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Amanda Newell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP Bio

My name is Amanda Newell and I’m in my last semester in the MJ-LEL program. I have been in Human Resources for about 14 years after graduating from Southeastern Louisiana University with a Bachelor of Arts in Management/Concentration in HR. I’ve worked in a variety of functions, but my real passion is partnering and strategizing with the business leaders on their people initiatives. I am the 2nd VP for the U.S. HR team for Pan American Life Insurance Group in New Orleans. I started with Pan American last October, so I’ve spent almost a year trying my best to learn this insurance and financial services business that has been around for over 112 years! It’s quite a complex organization with many subsidiaries acquired over the years. I also spent time analyzing my team’s current structure and where there may be opportunities to reorganize to ensure we are delivering to the business in the most efficient way possible. Prior to insurance/financial services, I was in the chemical engineering and medical foods/pharmaceutical industries.

I decided to embark on this MJ-LEL journey because after bouncing around from function to function in HR, I moved into a business partner role and found myself, in all honesty, feeling a little intimidated when it came to anything Legal. I was constantly interfacing with Legal and felt I was speaking a different language. I also spent some time with a company with heavy union activity and I had zero experience. I only knew enough about unions to pass the SHRM-SCP and SPHR. I have learned SO MUCH in the last couple of years in this program. I feel more confident when engaging Legal. I remember when starting out in my first couple of classes I wrote that one of the things I wanted to understand from this program was what my role was versus Legal's role, and I feel that I have a good understanding of this now. I am excited to finish up the program with the Intro to Contracts class and my Capstone writing class!

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