When a team member comes forward with a goal to take her career to the next level, it’s a true honor to be along for the ride. Sheila Kohler recently completed her Society for Human Resource Management – Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certification.

“I started a 13-week Bellarmine University course in February.  Along with field experience, taking this course is a pre-requisite to being allowed to sit for the actual exam.  I sat for the exam 4 months later,” she said.

Sheila shared that if she’s not learning then she’s not growing. She’s been in the accounting field after studying at Sullivan, but to date had not received any formal education in human resources. She felt this was the logical next step for her so that she could have a better understanding and confidence in her knowledge of HR.

In her own words, Sheila says:

My intent for gaining this certification was two-fold.  I wanted the education for myself, to grow my knowledge base and make me more marketable, but I wanted to be able to confidentially be there for the team members and company I serve every day.  There are many policies, laws, and regulations when it comes to the workplace, they have changed over the evolution of HR and they will continue to change.  Therefore, being certified and knowing these laws and being a resource in this area not only benefits our team members who may not know the full extent of a labor law such as FMLA but it also helps our organization as whole grow with the rapidly changing world around us.  As our society changes so do the expectations of the workforce.  The workforce wants to know what kind of company they may be working for, they want to know what a company’s vision is regarding DE&I, they want to know how the company is going to help them grow and how the company is overall aligned with their values and if the company is changing as cultures change. My hope is that I can help guide our team and organization to grow and align with cultural standards to help ECT become even more marketable to the workforce.”  

Her hope is to bring more value to our organization. Her favorite part of the program was recognizing that she had the room for growth not only in her personal development, but also how it could relay to those around her.

She found the most challenging part of the program was recognizing what she didn’t already know. She quickly learned that HR entails more than just payroll, benefits etc. She also found she had to sharpen her study habits, which can be true of anyone who takes the leap to further their education after being into their career for many years.

“I am in a much different place in my life now and trying to find the time to figure out how I learned best now compared to before and doing it all while having a full-time career, children, a family, and others that depend on me was the most challenging part of the process.”

Her husband, Scott, also an ECT Team Member was along for the ride. “Sheila had dedicated most of her evenings to studying for the SHRM certification for the past few months.  So, not only was she putting in a full day at work, but also many hours at home.  There were moments of stress and time she questioned  herself.  However, all her hard work and late hours paid off.  I am super proud of her dedication and work ethic!  She was beyond excited once she found out she passed.  I am so happy for her to gain this certification,” he said. Now that’s a great support system.

Sheila’s hope is to continue to learn and grow.  She says her education doesn’t stop at the exam because HR changes everyday and to remain an asset to any organization one must continue to learn and grow.  

CEO Jeff Murphy also chimed in on the accolades regarding Sheila’s accomplishment:

“Sheila is an intelligent, dynamic, and growing leader.  She has determination, passion, and grit to make things happen and get things done.  Her desire to obtain the SHRM certification has been driven by her passion for more understanding in how to best serve our most valuable asset – our Team Members.  She has a huge compassion for each person on our team and works diligently to make sure they are taken care of.  It is exciting to see her efforts pay off to achieve this milestone as one of the next steps in her career,” he says.