Leaving Her Mark
PROVO, Utah – Mar 17, 2020 – While she can trace her family history back to BYU-building namesakes such as Jesse Knight and George H. Brimhall, Rachel Hair is making her own impact on the school as the president of BYU’s Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) club.
As a sixth-generation BYU student, Hair always knew that her path would lead her to Provo. “One of the blessings of BYU is that we don’t only focus on the academic aspects of our lives, but that we can also focus on the spiritual aspects of ourselves and those around us,” says Hair. This focus on developing her whole self has shaped Hair’s college journey.
For Hair, BYU Marriott’s human resources management (HRM) program perfectly matched her interests and her desire to improve herself. She decided to pursue HR after reading Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith. Goldsmith’s words in the book about leadership coaching caught Hair’s attention, and she thought, “Whatever that guy does is my dream job.”
She found out that Goldsmith had studied organizational behavior, and she decided that BYU Marriott’s HRM program would be a great fit for her. “I always felt like BYU Marriott was my place and felt like my fellow HR majors were my people,” Hair says of her experience in the program. “Everything I learned was what I love and what I’m passionate about.” Her decision to study human resources was “solidified over and over.”
Throughout her time in the HRM program, Hair has reached outside of her comfort zone to take on new challenges and opportunities. She tells herself “I’m not going to be scared. I’m going to go for things.” For example, she overcame her initial intimidation to compete in a SHRM case competition as a freshman. That competition became a defining moment in her college experience.
Hair’s SHRM mentor Jen Garza, a 2018 HRM graduate, also encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone and attend a career fair when Hair was a sophomore. Hair met a representative from HealthEquity at the fair and later worked for the company for a year.
Beyond providing opportunities to grow, BYU’s SHRM club has given Hair opportunities to both help others and to be inspired by those around her. “The students at BYU Marriott are hardworking and ethical, and they come with diverse experiences beyond your normal college grad,” says Hair. In addition to current students, Hair shares that alumni from the BYU Marriott HRM program have always been willing to help her with SHRM events, reach out to recruit students, and mentor her on a one-on-one basis. One alum talked with Hair on the phone for over an hour in order to help her complete a class assignment.
The people who have impacted Hair’s time at BYU have helped her grow in all areas of her life. “College can sometimes be hard because it feels self-oriented,” says Hair. “You have to balance school and life. You should be focusing on yourself, and you should be focusing on grades but not to an unhealthy amount.” She has found that healthy balance through opportunities such as student wellness classes, an on-campus internship with DecisionWise, and a study abroad spent at the BYU Jerusalem Center. Hair shares that these experiences have given her a new perspective and prepared her for the future.
“When you elevate one area of your life, you elevate all areas of your life,” says Hair. She has turned this idea of elevating every aspect of life into the BYU SHRM theme of “Reach” for the 2019–2020 school year. Beyond reaching out of their comfort zone to potential employers, students are encouraged to reach up to God and reach out to those who may be struggling.
Hair feels that the best part of her role as SHRM president has been the opportunity to have a bigger influence to help people. In the future, she hopes to use her talents to make an impact on the world. “I want to go out and do good things,” says Hair. “I want to keep reaching people and lifting others.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kenna Pierce