As a human resources professional at the University of Virginia, David Martin naturally thinks in terms of career paths. When contemplating his own future, Martin decided that additional education would be the key to advancement. “When I discovered that the School of Continuing and Professional Studies offered a graduate Certificate in Leadership in Human Resources Management
, I jumped at the opportunity,” he says. The program covers a range of key issues for aspiring HR managers, from transformational leadership to strategic compensation.
Martin is enthusiastic about the program, which he completed in 2013. One of the highlights for him was a group project in which Martin and his classmates were asked to address HR issues at a hypothetical company they created. Among other tasks, Martin’s group established compensation policies as well as hiring and recruiting practices. They even wrote their own resumes and conducted mock interviews. “The professors teaching the courses were excellent,” he says. “They helped us gain a broad view of HR and leadership.” In fact, Martin thought so much of the program that he asked his wife to take one of the five required classes with him.
For Martin, the certificate proved to be a stepping-stone to further education. He was able to apply all 15 of his UVA credits to the Hollins University Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
program, where he concentrated in leadership. A decisive factor for Martin was the ability to pursue the degree without having to commute to Roanoke. He took his courses either online or through independent study with individual professors.
Having completed his coursework, Martin has begun working on his thesis and expects to complete the Hollins' program at the end of 2017. “The connection UVA forged with Hollins created a path that will allow me to better meet my career goals,” he says. “I’ll have leadership credentials backed by two great institutions.”