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Mackenzie Heaton APHRNZ

What led you to a career in HR? 

I was introduced to the idea of pursuing HR following a careers analysis session at high school. Hesitant at first, I undertook some work experience and much to my own surprise loved every minute of it. I enrolled in Massey University’s BA with a major in Business Psychology. With COVID hitting in my second year of university, online studies became second nature and so I made the move back home to Hawke’s Bay to complete my third year of studies online whilst also being lucky enough to gain an HR assistant position to gain industry experience. Following graduation at the end of 2021, I was fortunate to be offered a fixed term position at Craggy Range Vineyards which resulted in a permanent position in the newly formed role of People and Capability Coordinator that I am in today. 

What do you love about working in HR? 

What I love most about Human Resources is that it has such a vast function within an organisation, it not only allows you to be involved with an organisations higher level objectives and strategy, but it also consistently heroes a people-centric approach by highlighting how essential every individual employee’s contribution is to achieving those objectives. Being involved in each step of an employee’s lifecycle within the organisation means that no two days are the same and there are never ending opportunities to expand your own knowledge in the field as well as having a meaningful impact on employees both personally and professionally. 

What is an achievement so far that you are proud of? 

Completing my degree in a field that I am passionate about was a great achievement for me, but the most rewarding part of that was being fortunate enough to have secured roles both during and following my studies with such incredible mentors. Being entrusted by my managers to have exposure and real input into as many HR functions within the organisation as possible has fostered so many developmental achievements for me so far. 

What are your thoughts on the Accredited Professional Member process? 

The process of applying for the APMHRNZ was a great opportunity for self-reflection, often in HR we spend time reflecting on the broader team and forget to do the same for ourselves, so it was a really good opportunity to reflect on how far I have come. 

Do you plan to now work towards becoming a chartered member? 

Yes! I still have plenty of learning to do but working towards this membership will be a great way to keep myself accountable for my progression and is an exciting accreditation to strive for. 

What are your next steps in terms of your career? 

I think for the time being it will be continuing to develop and soak up as much knowledge as I can through the opportunities and amazing mentorship I have in my current organisation, with the aim of pursuing an HR Business Partner position when the right opportunity presents itself in the future.