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Interviews

Q&A with Author Asser Mattar – Demonstrator at Faculty of Arts, English Department, Alexandria University

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Interviewer: Mahmoud Mansi
Photography Credits:Faten Elbendarie,
Dina Yacout & Sonty Ahmed Thabet

“In the English Department we really learn about life, not just about language and literature. We become analysts, critics, writers and avid readers. We discuss philosophy, history, social issues and many other aspects of life, and that is why our graduates are all over the world now, excelling in different and diverse fields. It is a life changing experience.”

Asser Mattar
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWEE

Born and raised in Alexandria, Asser Mattar is a teaching assistant and an MA candidate at the Department of English Language and Literature at the Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University. He earned his BA in English literature in 2017, after his first BA in accounting also from Alexandria University in 2000. He has a diverse work experience in different fields; such as sports journalism, accounting, business administration, media and communications. He is also a freelance writer, writing in both English and Arabic, and he published his first short story collection in Arabic entitled Autobees A’am Aliskandariyah (Alexandria Public Bus) in the year 2010.

THE INTERVIEW

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: At HR Revolution, we personally believe that studying any profession related to humanities gives depth to the personality and provides skills that cannot be acquired through any other kind of learning. Many students who graduate from the English Department work after graduation in other fields and they show capability and success. What do you believe the study of English Literature adds to a person’s perception, skill and personality?

Asser Mattar: Personally, I have a very distinctive relationship with the English Department at Alexandria University, as I joined it as a student at an older age after I had met many graduates, students, and professors who were one of the main reasons I decided to do so. In the department we really learn about life, not just about language and literature. We become analysts, critics, writers and avid readers. We discuss philosophy, history, social issues and many other aspects of life, and that is why our graduates are all over the world now, excelling in different and diverse fields. It is a life changing experience.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: What kind of teaching style appeals to today’s university students? And what are the challenges they face?

Asser Mattar: Well, research has become much easier now than the past because of the internet and the huge advances in information technology. However, this also creates some problems like plagiarism and the tendency of some students not to exert enough effort reading literary texts or doing proper research, solely depending on unreliable sources. At the English department we encourage creativity, and we have many students who are artistically talented; musicians, actors, painters, etc. Our teaching staff encourages students to show these talents, enhancing their presentation skills. You can see students acting, singing, or presenting a poster they designed of a novel for example. It is an unconventional way to deliver the information, and it is more preferable than the rigid, traditional methods. We also give the students space to express themselves freely and openly, creating a safe zone for different opinions and open discussions, as long as we all respect and appreciate each other.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: There are many similarities between teaching and HR, both provide empowerment, leadership, fairness, in addition to measuring and enhancing performance. Motivation is also one of the similarities and one of the most challenging. As Demonstrator how do you keep your students motivated throughout the semester?

Asser Mattar: I learn from my students as much as they learn from me. I try to listen as much as I talk, understanding their needs and trying to suit them as much as possible to the curriculum. I believe learning should be a fun experience, and making your students look forward to attending your lecture is a great challenge that I hope I have achieved. Of course there is a similarity between HR and teaching, but when the students (or employees in the case of HR) know that you are working conscientiously for their own good, they will appreciate your efforts, and their motivation will come out of mutual love. Being fair, understanding, and listening are the keywords. I deal with my students as my friends, rather than making them feel I am their superior.


We have many students who are artistically talented; musicians, actors, painters, etc. Our teaching staff encourages students to show these talents…

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Asser, you have made many brave decisions across your career life, probably to the norm it would be an unusual career path. After being a successful journalist, you decided you want to shift your career into the academic career of English Literature, and you started your second BA at the age of 36. What was your main driver into making such decision?

Asser Mattar: Well, as I said before many people encouraged me to join the English department, which was a postponed dream for a long time. When I felt that the right time had come, I just told myself “better late than never.” After working for 6 years in the Gulf, I decided to return home, as I felt that I needed a new challenge in life, and I missed my city and my family too. After being in Alexandria for a few months, I thought about joining the English Department.

To be honest it was not an easy decision in the beginning, with people my age having built stable careers, creating families, or even becoming business owners, while I am doing something I should have done two decades ago, being a student all over again with people half my age. Even my parents were kind of confused at first, questioning my decision. But as time went by, everybody appreciated what I am doing, and I felt that this place is where I belong. I felt comfortable. My love for books, reading, and writing prevailed. I became a top student in my class and I made many new lifetime friends. The age gap that I was afraid of was as if it never existed.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: What were the biggest challenges that opposed you when you decided you want to study English Literature and start a brand new career?

Asser Mattar: I think the only challenge after I had made that decision was time management. At that time I was working and studying, and I wanted to keep up with both. Sometimes I could go to work in the morning then go to a lecture or two and then go to work again until the evening and return home at night after being out for 12 hours for example. However, I was really happy with what I am doing and this gave me enough energy to go on. In my senior year I decided to take a break from work, so I resigned and spent the last semester at the university only studying and attending lectures without other distractions, and it really helped.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: What piece of advice would you pass to others who are considering a career shift? And when it would be considered a wrong or correct choice?

Asser Mattar: My advice is to follow your gut feeling. You might listen to many people advising you, but you know yourself better than any other. Life is all about choices, and there is an element of risk in every choice or decision. The question is how much you are willing to risk. When I studied accounting I learned about the “opportunity cost” where there is a cost for every choice you make, this instead of that. So the opportunity cost of life is in our hands, you are willing to lose something to gain something else, and so on. For example, can I afford to quit my job for a few months (or maybe years) to study something I really want? Am I financially stable enough to do that? Will this have a better impact on my future? Am I really happy in my job or do I just need the money? Can I take the responsibility? We have to ask ourselves these kinds of questions and many others before thinking of a career shift. Unfortunately I believe that this is a much harder decision in Egypt than in many other countries because of economic, cultural, and social reasons, and of course because of how the educational system works here. It is hard to tell when it is a right or wrong decision, this is very relative according to each individual case, but again my advice is not listening to social pressure when you have made up your mind. What I usually do before any decision is to write down the pros and cons of it and then decide.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: With the awareness of reading and self-learning, the HR departments in several global organizations are establishing libraries within the organization and initiating book clubs within.

Asser Mattar: I think this is very important. We also have a book club at the English Department, and we have no problem in keeping it going as we all (whether students, alumni, or staff) naturally love books. I think students of humanities in particular should develop a love for reading and writing, otherwise they would be wasting their time. Public libraries should be encouraged. I believe that we need this culture in our society.


Many people encouraged me to join the English department, which was a postponed dream for a long time. When I felt that the right time had come, I just told myself “better late than never.”

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: It is common that books could be our best friends, but a book can also act as a mentor. As a dedicated reader yourself, what tips would you share with all readers in order to increase their efficiency in reading and therefore learn as much lessons as possible from the book they are reading?

Asser Mattar: Again I think that time management is very important. We waste too much time on Facebook or other social media applications, or watching TV shows, etc. I have to admit that this is one of my flaws too that I am trying to overcome. I also try to avoid any distractions while reading because I lose focus easily. I try to put a goal of reading a certain amount of books every year. I also ask myself what kind of books I need to read, in what field, or which genre of books. It is also good to have a pen and a notebook by your side when you are reading, to write important quotations or references that you will need later.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Last but not least, we would love to know about your favorite book, and how it impacts you.

Asser Mattar: It is very hard to talk about one book only or choose a favorite, especially when you are a bibliophile, but maybe what I have on my mind right now is a series of Japanese comic books entitled “Barefoot Gen” where the protagonist is a young boy who loses his family in the tragic nuclear bombing of Hiroshima in World War II. In spite of all the suffering he goes through, he never gives up. The writer and artist of these books, Keiji Nakazawa, actually went through the same tragic experience, so that is why his illustrations are very realistic and painful, showing the ugliness of war, no matter how some people try to justify it.

Thank you Asser for this inspiring interview,

for sharing your experience

and for developing the community.

Civil Work

مقابلة صحفية مع إيناس عبدالقادر – مهندسة نسيج ومتحدثة في مؤتمر تيدكس وادمدني بالسودان

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صحافة: محمود منسي

ثورة الموارد البشرية: إيناس لديك العديد من الخبرات في مجالات مختلفة، هل يمكن أن تعطينا نبذة عن نفسك وأعمالك؟

مهندسة نسيج حاصلة على درجة الماجستير في هندسة النسيج (إعادة تدوير مخلفات النسيج)، من جامعة الجزيرة بالسودان.. عملي مستقل كموظفة ذاتية في مجال التصميم والبحث العلمي.. بالإضافة إلى أنني أعمل في قسم التسويق في مصنع لأكياس القماش غير المنسوجة.. وقد أصبحت القضايا البيئية جزءًا من شغفي نتيجة لذلك قمت بتأسيس شركة ريتيكس التي تعمل في إعادة تدوير مخلفات الملابس، حيث أثر فيروس كوفيد على العالم كله.

وأنشأنا مبادرة

(SudaHope)

و كانت نتيجة لتغيير جزء من خط الإنتاج لدينا إلى إنتاج أقنعة الوجه… وبالمزيد من التفكير في ريادة الأعمال كأداة يمكن أن تساعد الناس في تحسين حياتهم ، شاركت في تأسيس مبادرة

 (Business Master)

 لمساعدة أصحاب (الأعمال الصغيرة).. حظيت بالتحدث على منصة تيدكس ودمدني في 2019.. أعتقد أن أي شخص في هذا العالم يمكن أن يوفر تأثيرًا اجتماعيًا أو بيئيًا وأنا أفعل ما بوسعي للمساعدة في نجاح المبادرات المذكورة أعلاه.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: كيف يؤثر عملك على المجتمع والبيئة؟

أنا اعمل في مجال إعادة التدوير لمخلفات المنسوجات والأقمشة، ولهذا المجال العديد من الآثار على البيئة والمجتمع حيث نعمل علي خلق فرص عمل جديدة وتحسين مستوى الاقتصاد المحلي. ونظراً لمشاركتي في عدد من برامج تنمية وتطوير المجتمع أهمها (برنامج القيادات الشابة من الأمم المتحدة وعدد من برامج ريادة الأعمال من المجلس الثقافي البريطاني)، فأنا الآن اعمل على نقل هذه الخبرات التي اكتسبتها من تلك البرامج إلي عدد كبير من الشباب والعمل على تطوير مهاراتهم ليكونوا جيلاً مهتماً بريادة الأعمال ومشاريع تنمية البلاد.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: من خلال خبرتك ومن منظورك الشخصي ما هي التحديات التي تواجه بيئة العمل بالسودان؟ ما هي مقترحاتك للتعامل مع تلك التحديات؟

إن من خلال تعاملي مع عدد من المؤسسات الحكومية والخاصة في السودان لاحظت أن معظم المشاكل التي تواجه هذه المؤسسات هي عدم الاختيار السليم للموظفين بمعنى عدم وجود الشخص المناسب في المكان المناسب، ويرجع ذلك إلى عدد من الأسباب أهمها الوساطة والمحسوبية وعدم وجود تعريفات محدده للوظائف، كما أن من التحديات التي تواجه مكان العمل عدم احترام الوقت في بعض الأحيان وعدم وجود توافق بين الموظفين في المكان الواحد.

يمكن التغلب على هذه التحديات بتوظيف الأشخاص حسب تخصصاتهم وخبراتهم في المجال المعين، وكذلك التوعية بالحفاظ على الوقت وزيادة الوعي بأهمية روح الفريق الواحد ونتائجها على العمل.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: كنتي من ضمن المتحدثات بمؤتمر تيدكس وادمدني بالسودان، ماذا كان محور موضوعك؟

في عام 2019 كنت أحد المتحدثات في مؤتمر تيدكس ودمدني، وقد كان أحد أهم أهدافي أن اصعد على مسرح تيدكس ودمدني وأشارك الجميع موضوعاً يعتبر من أهم المواضيع في السودان ولكن لا يتم التطرق إليه إلا وهو موضوع نفايات؛ الأقمشة والمنسوجات وأهمية إعادة تدويرها، تكمن أهمية هذا الموضوع في انه يؤثر بصورة مباشرة على الإنسان والمجتمع ككل والبيئة المحيطة.

وعندما يتم إعادة تدوير هذه المخلفات والاستفادة منها فإنها تنتج لنا بيئة نظيفة وصحية خالية من النفايات كما أن هذا المجال يوفر عدد كبير من فرص العمل للشباب، كما أن مثل هذه المشاريع تدعم الاقتصادي المحلي للدولة.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: ما هي النشاطات الأكثر شغفاً لكي؟

من أهم النشاطات التي أحب القيام بها هي مساعدة الآخرين في تطوير أنفسهم وتحفيزهم على ذلك سواء كان ذلك عن طريق المساعدة بالتدريب أو التوجيه والإرشاد أو التوعية أو حتى عن طريق منحهم الطاقة الإيجابية التي تمنحهم ثقة في أنفسهم.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: من وجهة نظرك الشخصية ما الذي يجعل منصة تيدكس مميزة؟

تيدكس من أهم المنصات العالمية التي يجب على الجميع أن يكونوا على دراية كاملة بها لما تقدمه من محتوى يفيد الجميع في حياتهم، خاصة أنها لا تنحصر في مجال معين بل إنها تشمل العلم والتكنولوجيا والإبداع والترفيه والكثير الكثير من المجالات التي تهم الناس وتجعل حياتهم أفضل، أنا أرى أن تيدكس هي منصة التعليم الإلكتروني الأولى في العالم.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: هل يمكن أن تقصي علينا تجربة أو موقف قد مررتي به وتعلمتي منه درساً في الحياة؟

في حياتنا اليومية نقابل عدد من الأشخاص ونخوض العديد من التجارب وبالنتيجة يؤثر كل ذلك علينا ويغير طباعنا وطريقة تفكيرنا وحكمنا على الأشياء والأشخاص، ومن أعظم التجارب التي مررت بها هي تجربة مشاركتي في مؤتمر تيدكس ودمدني حيث أنني كنت من الأشخاص الذين تنتابهم الرهبة والخوف من الجمهور ولكن وبعد الصعود على المسرح وبمرور أول دقائق شعرت بتقبل الجمهور لي واستماعهم لي بعناية كبيرة ومن بعد تلك التجربة أصبحت أكثر ثقة في نفسي وزادت مقدرتي على مواجهة الجمهور وبدأت بتدريب وتحفيز العديد من الأشخاص في عدد من المجالات وأهم ما انصح به دائماً أن يواجهه الإنسان مخاوفه ويتحدي نفسه وعندها سيندهش بالنتيجة.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: ربما مفهوم “القيادة” يختلف من عصر إلا آخر بل أحياناً يختلف من شخص إلى آخر، ما هو مفهومك الشخصي للقيادة؟

إن نجاح مفهوم القيادة في الوضع الحالي يتعلق بصورة مباشرة بطريقة تفكير الأشخاص، والطريقة التي يشعرون بها، وتصرفهم بطريقة مسؤولة. فهي أكثر من كونها كاريزما أو شيء يمكن تعلمه بثلاث خطوات سهلة أو من خلال أحد البرنامج. حيث تتطلب القيادة القوية التطوير باستمرار. وليس بالضرورة أن يتمتع الأشخاص الأذكياء بالحكمة. ولكن بإمكانهم أن يتعلموا كيفية إيجاد سبل للتعامل مع التجارب الصعبة من خلال معرفة أنفسهم. كما أن العصر الحالي يعتمد على التفكير خارج الصندوق وإيجاد الحلول الإبداعية لجميع المشكلات التي تواجه الشخص القائد أو فريق العمل لدية.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: هل يمكن أن نتناول أحد التحديات التي قد مررت بها خلال حياتك العملية؟

في بداية هذا العام كنا نعمل على إنشاء ورشة لتصنيع الملابس الجاهزة وإعادة تدوير مخلفات المنسوجات، ولكن ومع ظهور فيروس (Covid19) توقف هذا العمل نظراً لتوقف الأسواق عن العمل ولم نتمكن من شراء كافة الاحتياجات الأساسية لبدء المشروع.

لم نتوقف عن العمل بل بدأنا بتحويل فكرة المشروع وتأسيس مبادرة تهتم بتصنيع الكمامات عن طريق الخياطين الذين توقفت أعمالهم وبذلك خلقنا لهم فرص عمل جديدة ووفرنا للجميع أهم وسيلة للوقاية من فيروس (Covid19).

ثورة الموارد البشرية: من وجهة نظرك الشخصية ما هي التهديدات التي تواجة إقتصاد السودان؟ وما هي مقترحاتك الاستراتيجية لتجنب المخاطر؟

إن الوضع الحالي في السودان غير مستقر في معظم القطاعات خاصة القطاع الاقتصادي وهذا القطاع يؤثر على جميع طبقات المجتمع باختلافها ومن أهم الاقتراحات الإستراتيجية التي يجب أن تطبق على البلاد هي أن نعمل على إصلاح المجتمع السوداني نفسه من خلال تكثيف التوعية والاهتمام بالأفراد وتوفير سبل العيش الكريم لهم، كما يجب أن يراعي أن السودان يحتوي على اختلافات كبيرة جداً بين الناس وعادة ما لا يتقبل أحد رأي الآخر أو توحيد الجهود مع بعضهم البعض لذلك فإن عمليات التوعية للأفراد والمجتمعات تخلق جيلاً أفضل ويعمل على نهضة البلاد.

ومن ثم إعادة النظر في السياسات الدولية للسودان وتحسين العلاقات الخارجية للبلاد، ومن أهم هذه الاقتراحات هي أن يُمحي أسم السودان من قائمة الدول الراعية للإرهاب.

ثورة الموارد البشرية: ما هي نصيحتك لمن يبغى التحدث بموؤتمر تيدكس؟

أنا أحب دائماً تشجيع أصدقائي أن يتابعوا كل الفيديوهات التي تطرح في منصة تيدكس، كما أشجعهم أن يكونوا حضورا لعدد من المؤتمرات وأحداث تيدكس في السودان خاصة تيدكس ودمدني، وبالفعل شجعت صديقتي حتى كانت أحد المتحدثين في المؤتمر السابق والآن أساعد ثلاثة من أصدقائي أن يكونوا متحدثين في المؤتمر القادم.

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Interviews

Q&A with Germeen El Manadily; TV Presenter | Publisher | Digital Marketing Expert | TEDx Speaker

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Interviewer: Mahmoud Mansi

“After the COVID-19 Pandemic, the world came to the realization that social media has a huge influence on business development, even when real physical marketing was absent.”

Germeen El Manadily

1- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Germeen, you have successfully worked in many different careers, can you tell us more about your journey?

Germeen El Manadily: I started my journey during college days, I have 12 years of work experience. I have BA from Alexandria University, and currently working on my Master’s degree in the influence of digital marketing on social development.

I worked 6 years as a publisher for a Swiss Publishing House, where I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the magical world of publishing and books. During these years we successfully published for many authors. I published more than 40 books in many languages, my first was the autobiography of the Egyptian feminist “Nawal Elsadawy.” 

I also worked on translation and publishing projects of books written by Egyptian authors, such as Youssef Idris, Salah Jahin, Abdel Rahman el Abnoudi, and Ibrahim Abdel Meguid. I contracted with Dr. Mahmoud Al-Dabaa, to translate his book, “The Culture, Identity and Arab Awareness.”

As for children’s literature, I had the opportunity to translate the original text of “The Brothers Grimm” into four languages. In addition, I worked on the production of the children’s travel literature book, “Adventures of Rouge and the Mystery of the Papyrus.”

I also spearheaded an initiative aiming at discovering new writing talents.

Finally ending my publishing career, I was the chapter head of the Middle East.

My other hat is working as a TV presenter in a weekly show at Orbit TV network, focusing on general social topics, as women rights, and career coaching.

I was chosen to speak as a motivational speaker at TEDxCIC, UN Women & Arab’s League Innovation (Her Story), and the French Institute panel in the women’s international day.

I recently shifted my career to become a digital marketing and communication expert.

My short-term plan is to make my own fingerprint in this challenging field and establish my own digital marketing firm covering Africa and the Middle East.

2- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Can you please tell us what did you love most in each job and also a lesson that you have learnt from each?

Germeen El Manadily: As a Publisher, I loved the fact of shedding the light on hidden people’s talent in writing, developing their skills, and giving them the opportunity to be introduced to the world. Being a TV presenter, I was introduced to a completely different community which gave me the chance to represent women of my age to the world. Currently, I find the digital marketing field very interesting as you play a major role in business development in a variety of fields; hence, in digital marketing you have the capability to be introduced to multiple fields at the same time, and you have to understand, compete, and plan a strategic map to grow this business in a specific period of time.

3- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As a TV Presenter you do a lot of multi-tasking even if on air. Can you please tell us what was the most challenging thing about that job?

Germeen El Manadily: Time is the most challenging thing as a TV presenter. You must be able to communicate your ideas with your audience effectively in a specific period.

4- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As you have worked 6 years in publishing, what do you believe are the common challenges facing this industry these days? What are your advice and suggested solutions?

Germeen El Manadily: Translation is a major defect in the field of publishing. Considering foreign literature occupies a big portion of the Middle East market. Professional translation needs to be further developed.

5- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As a Digital Marketing Expert, how do you believe this profession is especially important in today’s business world?

Germeen El Manadily: After the COVID-19 Pandemic, the world came to the realization that social media has a huge influence on business development, even when real physical marketing was absent.

6- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Since your next plan is to establish your own startup, what are the skills, talents, and personalities that you will be looking for in the market to recruit?

Germeen El Manadily: Creativity and time orientation in applicants.

7- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: At such age you have accomplished many things in your career, what about your personal life? Tell us a personal challenge that you have faced in your life and how did you overcome it and what did you learn from it?

Germeen El Manadily: Leaving my home city and family at my early years of life to start my business journey. Aiming high in my life and trying to hit my targets was my driving force for these challenges. Nothing is impossible.

8- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Last but not least, as a Leader, how do you work on motivating yourself and sustaining your happiness at work?

Germeen El Manadily: Self-reward is the key in keeping your motivation up and building your self-esteem.

Thank You

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Interviews

Interview with Stephanie Runyan, PHR, the Director of Learning for the HR Certification Institute

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“HR professionals must be prepared for anything.  The roles of HR professionals continually change, there will be a continued need to expand their areas of knowledge and expertise.”

Stephanie Runyan

Interviewer: Mariham Magdy

Brief Biography about the Interviewee:

Stephanie Runyan, PHR, is the Director of Learning for the HR Certification Institute (HRCI).  Previously, she served as an HR Content Manager, Recertification Supervisor and HR Products Manager.  She has worked for HRCI since August, 2010.

Stephanie has more than eight years of HR experience and is PHR-certified since 2009.  Previously, Stephanie worked as an HR Generalist for an engineering firm in Virginia and as an HR Manager for a law firm in Washington, D.C.  Stephanie earned a BS in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an MS in Human Resource Development from Villanova University

HR Revolution Middle-East: Ms. Stephanie, welcome to HR Revolution Middle East Magazine. It’s a great pleasure to have the opportunity to make this interview with you.

The HRCI has recently developed a rich Learning Catalogue for Professionals World-wide in addition to the International Certification Exams. This Learning Catalogue includes diversified courses, covering a lot of important fields, offered to learners to study at the ease of their homes online. As the Director of Learning, can you please share with us how was this differentiated product born?

Ms. Stephanie Runyan:

With the release of HRCI’s upSkill product in 2018, HRCI entered the learning space. Over the past two years, the demand for upSkill has increased. HRCI is now committed to continue offering current and relevant learning options to our global HR professional network. In 2020, this evolved into our establishment of a diverse and affordable learning catalog.

2- HR Revolution Middle East: The HRCI Learning Catalogue offers for Professionals the upSkill™ & the Online Professional Development Certificate Programs & Courses. Can you please explain to us the difference between the two products?

Ms. Stephanie Runyan:

HRCI’s certification exams require a combination of education and experience, as well as successfully passing a rigorous exam.  Upon successfully passing the exam, successful candidates earn a credential that requires recertification every three years. HRCI’s upSkill product is available to anyone, regardless of education or experience. The program offers a timed assessment for upSkill courses. After completion of an upSkill course, a digital badge is issued and does not require recertification efforts.

3- HR Revolution Middle East: We have really noticed that the upSkill™ micro credentials gives the HR Professionals the opportunity to learn about very specific and totally new areas in HR like or example “California HR” & “HR in Social Media”. We would love to learn from you how those products were that intelligently tailored to cover missing areas in the traditional HRM education?

Ms. Stephanie Runyan:

HRCI developed our UpSkill content based on feedback from our certified network of professionals. HRCI offers the PHRca certification, and those who earn that certification offered extensive feedback for the development of learning around California labor and leave legislation. In addition, HRCI identifies new topic areas based on what is happening in the world. For example, HR in Social Media, is a topic that impacts everyone, regardless of location or type of organization.

4- HR Revolution Middle East: The current Learning Catalogue for upSkill™ micro credentials  include California HR, HR in Social Media, Confidentiality and Technology, Risk Management, and Workforce Analytics.  Are you planning to add more specialties for the micro-credentials catalogue? Would you consider tailoring certain micro-credentials for the Middle East?

Ms. Stephanie Runyan:

As HRCI continues to expand its learning offerings, we will continue to evaluate our certification population. Based on such data, HRCI will tailor programs on based on certain geographical areas or needs.

5- HR Revolution Middle East: The upSkill™ is considered by the HRCI a bite-sized e-learning program that allows professionals to efficiently learn from top business experts, gain new skills, and impact decision-making at their organizations. Can you share with us more about how such content is developed and the huge efforts played in the background in order to enrich the market with this unique product?

Ms. Stephanie Runyan:

The entire upSkill development process was based on HR practices from current HR professionals.  We reached out and established micro-panels of experts in each of the content areas to build out the content and assessment for each of our upSkill courses.  In addition, we worked with third-party vendors to fill the gap for additional learning topics and products.   

6- HR Revolution Middle East: The Online Professional Development Certificate Programs & Courses include a variety of courses that don’t limit to the HR only but it even includes certificates in computer applications & cybersecurity. Can we consider this an opportunity from the HRCI to provide reliable courses’ content to professionals from other disciplines as well? Would this product be elaborated in future to turn into certifying professionals from other disciplines?

Ms. Stephanie Runyan:

HRCI continues to explore additional learning areas where HR professionals can expand their knowledge.  While our upSkill courses address specific topic areas, our learning catalog also offers educational opportunities that range from topics such as Agility, Women in Business, Data Management and Business Strategy. As far as learning is concerned, HRCI will continue to explore different disciplines and topics that impact the practice of HR.

7- HR Revolution Middle East: To what extent do you believe HR professionals shall not limit their study to HR related subjects only, but shall expand to learn about related disciplines to excel in their field and serve their organizations differently?

Ms. Stephanie Runyan:

HR professionals must be prepared for anything.  The roles of HR professionals continually change. I believe that there will be a continued need to expand their areas of knowledge and expertise.  I also expect that there will be a desire to learn more about specific industries, in greater detail.  For example, if you have a manufacturing organization, I can easily see HR professionals looking to learn more about the manufacturing industry, it’s competitors, and challenges that a specific industry may face.

8- HR Revolution Middle East: The Product Development dynamics have recently become very aggressive due to the technological disruption, so we would like to ask you finally, to give an advice for product directors and managers; how can they increase their creativity and innovation skills to cope with such dynamics?

Ms. Stephanie Runyan:

My recommendation would be to continue to monitor the needs and wants of your specific audiences.  As the world responds to the effects of the global pandemic, there will be an increased need for virtual capabilities and enhanced technology that can support your organization’s initiatives.

THANK YOU

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