Interview with the former Intern Paula Guijarro: Passion can guarantee success

By Imane Mdarhri and Qingyi Xu

Starting an academic or a professional career in Human Resources can be difficult at the beginning, as it requires a strong basis in various specialties like psychology, law, and economics. But the good news is that passion can be the ingredient to succeed as an HR specialist and surpass all the challenges. In short, Passion can guarantee success.

1- What did you study at university and what is your current position?

At university, I studied Psychology; I got a degree in Work organizations and Human Resources’ Psychology. Currently, I am working to fulfill my ambition in this field by preparing a Master’s degree in Human Ressources. At the same time, I put my knowledge into practice by working as an HR specialist in a French Multinational Company.

2- How did you join LSBC? In which department did you work? 

At that time, I had almost finished another internship and I was still interested in developing my skills also learning new things. Mainly, I was looking for an international experience, where I can efficiently get my English basis into practice. So, when I heard about LSBCs’ internship program at the Erasmus Intern platform, I decided to join the HR department as an HR Intern. Since it was a remote working position, I comfortably combine university studies and my responsibilities at LSBC; –It was the perfect combination.

3- How long was your internship and what were your main tasks?

My internship at LSBC lasted for 5 Months. My tasks were mainly about recruiting, including analyzing the jobs’ applications, selecting candidates, preparing interviews plus other tasks like updating the interns’ manual and branding. Moreover, as there wasn’t a Team Leader yet and there was only me in HR, sometimes, I had to work on both positions but for me, it was great and beneficial.

4.  How was your experience at LSBC?

In the beginning, it was hard because I was the only one in the HR department. But after a while, I developed not only my own skills but also the whole department. That gave me the comfort and confidence to give more and work harder.

On the other side, it was my first time in remote working, which was interesting. It has brought me autonomy and other soft-skills. For example, team working and decision-making. Also, I developed my sense of independence and creativity. Essentially, it was an amazing opportunity to try new things, learn new techniques, and of course to know more about the business market and HR strategies.

Furthermore, throughout the internship period, I got the opportunity to practice English communication and develop my competency; which helped a lot me to join my current teamwork smoothly.

“Achieving success starts when you turn back and get surprised by your own achievement.”

Paula Guijarro
5- What are the required skills to succeed as an HR specialist?

First, you have to be well-prepared and organized. Also, you should have control over the whole process. Those skills in HR specialist help to communicate with candidates and give more credibility to the process. Additionally, maintaining tools like Trello helps to manage tasks, which leads to great results.

6- Since the beginning of this pandemic, a lot of sectors and businesses have stopped their activities or changed their strategies. So, from your perspective, is that going to impact the HR sector? Can we expect new managerial methods?

From my perspective, the current situation is somehow going to change everything. For example, when I started, remote working was something strange and complicated to deal with. However, now, it becomes the norm. Further, a lot of companies have reoriented their plans and adapted their projects to fit with the current context. Globally, it is about virtual collaboration. Therefore, HR professionals likewise have to take those changes into account during the selection process and focus more on the new virtual collaboration.

“To succeed as an HR specialist, you have to be a good communicator, a subjective person, and to know where to search for.”

Paula Guijarro

7- What are the criteria for a successful HR professional?

Mainly, the ingredient is passion. Then, the ambition to learn comes. Besides, knowledge becomes useless without the passion for what you do. 

Passion can guarantee success
Paula Guijarro : Passion can guarantee success

8- HR is about human relations and communications. How to manage such tasks in a remote working position?

LSBC, for instance, has succeeded in applying remote working circumstances since the beginning. The key from my point of view is to keep in touch with all the team members, via meetings, webinars, or other interactive activities; using audio-visual platforms and instant messaging apps.

9- Would you recommend your LSBC internship-experience to your friends or community? And, Why?

For me, I will for sure, recommend my internship-experience at LSBC. Not only to my friends but also to HR students because it is a unique chance to get international work experiences and to work in a multicultural environment. For a fresh graduate, working remotely and holding such responsibility may look difficult. Still, we have to push ourselves out of our comfort zone and start intelligently taking risks. 

10- What are your future plans? What would you say to HR students or future HR specialists?

I plan to finish my Master’s degree. Then to start looking for a job and developing my professional career into the next level.

My advice, for HR students or future HR specialists, is never be scared, either, to try new things or to work in different sectors or positions. Because HR is not only about recruitment and professionalism is much deeper than a degree. To sum up, Passion can guarantee success.

“Choosing the right candidate is about picking the key-words, reading the between-lines of an application, and asking the right questions”

Paula Guijarro