Julie Norton - Postgraduate - University of Derby


Derby Business School Student Profiles Julie Norton

“I am very proud of myself having achieved this award. It's a real privilege, but I couldn't have done it without the support I've been given from everyone involved”
– Julie Norton

Julie Norton studied the Masters Human Resource Management and was awarded the Davina Hall Achievement Award in 2010.

A personal goal

It was a personal goal for me to get my Masters in Human Resource Management as I went straight into work after completing my A Levels and did not study at undergraduate level.

Embracing the challenge

The masters degree has been very challenging but interesting throughout.

I found it particularly enjoyable to work jointly on some modules with the MBA students. It's very easy as a human resource professional to get wrapped up in the 'HR world' so debating various issues with the business students provided a really useful insight into the challenges facing managers and served as a useful reminder of the need for HR to remain business focussed.

I really enjoyed doing the independent research module. It was a completely new challenge for me and I was able to concentrate on an area of personal interest and develop my knowledge in that area.

Despite all of the challenges, the experience and the personal satisfaction of achieving a masters degree definitely made it worthwhile.

A supportive environment

The lecturers do everything they can to make sure that you succeed.

I experienced some personal challenges during the course and it was only because of the support and flexibility I was offered that I managed to stay on track and achieve my goal. I also had really good support from my manager and colleagues who had completed the course previously and gave me lots of advice and support.

Making friends

It's really important to be able to enjoy yourself as well as studying hard, especially when you work full time. I've made some great friends at Derby. We've really enjoyed getting together and in particular glamming up for the uni ball each year - I even managed to make it over to the sunny Isle of Wight festival with one of the MBA students which was fantastic.

Furthering my career

In my field of work it is important to have graduate CIPD status to progress your career and gain recognition of your experience.  It seemed a natural step to continue beyond CIPD accreditation to add the achievement of a Masters degree.

I currently work in a demanding HR Business Partnering team within the NHS.  My job is extremely varied, supporting managers around Derbyshire County in a wide range of HR issues. My knowledge, skills and confidence over the past three years of the course have developed at an amazing pace! I put this down to a combination of the opportunities I have been given in the workplace, the varied learning from the modules I have studied and the opportunity to study alongside a mix of business students from other employment sectors.

As a result, I have become a much more business focused HR professional. I always try to consider issues from all perspectives taking into account the HR view and employment law, but also being mindful of the management position and long-term organisational strategy, an approach I intend to develop throughout my career.

Winning the award

I was completely stunned but obviously thrilled to hear that I had won this award. Initially I thought there must have been some kind of mix up!

I am very proud of myself having achieved this award. It's a real privilege, but I couldn't have done it without the support I've been given from everyone involved.

After all the hard work I am rewarding myself by taking a five month career-break to travel the world with my boyfriend, who also deserves a reward for putting up with my stress, uni work clutter and all the late nights over the past three years!