Certified user stories
We are pleased to feature one of our certified graduates, Nichanan Kesonpat. Nichanan earned her Certified Talent Management Specialist (CTMS) certification in 2015. This credential opened up opportunities to intern at a Silicon Valley firm while she was finishing up her undergraduate degree. Upon graduation, she was hired by Instacart, a well-known start-up headquartered in San Francisco. After a year of independently handling talent acquisition responsibilities at Instacart, Nichanan recently moved to ThoughtWorks, a mid-size tech firm. In her new role, Nichanan manages talent acquisition and HR operations for their Bangkok Office. When we followed up with Nichanan, she shared with us the benefits of her certification, strategies she used to complete and achieve a mastery level certification. Throughout her interview, she generously shares tips for those working on their certification. We are proud of Nichanan’s achievements and wish her continued success. Please continue reading for her valuable insights.
1. What has been the most significant part of your learning experience with HCG?
For me, flexibility and practice were the most significant aspects. The freedom to consume and revise the content in my own time, as well as the opportunity to apply theories, allowed me to absorb the material and make sure I understood it at my own pace. I think approaches with rigid schedules tend to make some learners feel left behind and reluctant to pick it up afterward, especially if there are some penalties (e.g. grade deductions) involved.
This learning experience has made my approach become more data-driven. I am now inclined to look for available evidence and results before making decisions. The justification is that it drives the habit of forming quantifiable metrics so that when we A/B test approaches, we can see what is effective and what isn’t in an objective way.
I have become more vigilant of talent management practices in organizations, and have some understanding of the available solutions. Prior to the certification experience, I knew of the concepts in theory but did not have a chance to apply them to real-world problems.
The support and feedback that the team and fellow trainees provided, and the openness of the platform for effective communication. The other part is the flexibility to learn the material and work on the assignments in my own time.
With a flexible schedule comes the need to self-motivate. There are resources available on the LMS (in the form of both reading materials and mentors). However, the learner has to actively engage with them in order to render them useful. What kept me going was the benefits I knew I was gaining through the experience in both short and long term
From my perspective, I believe that my knowledge going into my employer’s organization allowed me to pick things up quickly and apply them as things came up. This meant that the ramp up speed was quite fast and I was able to take on additional responsibilities in a relatively short period of time.
Put in consistent, incremental effort throughout the program as opposed to trying to cram everything in closer to the deadline. Secondly, as you go through the course materials, try to think about how you would apply the concepts to real-world situations (can draw from personal experience or a hypothetical scenario). This will help solidify the concepts and allow you to put the theories into practice in the future.
8. What are some contributions you have made as a direct result of what you learned in the certification process?
I’ve suggested ways that we can streamline the processes that we have set in place (both in my internship and a full-time job). The course has also allowed me to effectively communicate with both internal and external stakeholders. I was also fortunate that both of the organizations I had the pleasure of working with already recognized the value of using data to drive decisions. So by joining them with a data-driven mindset, I was able to use data to support my suggestions about how we could improve things.
9. How have you benefited from the CTMS certification in seeking employment?
After completing the certification, I was entering my last semester of college. During this time, I was looking for internships. In my seeking internships the certification was the only real-world experience I had that I could draw upon during my interview. Particularly the talent acquisition module was very relevant. I talked about that a lot and it showed my expertise in term of how I interviewed candidates and the way I thought about their hiring experience. Instead of talking about abstract conceptual things learned in class I was able to provide concrete examples from the assignments.