Published On: November 8, 2021|Categories: News|

Friday, October 29th 2021, saw the wheel coming full circle when 14 alumni of the relatively novel Human Resource Management specialization in the Bachelor of Commerce Programme took a reverberating lead in the 2021 HR round table summit whose theme was Embracing a dynamic work landscape as an employee.

The Strathmore University alumni, now turned industry HR experts, undeniably represented a spectrum of sectors including energy, pharmaceutical, audit, IT, large-scale manufacturing, beauty, food processing and management consulting.

The Keynote address was delivered by Caroline Kitwa Mwangagi, an alumna of the first cohort of the HR specialisation (2017) and currently in an HR role at Nestlé. In keeping with the theme, Kitwa pointed out that with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, organisations were plunged into unusual working arrangements in a bid to stay relevant.

For most companies, this challenged their operations and business models because the environment had suddenly become VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous). In such an environment, organisations had to quickly embrace what they don’t know and make work plans that are flexible to manoeuvre while accepting that things may continue to change at any time. Visionaries can predict that work will never be the same, but no one can tell how different it will be.

The panel discussion included June Mutelesa, class of 2018, currently working at Africa Data Centres, Jasreet Dadhialla from the class of 2019 and currently at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Kevin Gichungu, class of 2020 from McKinsey and Raphael Karanja of the Strathmore University People and Culture.

The Strathmore graduates highlighted how they managed to remain relevant and even find their dream jobs amidst the volatile Covid-19 pandemic environment. Leadership, learning agility, upskilling, introspection, resilience, excellence in both the spoken and the written word emerged as enablers to successfully navigating careers in these turbulent times.

On a final note, Oliver Tambo Otieno from L’oréal corroborated the insights from our very own graduates and asserted that the pandemic has normalized remote work and proving that balancing the apparent freedom of Flexi-work with the necessity for productivity is a true challenge for organisational leaders in 2021 and beyond.

Many are still left pondering on the impact of the hybrid way of working on the need for teams to interact and connect. The evening ended on a high note of joyful reminisces and tête-à-têtes with the invited HR practitioners and the lecturers Naomi May & Hilderlith.

Article by Hilderith Ogutu

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