An often cited claim is that the average U.S. worker will have seven careers in his or her lifetime. A change of employers is not unusual, nor is doing something different but in the same field, but starting out with a totally new career is unusual. That is what Nancy Kasmar did. Or so it would seem, but not to her.
Her LinkedIn profile is impressive, with a string of degrees and human resources certifications behind her name: Nancy Kasmar, MS, SPHR, CCP. Her journey to a career in Human Resources actually began with a diploma in nursing in her home town of St. Louis. A bachelor’s and Master of Science in Nursing at the University of California San Francisco followed. In time, she wanted to try something different.
“When I left nursing I tried several other careers,” Kasmar said. She was temping at a business when “I noticed that the person doing HR really hated it. So I talked the president of the company into having me take on the HR duties. I realized that HR would allow me to use the communication and problem-solving skills I had learned as a nurse practitioner. And my knowledge of the healthcare field definitely comes in handy when dealing with benefits issues.”
Kasmar set out to learn more about Human Resources, and joined the Lake Washington Human Resource Association, a professional organization that she is now president of. She also decided to seek certification, so she enrolled in the Bellevue College Continuing Education Human Resources Management certificate program. “I selected it because it has a great reputation and the timing of the classes worked well for my work schedule.”
She finished in three quarters, while continuing to work. “I took three classes per quarter, so that meant I was in class three nights per week for nine months. I was lucky to have the support of my family in being gone that much for that length of time,” said Kasmar.
“Definitely the best part of the program was the quality of the instructors,” said Kasmar. “Everyone was very experienced and had lots of examples to illustrate the coursework. I feel as though I really learned best practice for use in my HR career. I probably use something I learned in my HR certificate courses at least once a week.”
“The HR certificate at Bellevue College is a great alternative for emerging professionals who plan to make HR their career,” said Kasmar. “The courses and the instructors make sure the attendees learn legal compliance as well as the importance of balancing the needs of the company and the needs of the employees. At Bellevue College I learned how to ‘walk the talk’ in my HR career.”