The Value Of Psychology In Human Resource Management
Applied Psychology

The valuable role of psychology for a career in Human Resource Management

Nov 26, 2018

SACAP alumni Angela Bosini describes how the psychology concepts she’s learnt have fortified her role in Human Resources.

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and study after school – awesome! But what direction to go in and which route to take can seem daunting. Overwhelming in fact. The decisions you make now will impact the rest of your life so the pressure’s on, but don’t let that cloud your vision. If working with people is something that tickles your fancy, consider studying psychology. It could be the catalyst that sets you on the career path of your dreams.

Not sure what kind of career you can get with a psychology degree? We caught up with Angela Bosini, 41, HR Director at Singita – a collection of luxury lodges and camps located in South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Angela completed her Advanced Certificate in Counselling and Communications Skills at SACAP in 2016. She chatted to us about the relevance of psychology in the HR environment.

Do what you love

Angela has always been drawn to working with people. After school she completed a Bachelor of Science degree with the intention of getting into medicine. “However, this never materialized,” she explains, and she decided to further her studies in HR instead. “I’m passionate about understanding and learning about people’s motivation and behaviour,” she says. “I’ve had many career highlights and they’re all centred around the people I’ve worked with along the way.”

Coupled with her penchant for working with people, Angela’s keen interest in social impact has made her role as HR director at Singita a particularly fulfilling one. The company has been preserving and protecting African wilderness areas for 25 years, she says. “Singita’s conservation, sustainability and community development initiatives are appealing to me and I feel as though the work that I do contributes to a higher purpose.”

Practice makes perfect

Having spent a number of years in HR Angela values how her studies in psychology and counselling have enriched her work experience. “You engage with people all day in the field of HR and a grounding in how to read and respond to people certainly helps,” she says.

During a sabbatical Angela decided to enhance her people skills by building on the psychology major she graduated with from university almost 20 years ago. Impressed by SACAP’s “personal, tailor-made approach and flexibility” she completed her Advanced Certificate in Counselling and Communications Skills part-time at SACAP’s Cape Town campus. “The nature of the course, and studying it later in life, meant that I had more life experience and I was able to apply my learning to a wider range of situations and with deeper insight,” she says.

Angela lists the small, “very engaging” classes and superior content as the course’s most attractive features. “I really rate the practical component very highly, too,” she says. The work integrated learning element of her university experience was somewhat lacking in comparison, she admits.

Love what you do

Currently Angela says she oversees the strategic direction of 1,400 staff at Singita, emphasizing that she uses the skills she learnt on her SACAP course daily. “I draw on them when communicating with people and making decisions,” she explains, adding that they’re also useful at home – where she raises three kids – and in her friendships, too.

As far as job satisfaction goes Angela gives hers a big thumbs up. Why? A number of reasons: “I enjoy the wonderful people with whom I work; no two days are the same; my work is exciting and stretches me, and I get to experience beautiful parts of nature in Africa.” What’s not to love? “HR is a career that requires one to give a lot of oneself,” she concedes, and agrees that being well versed in counselling and interpersonal communication skills as well as things like management strategies has really helped to support her career trajectory.

Angela’s HR success story is just a glimpse into the many career avenues psychology can steer you. Want to know more about the types of psychology courses SACAP offers? Perhaps you have a few burning questions you’d like answered first, like what is psychology? Or what is counselling? Remember knowledge is key. The more you can find out about the various routes available to you, the more equipped you’ll be for your career journey ahead. SACAP can help you map out your future. Enquire here now.

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