learn a great deal. I feel as though I owe them a great deal. Had my first class not been pleasant I would have probably felt like I’d made a big mistake and quit.

Glimpse of Success

While employed and now having been promoted, I was able to make a big difference. We made sure that we had Employee of the Month events and on a monthly basis we recognized people that went above and beyond, we recognized birthdays and anniversaries as well as welcomed new employees. I developed and maintained a Biggest Loser program where our employees lost a combined total of 250lbs and we had great fun and prizes with that. We also had our Friday morning training every Friday morning from Memorial Day to Labor Day in which the owners of the company would come in and present breakfast for their staff coming in at 7 am for training. We had so much fun

Small Step Back

After I finished my associates degree I was unfortunately layed off from work as it was the middle of 2010 and the construction industry that I was in was spiraling downward.

I was able to take 6 months off of work to be with my son who was now almost 3 years old. I obtained a new job in another construction company but held the job for a short time. The position was a more temporary position but while employed I was able to make the transition from Paychex to ADP for a few hundred employees. This was a challenging role as there had never been an HR person at this company before. It was mostly white collar staff and they hadn’t needed too much other than the basics that they were getting from their payroll provider. I was able to create some systems for them and do some training. I also came in at the very height of open enrollment for benefits, which is a feat all on its own. After the transition of payroll companies the position stalled out and I began to look for more demanding work.

I found a position with a hospitality company and was the HR Manager for them for about 10 months. Again a short term project with long term rewards. I helped transition them from a payroll position to an HR position while there. We went through open enrollment for over one thousand employees and went through our busiest season yet. It became very apparent to me that I needed something with a bigger footprint and I began looking for a more permanent position.

Hard Work Pays Off

That’s when I found Securitas Security Services. I am now their Area Human Resources Manager and oversee an area of Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. We are the largest Security Guard provider in the world. The values this company has and teaches its employees are invaluable. Integrity, Vigilance, and Helpfulness and they’re represented by the three circles on our logo.

I am very fortunate to have continued on in my education and should be completing my Bachelors in Human Resources Management within the next few months. After the great career at DCTC I continued on at the Apple Valley location and attended University of St. Mary’s Minnesota. Furthering my education has been one of the best things I’ve ever done and I truly believe that if it had not been for Scott Gunderson and Harold Torrence I would not have held the motivation I did to continue my career. I admire what they do and how they do it. My husband is now enrolled and taking classes with the same program and he’s loving it to.

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