Journey to Certification: Let’s Talk Scholarships! A Three-Part Series

Virginia State Council is committed to advancing the HR profession in Virginia through initiatives like the HR Virginia Scholarship Program. Anastasia Mizitova, HRVA Certification Director, recently sat down with Meg Riat, SPHR, SHRM SCP, HR Virginia State Director and Director of People Operations at Leaseweb USA, Inc., to discuss the program’s objectives, aspirations, and advice for prospective applicants.

Part 1

Interview with Meg Riat, HR Virginia State Director:

AM: Meg, could you walk us through the objectives and goals of the HR Virginia Scholarship Program?

Meg Riat: Our primary objective with the Scholarship Program is to support HR professionals in Virginia and DC. We aim to foster the development of talented individuals who demonstrate passion, dedication, and potential in the field of Human Resources. By offering this scholarship, we hope to encourage and empower aspiring HR practitioners to pursue their academic and professional goals, ultimately contributing to the growth and excellence of the HR community in our region.

AM: Thank you! Could you elaborate on the types of HR practitioners the program aims to assist?

Meg Riat: The Scholarship Program is designed to assist a diverse range of HR practitioners at various stages of their careers. Whether you’re a recent college graduate aspiring to enter the HR field, a mid-career professional seeking to enhance your skills and credentials, or someone transitioning into HR from another industry, our program is here to support you. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds who exhibit a genuine commitment to advancing their knowledge and expertise in Human Resources.

AM: What are the main purposes of the scholarship, and how can recipients utilize the funds?

Meg Riat: The scholarship funds can be used for pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in HR at any Virginia-based university or college, enrollment in SHRM or HRCI preparation programs, or attendance at the 2024 Virginia or National SHRM conference. The reimbursement process involves covering the expenses upfront and submitting proof of payment for verification to receive reimbursement.

AM: Those are certainly valuable opportunities. What aspirations do you have for scholarship recipients?

Meg Riat: We aspire for our scholarship recipients to utilize this opportunity to further their education and professional development in the field of HR. Additionally, we aim for them to become catalysts for positive change within their organizations and communities, embodying principles of ethical leadership, inclusivity, and innovation.

AM: Thank you for providing that insight. Now, could you offer some advice for prospective scholarship applicants?

Meg Riat: My advice for prospective applicants is to carefully review the eligibility criteria and application requirements, showcase your passion for Human Resources, articulate your career goals, and approach the application with authenticity and sincerity. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our scholarship committee or volunteer leaders for guidance and support throughout the application process.

AM: That’s valuable advice for our readers. Lastly, could you share the important dates for the 2024 HRVA scholarship process?

Meg Riat: Prospective applicants, mark your calendars for the 2024 HRVA scholarship application period from August 16 to September 16. Take the opportunity to apply for this scholarship and embark on a journey of growth, learning, and impact in the field of Human Resources.

With insights into the objectives and values of the HR Virginia Scholarship Program from Meg Riat, let’s delve deeper into the experiences of past recipients. In the next episode, we’ll hear from Amy F. Painter, Jennifer Chan, and Casey Northrop about their journey through the application process and the impact the scholarship had on their careers. Join us as we explore their perspectives and glean valuable insights into the transformative power of the HRVA Scholarship.

For further updates on this story, be sure to visit the HRVA page. Stay tuned!

About the author:

Anastasia Mizitova, HR Virginia Certification Director

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