Passion with a Purpose

PROVO, Utah – Jan 29, 2020 – Throughout her life, BYU Marriott junior Rebecca Garrett hasn't found a personal, athletic, or professional bar she couldn’t clear. Most recently, the former BYU track and field team high jumper has found her next passion and is jumping into the world of human resource management.

Garrett and her five siblings were raised on a farm in Iberia, Missouri, where she was an all-state high jumper all four years of high school, winning first in the state her junior year. She has a personal record jump of five feet, seven inches—the average female in the United States stands at five feet, four inches.

After graduating high school, Garrett moved to Utah to attend BYU, planning to study to become a cardiologist. As a freshman, Garrett competed on the BYU track and field team as a high jumper. After returning from her mission her mission to Malaga, Spain and getting married, Garrett switched her major to psychology but still didn’t feel like she’d found a path that fit. 

“I’ve always known I wanted to help people,” says Garrett. “I talked with my husband and realized I didn’t want to be a therapist, so we looked at my strengths and the things I enjoyed, and he introduced me to human resources. Right after being introduced to the idea, I dove in headfirst and have been in love with HR ever since.”

Garrett was part of BYU Society of Human Resources (SHRM) teams that competed at the Purdue University Department of Human Resources Case Competition in both 2018 and 2019. “In 2018 we didn’t win, but we probably learned more from losing than had we won, and that’s shaped me in many ways,” she says. “In 2019, the difference between the two competitions was black and white.” Garrett and the rest of the team walked away from the 2019 competition with a first-place win and a $5,000 prize.

But it's not just winning competitions that drives Garrett. She’s motivated by the potential her work has to help others find careers they love, just as she has. “I want to help others find their passion and make it a part of their lives, HR allows that,” she says. “Human resources is all about self-improvement, feedback, and helping employees develop. Those are my passions.”

Assistant professor of organizational behavior and human resources Kurt Sandholtz has enjoyed the opportunity to work with Garrett as a teacher and mentor. “The word that comes to mind with Rebecca is purposeful,” he says. “She is determined to be a top-notch HR professional, and she’s not waiting around for it to happen. She’s orchestrating it, from lining up killer internships to leading out in BYU Marriott school clubs and activities. She makes things happen. “

Garrett has interned as a talent acquisition specialist at Southwest Airlines and is currently an HR specialist on the recruiting team at BYU’s Office of Information Technology; she also serves as the VP of recruiting in the BYU chapter of SHRM. “I have a lot of experience in recruiting, and I love it. It’s definitely where I want to focus my career,” she says.

Garrett is eager to get into the job field after she graduates in April 2021 and hopes to return to BYU Marriott to earn her MBA at some point.

“I want to help people be able to find what they’re passionate about like I have,” says Garrett. “That way their job is just part of their life. They’re not waking up and having to go to work; instead they’re waking up and getting to do something they love.”

Rebecca Garrett stands in front of a window. She has curled brown hair and is wearing red lipstick. She is dressed in a black suit.
Rebecca Garrett (Photo courtesy of Rebecca Garrett)
Rebecca completes a high jump over a pole. She is mid jump, bending backwards over the pole while completely airborne.
Rebecca Garrett completes a high jump (Photo courtesy of Rebecca Garrett)
Five students in professional dress stand in front of a window
Rebecca Garrett and the SHRM team at the Purdue Case Competition. Left to right: Rachel Hair, Chelsea Allen, Rebecca Garrett, Alayna Sant, Gabriel Monarrez. (Photo courtesy of Rebecca Garrett)

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Anne Wallace