Meeting the BBC’s HR Director

Today I had my first meeting with the HR Director at the BBC and my mentor for the year, Valerie Hughes-D’Aeth. I arrived to the BBC offices in the Mailbox quite early, so had a good chance to take in the impressiveness of the offices/studio before being taken to the room in which we were to have the meeting.

Whilst Valerie was finishing up in a meeting, her business partner Amanda came and met me and took me for a tour around the BBC offices, explaining how HR at the BBC has changed over the last few years, and explaining the functions of each team as we went. We even bumped into TV presenter Nick Owen!

Amanda and I then went back to the meeting room and talked more about why I was interested in HR, and how I have and can continue to gain the necessary knowledge and experience for a career in HR given that my degree background is far from HR and the world of business. I asked Amanda for some advice on what to expect from a ‘technical interview’ for HR as I have one coming up in two weeks’ time for a graduate scheme, to which she talked through some of the things I could look to do to prepare for it.

Valerie then joined us, and we discussed in more depth my understanding of HR itself. We established that I need to really develop my wider knowledge of how individual businesses work when applying to work in HR for them, as the main reason for HR’s existence is to enable the most efficient functioning of the business towards achieving its goals.

I recently had an assessment centre for a graduate scheme in which I was not successful in gaining a place, and had emailed Valerie prior to the meeting about the possibility of going through the feedback I had been sent following it. We read through the feedback together and picked up that the main thing I need to work on for another assessment centre I have coming up, is to ensure I am asserting myself enough in group tasks. Valerie reassured me that I am doing well to be getting as far as I am with applications, and encouraged me not to get disheartened with negative outcomes, which is something I struggle with!

The meeting ended with Valerie offering me the chance to do some shadowing of the HR Service Team to get more of the direct exposure to HR that I am currently lacking. I am now very much looking forward to hearing from Valerie and Amanda again soon to arrange this.

Katie Jones, 3rd Year History and American Studies

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