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7TH JUN 2023

Lecturers in Industry: Stephanie Evans, Human Resources CIPD

Lecturer Stephanie Evans
Lecturer Stephanie Evans

Across all areas, our lecturers have a wealth of knowledge that they've built upon whilst working in industry. Many of them worked in their areas for a number of years - and some of them still do!

We've been catching up with Stephanie Evans who teaches Human Resources alongside working part-time in HR at a local construction firm. She turned her hand to teaching after 30 years of industry experience! She told us what she loves about teaching, and why it's so important to stay up-to-date in a fast-changing area like Human Resources.

Which courses do you currently teach at college, and how long have you been teaching for? 

I teach Human Resources at GC, including the CIPD Professional Qualification. This is now my third year of teaching. 

What kind of experiences have you had in industry? How did that move into teaching? 

I’ve always worked in Human Resources, for over 30 years! I currently work for a local construction company, RF Gardiner Ltd. Before that I’d worked in many industries and sectors, including blue chip, charity, small businesses, public sector businesses, and as an independent consultant. 

Teaching has always been something that I’d love to do. In previous roles I taught new staff about HR and getting them up to speed. The opportunity came up at GC so I jumped at it.  

I want to teach because I’m passionate about people in workplaces. I spent my whole working life supporting employers to get the best of their people. A business is only successful if their people are successful. 

What do you like most about Human Resources? 

I love HR because you can work with businesses, and work with people to help them do the best they can. 

I like the variety of what you get to do day-to-day in HR. There’s a wealth of things you can get involved in that are really interesting and it engages you with the job. 

How do you bring your knowledge and experiences to the classroom? 

I bring stories to the classroom – I illustrate whenever I can with a real-life workplace example. For example, talking about recruitment I bring examples from my career 

It brings lectures alive and enables people to see how things are done in practice. It’s all well and good talking in theory about how to write policies and recruit, but if you can illustrate it with real-life examples it makes a huge difference to how it comes to life for people. 

I try and encourage my students to talk about examples from their workplaces. The workplaces can be very different but what we do in HR is very similar, because that is the best practice.  

How do you ensure that you’re staying up-to-date with HR and businesses? 

HR is a minefield in terms of legislation and change! For example, the national minimum wage changing has huge implications in the workplace. Working in industry helps me with the teaching, because I’m dealing with things in real time and putting them into practice. 

Keeping up to date can be really difficult - I can get 5-6 emails a day with things that are changing in HR! But when you’re practicing in the workplace you have to stay up-to-date because you’re dealing with it all the time. Working with it and using unfamiliar legislation day-to-day makes it so much easier to explain to students. I’m reassured that I’m as up-to-date as possible so that I’m bringing current information to the classroom. 

What’s the best part of bringing your knowledge to the classroom? 

Textbooks don’t prepare you for the weird and wonderful things that can happen in the workplace and working in industry really brings to life the theory and legislation - which can be quite complicated! 

Having fun in the learning environment is good as well – I think if I can make learning fun even when it’s a serious subject, it makes learning more enjoyable as well.  

I remember vividly my law lecturer at university, and how vivid points of law are to me because of the illustrations they gave. They’d put it in layman's terms, and that’s how I remembered and understood it, rather than technical legal jargon. I found it so helpful, and that’s brought me to teach the way I teach. 

Want to know more? Take a look at some of the Human Resources and CIPD courses Stephanie teaches:

Human Resources and CIPD Courses See more Lecturers in Industry

 

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