Cristina Ricciardi Represents CBE as an HRPA Student Member
Cristina Ricciardi walked into her first Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) event as a first year student and she’s never looked back. Now, three years later, Cristina has become the webmaster for HRPA’s local Guelph chapter as well as the featured student on the national HRPA Student Membership campaign. By stepping out of her comfort zone, Cristina has established connections with professionals in the community as well as professors in her Human Resources Management program.
Cristina states, “Throughout my first semester, I was intimidated by professors and I never considered reaching out to them for professional assistance. Once I joined HRPA, I established relationships with individuals in the local chapter who gave me the confidence to network with my professors as well as others in my area. I have learned that professors are more than willing to help students outside the classroom and I have benefitted greatly from their assistance.”
As one of the few students who attends HRPA events in Guelph, Cristina’s input has been greatly welcomed. Due to her knowledge of websites and social media, Cristina was chosen to serve as the chapter’s webmaster, a role she has now held for two years.
Cristina also learned about the Human Resources Management Student Association (HRMSA) through her involvement with HRPA and decided to join during her second year. Being a member of the student association has given her opportunities to network with other students in her program both within and outside the classroom. Now in her fourth year, Cristina serves as co-president of HRMSA.
Cristina was also encouraged to apply for a summer internship with GROWMARK INC, where she was accepted the summer after her third year. Cristina was one of six students in Canada chosen to work on an independent project through her internship. She worked to create a resource that would provide tools and guidance for employees who wanted to advance in the co-operative system. Cristina then presented her resource to upper management where it was accepted and is now used as a tool for employees.
Moving forward, Cristina plans to look for opportunities in Human Resources after graduation and she will continue to work toward her Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation. She states, “I am very impressed with the HRM major at the University of Guelph as the degree includes the academic requirements for all of the nine Compulsory Subjects set out by the HRPA. Upon graduation, I will be ahead of the curve when preparing for my certification. I encourage incoming students to make connections while you are here. The opportunities presented to me would never have occurred if I had not made an effort outside the classroom. Networking is our key to success!”