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Human Resources: Harnessing the power of people

Human Resources: Harnessing the power of people

Written On: 05 January, 2018
Category: Academic Alumni Business
Related programs:  Business Administration

In only five years, she went from being an assistant and recruiter to co-owner of the company. And Camilla Timmer of West-Can Human Resource Solutions is grateful to Assiniboine for helping her to get where she is today.

Timmer, who grew up in the MacGregor/Portage area, got her degree in psychology from the University of Manitoba. But while learned a lot there, she didn’t feel prepared for the working world. So since her husband-to-be was from Brandon, she did some research and was impressed by what Assiniboine had to offer.

“I graduated from university and just didn’t feel I had the skill sets that I could apply to the workforce,” Timmer said. “I wanted to get into a business office environment, and I didn’t feel confident applying for those roles without previous office experience or business education. So I went to ACC.”

Timmer enrolled in the Business Administration program, and specialized in Human Resources. What she learned at Assiniboine gave her the confidence she needed to pursue her chosen career.

Assiniboine’s extensive, practical, hands-on approach was especially beneficial, Timmer said, and she uses what she learned in her courses every single day.

“Presentation Skills was good – I think that's just confidence –   but it really helps with your emotional intelligence, too,” Timmer said. “A lot of the legislation courses are really applicable to what I do now – understanding laws and regulations.

“Also a lot of those computer courses – they go really in-depth. In university, you use computer programs to a certain degree, but you don't maybe fully understand all that they can do.”

Timmer was hired by West-Can Human Resource Solutions because then-owner Tim Silversides had an established relationship with Assiniboine. According to Timmer, he posted the job she landed through one of the Business Administration instructors.

“She wrote the job on the board and I thought, ‘Oh – that's a really interesting job opportunity!’ So I applied for it. And I started the day of my last exam.”

Although Timmer was hired as an HR assistant and recruiter, she was immediately involved in every aspect of the business. 

“The best way to learn is to be fully immersed in it,” Timmer said. “(Assiniboine’s slogan) Learn by Doing is right – you actually do it while you’re in school. That was definitely helpful to me when I landed here.”

As its name suggests, the purpose of West-Can Human Resource Solutions is to recruit people to fill specific positions in businesses and organizations. Timmer said 95 per cent of the positions for which West-Can seeks applicants are for Brandon companies. And the jobs, and the entities offering them, are many and varied.    

“We work with small to large companies, so we work with companies that don't have an HR person on staff, but we also work with companies that do have an HR person on staff, or even huge HR departments,” Timmer said.

While one might suspect office jobs would involve a certain degree of repetition, Timmer said that’s definitely not the case for her. 

“Everything is different every single day,” she enthused. “I don't do the same thing from one hour to the next. I'm constantly dealing with different people from different organizations, or interviewing different people from Brandon and beyond.”

Timmer specialized in Human Resources, but she’s able to apply what she gleaned from many of her courses, not just the HR-specific ones.

“We do a little bit of everything I learned in college, like salary surveys and developing job descriptions and organizational assessments,” she said. “And we're constantly learning, that's for sure.”

While some people change jobs every few years, in purchasing half of West-Can, Timmer’s future is definitely with the company. And through her work, she’s discovered she’s extra proud to be an Assiniboine graduate. 

“It's consistent, talking to people in the upper echelons of business in Brandon – they have a lot of respect for the ACC diploma and what those graduates bring to the table,” Timmer said. “They know they're coming out with the skill sets they need to excel, and they already have that base that they can really grow from. I get a lot of requests from employers who say, ‘What would be perfect is somebody who has an ACC diploma in this.’ So it really is nice to see.”

To find out how you can be successful like Camilla Timmer, visit assiniboine.net/business and find out more about the Human Resources specialization in Business Administration at Assiniboine. 

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