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Ms Karen Desborough
Graduate Diploma of Human Resources and
Master of Human Resources Management
Graduated: Graduate Diploma of Human Resources (2007) and Master of Human Resources Management (2010)
Career: Group manager, Employee Relations and Culture, Rivalea Australia
Karen Desborough says working in human resources for several years, followed by her studies in HR, was a decision that worked well for her.
‘It was a good way to do it. I had several years in the workforce in various HR roles before I got the paper work,’ she explains.
‘It meant I had a good understanding of how HR really functioned in the workplace. Then, getting the theory behind what I was doing really helped.’
After beginning her HR career several years ago, Karen notched up experience with several companies before deciding to undertake a Diploma of Human Resources Management with the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) – the national association representing human resource management professionals, followed by Deakin’s Graduate Diploma of Human Resources. Taking on the masters at Deakin proved a logical extension. And, after completing the earlier courses online, she was no stranger to the style of delivery.
‘I found DSO (Deakin Services Online) very good,’ Karen says.
‘It was really easy to use and really accessible. I had contact with students and lecturers instantly so we could talk about assignments and upcoming exams. It was a great support mechanism.’
Karen singles out the Deakin library for special praise and says it was ‘the best thing’ about her online study experience. ‘The library was just amazing,’ she says.
‘You can log in and search for any material you want, click a button and, within two days, it arrives on your doorstep – all free. There is also a pre-paid bag for sending it back.’
For Karen, who is based in the Victoria-NSW border town of Corowa, the service was ‘better than being able to go to the library in person,’ she says.
‘And the librarians are fantastic if ever you can’t find anything.’
After beginning her work in the HR field with Rivalea Australia, a large Australian agriculture and food producing company, Karen’s work took her to various HR positions in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the UK. She recently returned to Rivalea as its group manager, employee relations and culture.
The content of her masters was very relevant to her work, she says.
‘Not only the HR subjects but the opportunity to do the electives that are also relevant to the way you work in HR.’
Subjects such as Business Strategies, Managing Change, and Organisational Behaviour apply particularly to Karen’s work, she says.
‘Workplaces are constantly evolving and changing and so is the HR field. HR managers now have to be more intrinsically linked to the business; they have to be more of a business partner than just a personnel manager. The business-related subjects helped me
understand how things like change can impact on an individual employee.’
She also values the bigger picture: ‘the course in general definitely helped me with my growth and development.’
Find more information at http://www.deakin.edu.au/future-students/areas-of-study/business-management.php