These two women realised they had more in common than just joining the same work experience program.
Emily Craig and Narelle Glynn’s professional beginnings are almost a mirror image of one another, albeit with a fifteen-year gap wedged in between.
They both attended the same university, they both studied a degree in commerce, majoring in HR, and both women set their sights on one of the Big Four accounting firms at the completion of their studies, a goal that Glynn met, and Craig hopes to. It’s almost as if their paths were destined to cross when they both signed up for a work experience program; Glynn as the mentor and Craig the mentee.
The program gave Craig her first glimpse into the corporate world, gifting her with the experience and confidence to apply for her dream career opportunity at the program’s completion. For Glynn, group director of people and performance at the Lancemore Group, it was a chance to give back to the industry she’s dedicated the latter portion of her career to.
Craig was one of the first interns that the boutique hotel chain has brought on board.
“Outside of huge corporate organisations with lots of layers, hotels wouldn’t typically take a graduate from HR,” says Glynn. But speaking of the benefits, she says, “It was a shame Emily was only here for three weeks. I enjoyed the opportunity to work with someone who I could pass on some of my experience to and practice my own coaching skills.”
A step into the unknown
Like many year 12 students, Craig was somewhat unsure about where her career would take her. She knew what her favourite subject at school was (business management) but it wasn’t until she was given a leadership opportunity at her local supermarket job that she realised she might want a career HR.
“I liked working with people, making sure they were happy and figuring out the best ways to make them work productively,” she says.
During her work experience program, Craig was tasked with tying up the tail end of the Lancemore Group’s annual employee satisfaction survey. She crunched the numbers, analysed the data and presented the results to managers across various hotels, with Glynn’s guiding hand by her side.
“A lot of our casual workforce are within the millennial generation, so it was great to have Emily’s fresh perspective on some of the results,” says Glynn.
Craig wasn’t quite sure what to expect but she soon realised that she liked what she saw.
“My idea about working in HR was that it would be different every day, because you’re working with other people, so you don’t know what to expect. From observing Narelle, I saw that it was really diverse work and that was exciting,” she says.
“I learnt a lot about how to present in a corporate environment. Which is something I’ve never done before. Narelle was really helpful and taught me a lot.”
Overcoming the myth of the millennial
Glynn was glad to be able to debunk the millennial work ethic myth during her time working alongside Craig.
“You hear a lot of things about that generation, but she was just committed; she demonstrated a growth mindset and was just as resilient and appreciative of feedback [as more experienced employees].”
While Glynn’s career began in accounting, she was always fascinated by the world of HR and kept finding herself drawn to the training, recruitment and performance management spaces. Like Craig, she started her career with a Big Four internship and Craig says this encouraged her to take the leap and apply for one of their highly-coveted positions.
While Craig may have been one of the first interns at the Lancemore Group, she definitely won’t be the last. Glynn says she’s keen to take on more interns in the future and hone her coaching skills. As for Emily, she’s excited to tackle her “dream internship” with Deloitte in January and looks forward to learning more about the HR industry in the years to come.
Build your career and professional networks through AHRI’s mentoring program. Exclusive for AHRI members. Applications open 7 January 2019 for the April 2019 intake.