In our ‘10 Questions’ series, KBS caught up with Alastair Goss, a KBS MSc Human Resource Management Alumni and Senior HR Business Partner.
What attracted you to the course? What made you want to go into this area of study?
Having worked in HR since I graduated from Kent in 2009 (BBA in Business Administration), I reached the point where I knew that I would need to become professionally qualified in order to progress any further in my career.
What did you particularly enjoy about your studies/time here?
I particularly enjoyed the balance of theory and practice provided by course syllabus and teaching staff.
Which modules did you enjoy the most, and why?
The modules I found to be of greatest benefit were:
- Employee Resourcing
- The Psychology of Recruitment and Selection
- Reward and Performance Management
I have found the content of these three modules to be invaluable in my day-to-day work.
What did you think about the teaching at KBS?
I found the teaching to be of a consistently high level. Teaching staff were always happy to make the extra effort to enable me to get the most out of my studies.
What was the level of support like at Kent for postgraduates?
The level of support for postgraduates at Kent is excellent. The wide-ranging support is provided from so many different avenues (KBS; Graduate School; UELT: Student Support and Wellbeing; Information Services) that you always feel entirely assured you’ll get help swiftly when you need it.
What were the facilities like at KBS and on-campus generally?
They were great; I never felt as though I lacked for anything.
What does doing a further degree give you that a first degree doesn’t?
The professional certification (CIPD) provided by my master’s degree was an essential criterion of my current role, so I literally wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
In addition, a master’s degree provides you with a depth of knowledge that you aren’t able to obtain with a first degree.
Could you describe your career path since leaving Kent?
The completion of the MSc at Kent enabled me to take the next step in my career and will also enable me to take future steps, i.e. I’d hit a ceiling in my career and wouldn’t have been able to progress without it.
Could you describe a typical day in your current role?
As a Senior HR Business Partner, I am the primary interface between the HR Department and the rest of the company. It is my role to understand fully my departments’ needs and then leverage the necessary support and resources held by HR in order to help the Company meet its objectives.
In practice, this means working with staff on any number of elements of the employee lifecycle, from recruitment and selection, reward and performance management, employee wellbeing, and employee relations.
Days can vary widely from interviewing prospective candidates right the way through to undertaking exit interviews, from policy writing to policy application. That being said, a significant proportion of my time is spent communicating with staff and management on the issues they’re facing and trying to offer practical solutions.
Finally, what advice would you give to graduates thinking of coming to Kent to study at postgraduate level?
Whilst it sounds pretty cliché, I’m strongly of the view that you get out of degree what you put into it, both in terms of degree classification and experience/knowledge gained. The support you need to get a good degree is there, but you need to make sure you take advantage of it.
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