VCU Center for Corporate Education

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The Center for Corporate Education is proud to offer scholarships to participants interested in enrolling in one of our courses. One of our most recent scholarship recipients, Jane Dewyea, answered a few questions for us about her experience and advice for future participants. For more information on our scholarship program, visit the CCE website.

What is your current career path, and how did you get there?

I have a B.S. in Human Development and a M.A. in Teaching. Late into my Master’s program, I determined that classroom teaching wasn’t quite the right fit for me. After graduating, I worked as a Substitute Teacher while working (internally) to determine my next career steps. I applied to the temp pool at the University of Virginia (UVA) and was hired to join a team of HR Associates to assist with the UVA HR Open Enrollment period. I assisted many of the University’s nearly 30,000 employees with a variety of human resources topics including benefits, retirement, on-boarding, leave, and Workday.

As an HR Associate, I was serendipitously assigned to a workstation close to Dawn Ritterband, a Senior Compensation Specialist at UVA. I didn’t get to work directly with Dawn much in my HR Associate role, however, I became interested in the work that she was doing in Compensation and was really inspired by her to pursue a career in HR. On my last day of temp employment, I gave Dawn a copy of my resume and asked her to keep me in mind if an opportunity arose with her team. A few months later, an opening for an HR Assistant became available with the UVA HR Compensation team. I applied and was selected for this role. Within six months of hire, I was promoted and hired on full-time into my current role as an HR Compensation Specialist, Associate.  

How was your experience with your specific course?

I had a great experience with the SHRM prep course taught by Cindy Bullock. Cindy is a very engaging instructor and always had great examples from her professional experience to share with the class. I also enjoyed connecting with other HR professionals across the state every week to learn and share knowledge. I have continued to keep in touch with many of my SHRM classmates on LinkedIn.

How will your experience change or enhance your current career path?

I learned a lot about several HR areas that I had not been exposed to before, such as Learning & Development and Global HR. I particularly enjoyed the section of the course focused on corporate sustainability. I feel the material I learned while preparing for the SHRM-CP exam will enhance my ability to think holistically about employee situations I am exposed to in my current role. I feel that having obtained the SHRM-CP certification will show employers that I am a competent and committed HR professional.

What advice would you have for someone considering participating in a CCE course?

I would recommend the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Corporate Education (CCE) without hesitation. I would advise potential CCE students to consider their career goals and how the program they are interested in will help them further their goals. I would advise students to explore funding options through their employer, professional organizations, or the CCE as well. I am very grateful to have been selected for the CCE scholarship – this scholarship made a big impact on my ability to take the course.

Describe a “lightbulb” moment you’ve had on your personal career journey.

I would say a “lightbulb” went off for me when I was working in my first HR role, as a temporary Human Resources Associate with the University of Virginia. I learned how interesting, and impactful, the human resources field can be. Before working in this role, I hadn’t considered pursuing a career in Human Resources.

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