VP of HR at Hitachi Data Systems
Adjunct Professor Brings Her Years of HR Experience to the Classroom at GGU
What does your role as VP at Hitachi Data Systems entail?
As vice president, HR, for global and Americas sales and services, I have reorganized two separate client-facing teams into one integrated team, providing consistent HR policies and procedures across organizations.
How did you end up working in HR at Hewlett Packard after getting your MBA at Yale University?
My first role out of graduate school was working for the consulting firm Towers Perrin (now Towers Watson) doing HR consulting, primarily in the field of diversity. I moved to California with my husband and took the role of HR manager for a division of AlliedSignal (now Honeywell). After two years there managing HR, Customer Service, and Administration, I was approached by HP. I had been familiar with HP because my father worked there for almost 30 years, and I had been a summer intern and scholarship recipient.
Why did you decide to go into the field of HR?
Originally, I didn’t plan on going into HR — I studied business with an emphasis in accounting. Around halfway through my undergraduate studies, I took a psychology class and was hooked! I became fascinated by how people are motivated and why they do what they do. I also interviewed new college recruits for my company. It was then that I realized that my true calling was really in HR. I suppose that HR found me!
Please describe a day in the life of a human resources director.
It really depends on the day (yes, “it depends” is a typical HR answer!). Some days are really quiet, when one can catch up on what is going on in the business and the field. Others are filled with meetings and employee relations issues; designing or implementing HR programs such as performance management or compensation planning or annual program management; or strategic planning or coaching executives on any number of issues. Each day is different … that’s what’s exciting about the role! I don’t recommend HR for anyone looking for a daily routine.
What excites you in your career?
What excites me most in my career is knowing that I make a difference each and every day. My belief is that my client defines value-add, and if my clients are willing to fund my “business,” then I am adding value. The other thing that I have loved about all of my roles is that I have gotten to play both an HR role and a business role; sometimes as a collaborator and coach, and other times, doing a more operational role. For example, I got to be a strategy and operations director for a program at HP. It was exciting to stretch myself and go outside my comfort zone to use my skills in a different way.
Is there anything you’d like to say about your class or about the HR program at GGU?
This program is one of the most comprehensive I’ve seen for those wishing to focus on HR. The cohort format is challenging and rewarding. The people that you go through the program with become lifelong connections; people with whom you will continue to network, grow with and learn from. And, getting your degree in a year is a nice bonus!