How the aPHR Inspired Jacqueline White-Tolefree to Strengthen Her Leadership Skills and Pursue Higher Education

For professionals like Jacqueline White-Tolefree an HRCI certification came with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Her aPHR not only inspired Jacqueline to strengthen her leadership skills, but also to pursue higher education in a field that she loves. 

Jacqueline shares what she has learned during her certification journey and advises future HRCI certification holders.

What’s new in your HR career? Any professional achievements? Recently awarded the Civilian Service Commendation Medal for leadership and performance; no doubt the HR training I have had over the years played a huge role in how I lead and perform daily.

How did HRCI certification help you and/or inspire you? The HRCI certification has inspired me to evaluate my leadership style, look at how I motivate others based on their individual needs. Everyone learns differently and knowing how to tap into that individuality allows me to approach each person differently, but fairly. It has also helped me improve hiring practices within my organization.

What is the greatest benefit of HRCI certification? The greatest benefit for me is being able to display that certified designation and being able to say “Jackie you did that and no one can take that away from you”. It’s a proud feeling of accomplishment and my determination, which by the way was no easy feat.

What advice would you give to future HRCI certification holders? Do not let your certification lapse; continue with your education units and share what you learn with other up and coming HR professionals. Study, Study, Study, learn the information and put it into practice daily.

Who or what has had the biggest impact on your HR career? Sharbeck Consulting Group training and HRCI webinars has had the biggest impact on my HR career with the flexibility of the courses offered for continued education as a HR professional. Without these two organizations, I would have never taken the steps to become certified.

What are your future goals? Continue my education and possible pursue a Doctorate in Human Resource Management; prepare for the Professional in Human Resource certificate is most definitely on my radar.

What HR initiative at your organization are you most proud of? I am most proud of implementing a Peer-to-Peer award system where the employees can nominate a coworker and write a small snippet as to why that employee deserves to be recognized. This program has encouraged more teamwork and employee engagement in ensuring the team remain knowledgeable on all current and new processes in the workplace. The program also motivates the employee to do their job to the best of their abilities and they feel proud when they can share what they know with each other.

What does the future hold for HR? HR is part of every organization whether a dedicated HR department exists. Having the education and resources necessary will help HR professionals improve and create value within the organizations. It has become a necessity in every aspect of an organizations existence.

Anything else you’d like to add? As an HR professional, I utilize the knowledge of the HR field not only in my professional work environment, but also in social organizations where I have a leadership role. I want to leave any organization I encounter better than what it was when I arrived.

Jacqueline currently works as a Supervisor, Human Resources Assistant for the San Antonio Military Entrance Processing Station.

Due to the funding provided by the Military Human Resources, Human Capital & Resources Management Career Field, the student was able to pursue their aPHR credential.