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Spring 2021 Advisory

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Bringing Case Study Learnings to the Day-to-Day: Rebecca Broderick

Rebecca Broderick earned her Master of Science in Human Capital Management (HCM) from Columbia University, after seeking out a program featuring a strong, data-based approach. “I had been looking at different programs and saw that the program focused on using data to make organizational decisions—that’s not something that I saw other programs were focusing on at the time,” she recalls. As a member of the HCM program’s inaugural cohort, Rebecca was also co-founder of Columbia’s HCM Club, along with four other women. “I served as President for two semesters and am now a very proud alumnus,” says Rebecca.

Looking back on her time with the program, Rebecca cites numerous essential learnings, including the value of a company investing in people and the ways this commitment can lead to a strong financial return on investment. She also observed that the program’s many case studies helped reinforce her problem-solving skills by breaking down and solving the steps of a problem after looking at the bigger picture. “We were able to put things into practice and get creative with our solutions, which has helped me in my day-to-day,” she says. Rebecca also shares the HCM program helped her realize the importance of learning from others. “Every class I took had group work and at times it could be stressful,” she explains, noting the challenge of negotiating differing schedules as a part-time student. In the end though, “it served as the best way to gain knowledge and to see different perspectives,” Rebecca explains. “I learned so much from my peers and really grew from all of the group work.”

Currently, Rebecca is an AVP at the financial firm, Cantor Fitzgerald, where she works on the Compensation and Analytics team. Her search for a data-centric program has served her well, as her role includes data and analytics projects. Looking back on her course of study with the HCM program, Rebecca draws on several skills that she uses in her position today, including creative problem solving, presenting data in a compelling way, and breaking down and synthesizing problems as simply as possible. She also notes the invaluable connections she made through the HCM program, from professors who continue to offer career advice, to her fellow students. “Part of being in a cohort is being able to lean on each other and go to each other to work through difficult tasks,” Rebecca says. 

To those considering Columbia University's Master of Science in HCM program, Rebecca stresses the importance of considering the return on investment the program will bring you. She recalls “I thought about what would bring me closer to my career goals, where I could learn the most, and from whom I wanted to learn.” The HCM program’s world-class scholar-practitioners offer students a fresh perspective. “The professors at Columbia are experts in their respective areas of HCM,” Rebecca says. “Many of them work or have worked as executives and also teach.” 

The former HCM Club President also encourages students to get involved and attend as many events and speaking engagements as you can. “Make the most of your time as it passes by quickly,” Rebecca advises.

Learn more about the M.S. in Human Capital Management.