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Student Plans to Become a Senior VP in Human Resources
It wasn’t long ago that NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) student Yolanda Zamora experienced her first liking for Human Resources (HR) work, and she hasn’t wavered from the HR career path since.
She plans to earn her associate of applied science in business at NWACC and then transfer to the University of Arkansas (U of A) and earn a bachelor's degree in business management with an emphasis in human resources, and a minor in accounting.
“I decided to pursue my bachelor’s degree in human resources because I enjoyed the planning, strategizing and development of training. I worked for human resources for a few years and loved every minute of it,” she said.
Yolanda won’t settle for just any HR job, she’s determined to become a senior vice president in HR for a large corporation such as Walmart, Tyson or J.B. Hunt. She wants to be the center of a company’s strategic planning.
“Senior VPs are responsible for developing and implementing company policy, and directing staffing goals and strategies to support a productive and profitable business. They are responsible for talent acquisition that best fits the company’s goals and objectives. They provide the leadership that the managers need to focus and accomplish the companies mission and vision,” she explained.
To be able to connect with others at NWACC and further develop her service and leadership skills, Yolanda joined the Student Ambassador and Government Association (SAGA). SAGA is an organized voice of NWACC students that shares NWACC experiences with prospective students, families and community members. The association partners with the college and students in advocating for a learning environment that is equally supportive of all students’ goals.
“What I like most about SAGA is the opportunity that I am given to become a better leader while doing what I love. I get the chance to be more involved and build connections with students and staff. But most of all, it allows me to make a difference on campus,” she said. “It helps one become a better role model for the community.”
As a member of SAGA, Yolanda has also been able to pursue initiatives important to her personally.
“When I joined SAGA there were a few initiatives that were already written and proposed by my fellow members. I decided to help with the initiative to raise awareness [about NWACC] for international students. Being an immigrant myself, I felt that I could contribute my knowledge and help provide a resource to make it a successful initiative,” she said.
Outside of her schoolwork and activities, Yolanda continues to sharpen her skills by working for NWACC’s Career Services. She sets up student appointments for career guidance, success coaching and transfer services. Much of her time is spent assisting students and alumni with resume writing, interviewing and internship opportunities. She also manages the career services website, develops relationships with employers, and assists with career fairs.
“I love working for Career Services. It has been a great way for me to build a stronger connection with students and faculty. I have built more connections within the community and the employers in our area. [Supervisor] Erin has been a great role model and an inspiration for my professional growth and development,” Yolanda said.
Due to Yolanda’s dedication to her educational goals, personal and professional development, as well as her involvement on campus and in the community, she was recently nominated for the Golden Eagle Award by her supervisor, Erin Hollingsworth.
“I enjoy working with Yolanda and am happy to be able to nominate her for this award. I have great respect for her as an individual and as a professional, and am confident that she is deserving of the Golden Eagle Award. She is a creative and dedicated employee who consistently surpasses her daily job duties and has a great reputation with the students and staff of NWACC,” Erin said. “She is very ambitious in her position, and has made some creative suggestions on reaching out to students to educate them on opportunities within NWACC.”
NWACC students who are nominated for the Golden Eagle Award must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average and demonstrate a commitment to education, social awareness and personal development and be involved in varied activities.
Golden Eagle Award recipients, like Yolanda, receive a certificate of recognition and a $100 check from the NWACC Foundation at the NWACC Board of Trustees meetings. Monthly recipients of the award may become eligible for consideration as the College’s Distinguished Golden Eagle Award, an honor presented annually that includes additional scholarship money.
“It is a great honor and privilege to be the winner of the Golden Eagle award. It feels great to be recognized for my involvement on campus and for my hard work,” she said.
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NWACC offers affordable options when earning credits that can transfer to a four-year institution. Visit nwacc.edu or call 479-986-4000 to learn more about choosing a higher education with NWACC.