"All the pieces of the HR puzzle"
Though Juanita Arreola spent over four years in the human resources office at Cal State Los Angeles, her role was too specialized to gain a full understanding of how HR operated as a whole.
“I was a Faculty Affairs Specialist. I reviewed the documents and did the process for faculty hiring. It was only a small piece of the HR puzzle,” she said.
Still, Arreola was passionate about her work and eager to advance in her field. So when she transferred to Cal State Fullerton she registered for the Extension & International Program’s Human Resources Management Certificate program.
“The course encompassed everything HR-related,” Arreola said. “It gave me more knowledge and a broader understanding of human resources, including state and federal law.” Though she attended after working a full week, the instructors’ enthusiasm and class discussions kept her engaged with the material.
“The instructors made it interesting. Most owned their own businesses or were HR advisors. They’re in the field, and teaching based on those experiences,” Arreola recalled. “We also got case studies to review and discuss in groups, which we would later present to the class.”
At the end of the program, she not only received a certificate that will help her advance in human resources, but also access to a new group of colleagues.
“One of our first instructors recommended we get on LinkedIn and connect with them and other students,” Arreola said. “Some students were advancing in their HR careers, some were just getting into the profession. And now, there are a lot of people at all different stages of HR that I have a connection with.”