George Stagianos Headshot
George Stagianos MSc

Changing business policies to embrace inclusivity

Job title
Senior Consultant Experience Partner
Company
FDM Group
Programme
MSc Human Resource Management
Graduation year
2018

The course

Why did you choose to study at the University of Edinburgh Business School (UEBS)?

The University of Edinburgh is one of the most reputable educational institutions in the world. My decision to study at the Business School was based on the university's global reputation, quality of education, history of launching successful careers and the strong alumni community, as well as the opportunity to experience the amazing city of Edinburgh.

What was it about the degree programme that particularly attracted you?

The main factors I considered were the academic and commercial value of the MSc in Human Resource Management. The programme is modern and up-to-date with the changing business world.

I also considered the accreditation by CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development), the diversity and opportunity to work across multi-cultural teams, as well as the level of academic staff.

Your career

Can you tell us about your career before and after graduating?

Before moving to Edinburgh and studying in the Business School, I did my BA in History in the University of Athens during which I worked part-time as an Insurance Administrator.

Following the completion of my national service, I decided to follow a different career path. I have a passion around leadership and developing people and teams and this led me to study Human Resource Management.

After my graduation, I joined the City of Edinburgh Council as an HR Administrator and moved to an HR Advisor role after only a few months. This gave me great experience in the operational as well as employee relations, reward, performance and well-being aspects of HR.

After three years, I moved to London and joined FDM Group as a People Business Partner with a focus on the international finance sector of the business. I stayed in the role for just over a year and then moved to my current role as a Senior Consultant Experience Partner. In this role, I manage our team in Leeds and partner with different business sectors and departments.

My degree taught me to be effective in driving positive change.
George Stagianos MSc

How did your degree prepare you for your career?

Coming from a non-business background and knowing very little around HR in the UK, I feel that my degree prepared me very well for my future career. Both the academic and practical side of the course helped me gain significant knowledge in the field.

Studying multiple business cases and attending guest lectures, as well as CIPD and networking events, gave me a better understanding of the UK context and current practice.

The support from academic staff and the Student Development Team were also really important in terms of upskilling and understanding my strengths and weaknesses.

Masters of Change

What notable changes has your degree enabled you to make in your professional or personal life?

Studying at UEBS helped me to qualify in HR and kick off my career despite having no prior knowledge or experience in the field. It helped me improve skills that are fundamental in my professional life such as working in multi-cultural teams and beginning a successful career in the UK.

My degree also gave me the opportunity to make big changes in my personal life, including moving from Athens to Edinburgh and then to London and meeting some great people along the way.

This diverse experience has definitely helped me develop as a person. Some of the skills I developed have had a significant positive impact in my personal life, my behaviour and attitude and I will always be grateful for this journey.

What are the changes you have been able to make in your chosen field, of which you are most proud?

The main reason I pursued a career as an HR professional was to have an impact and make a positive difference to people's lives.

I am proud of supporting colleagues who struggle with their well-being and performance; being their voice and liaising with trade unions.

I am also proud to be embracing diversity and inclusivity through various initiatives including developing policies and procedures that are fair, employee-friendly and making a positive difference to somebody's employment.

How did your studies at the Business School help you to make those changes?

Studying at the University of Edinburgh Business School helped me develop a skillset vital for an HR professional. It helped me to effectively work in different teams and lead when required as well as understand the complexity of employee relations and the UK context.

Without my degree, I would not have been as effective in driving change. My Masters taught me to drive positive change through evidence-based recommendations, to understand the organisational context and adapt my approach. It also prepared me to deal with challenges and to be resilient and build trusting relationships that would allow me to influence stakeholder decisions.

Course highlights and advice

What are your best memories on the programme?

Breaking the School record in the Production Game, debates and conversations around leadership and business cases in the organisational behaviour class, a guest lecture from the CEO of Edinburgh Airport and the Burns Night at the Balmoral!

What one piece of advice would you give to current students and recent graduates?

We are living in a constantly changing landscape and therefore it is important to stay curious and continue learning and upskilling. A career journey can offer stand out moments and recognition. To get there you need to be able to define success for yourself, be passionate about what you do, work hard to fulfil your potential and be able to deal with challenges and learn how to bounce back effectively.

Join the Masters of Change

MSc Human Resource Management Programme Link

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