MIR. Industrial Relations, Queen's '04
Queen's MIR program a significant launching pad for Andrew's career.
by Karen Richardson
Andrew Hackland, MIR alumni, claims the Queen's Master of Industrial Relations (MIR) program was a significant launching point for his career. "It definitely provided me with the groundwork for what I'm doing now," says Hackland. "The range of courses that I was exposed to in 2003-04 really provided a good basis for going through the interviews and getting the employers' attention. I was able to demonstrate that I had these skills even though I didn't have the working experience which they're often looking for."
Hackland is currently a Program Consultant for the Ontario Public Service (OPS) in the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, with the Employment Programs and Services branch. He currently works in the area of corporate redeployment. "If there are individuals within the OPS who are being surplussed or who can't perform the essential duties of their positions any longer due to injury or illness, we try to identify other positions within the OPS to keep the talent in-house."
Originally from Ottawa, Ont., Hackland completed his undergraduate degree in political science at Carleton University. After graduating from the MIR program at Queen's he landed a job in labour relations, working for NAV CANADA, a private, non-share capital corporation that owns and operates Canada's civil air navigation service. "There was definitely a progression in my education," he says. "When I started I didn't necessarily know everything that human resources and labour relations entailed, so it was very enlightening."
The MIR program is well-known and highly respected in the IR community. "It offers a wide range of courses in areas such as labour law, human resources management, collective bargaining, compensation, and mediation. In a work environment that is constantly changing, the MIR degree has provided me with the skills necessary to adapt, and to take advantage of the many exciting career opportunities available to professionals in this field, in both the public and private sectors."
The labour-law program is something that you "won't get anywhere else," he says. "On the HR side, the professors here have a lot of experience. Many of them have been here for most of their careers, and all of them are very good at what they do and are interested in the students. They have a lot of knowledge to pass along."
Recently, he attended the MIR Alumni Conference 2008 hosted by Queen's for current MIR students, alumni and experts from across the country. "I think [the conference has] a lot of very good speakers and a lot of very influential people in the field of labour relations and human resources. I think that can only serve to enhance people's education and exposure to the types of issues that our colleagues are dealing with in their organizations right now."
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