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HR graduate praises University for fairy tale start to career

Date 4.12.2018

A former Human Resources Management student credits the University of Northampton with helping him land his first big break at Disney.

Paul Tidman graduated from the BA Human Resources Management course in 2017 with first class honours and an impressive graduate CV – as he secured a job at The Walt Disney Company following a successful internship and placement.

As Paul explains, this fairy tale opportunity arose through a networking opportunity offered by his programme tutors in his first year at University.

Paul said: “In my first year, the University invited students to attend a CIPD conference in Northampton. It was a great way to meet like-minded HR professionals and gave me an opportunity to network and rub shoulders with HR managers and decision makers – to explore potential opportunities.

“At this conference, I met the HR manager at The Walt Disney Company and I cheekily asked if they had any jobs for me. A few months later, I’d managed to secure myself a short-term internship working in the HR department of their European Head Office, in Lutterworth – and things developed from there.”

Paul’s proudest moment during his time at University was being able to successfully balance his studies with his time at Disney, and graduate with top marks.

He added: “I would not consider myself a natural academic, in fact this was reflected in my grades from my first and second year. I did not achieve any A grades in those years and I was at a crossroads at the end of my second year with what I wanted to achieve from my studies and career.

“I made a conscious decision to reach out to my tutors and inform them of my expectations and goals for my third year and in turn what their expectations would be of students aiming to achieve A grades. I worked tirelessly in my third year both independently and with the guidance of my tutors who gave me the tools I needed to achieve top grades and leave with a First.”

Since leaving University, Paul’s career has been on the up and up, as he decided to leave Disney to take on a role with added responsibility at another major brand.

Paul said: “Following my graduation, I went back to The Walt Disney Company and took the role of an HR Associate. After more than two years at The Walt Disney Company, I wanted to experience a different HR culture, to grow and expand on my skill set.

“With this in mind, I applied and was successful in my application for an Employee Relations Advisor at Travis Perkins PLC.  I am now part of a team that consists of nine colleagues, providing HR support to more than 30,000 employees.”

Image - Paul and Kendall

Paul and fellow graduate Kendall Busher, recently gave a talk to current HR students

So does Paul have any advice for current and future students looking to follow on a similar path?

He added: “Trust the process, be adaptable, open minded and be willing to take responsibility for your own career path. It’s important to put in the hard yards early as it pays dividends in the long run.

You are surrounded by people who are resourceful, so make sure you connect with them.

“There are many ways to connect with people, for example; a face-to-face conversation, meeting for a coffee, email, phone, LinkedIn, as well as local and national networking events”

For more information on HR Management BA (Hons), you can visit the course page.