Alumni Spotlight

HRD Program Inspires Alumna Toward Career in Leadership

OU HRD Alumna Claudia Henderson finds her calling in a leadership driven career.

OU HRD Alumna Claudia Henderson uses her passion of creating environments supportive of all walks of life to earn her degree in Human Resource Development and further her career in leadership. (Photo Credit: James Silvestri)

icon of a calendarMarch 5, 2021

icon of a pencilBy James Silvestri

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Like many others preparing for college, Claudia Henderson was unsure of which career path to take. While searching for a program she felt passionate about, she explored several options, none of which she felt fully connected with. She was not sure she would fit into a traditional college culture.

“I worked full time and went to school part time,” she says. “I wasn’t a traditional college student.”

The need to balance her work and school is what lead her to a career path in Human Resource Development (HRD).

“These challenges taught me the value of time management and dedication. While being in the workforce and seeing the importance of company culture, it became clear to me that I was passionate about creating environments that support all walks of life.” 

The HRD program at Oakland University showed Henderson that human resource professionals help organizations and their employees reach their highest potential. Having the experience of working within different cultures has helped Henderson learn more about herself as an individual and has helped shape her career path as a student. She learned to not let challenges define a person but to allow those challenges to create growth.

“I wanted to be part of the solution to environments that do not encompass the importance of diversity, leadership, organizational development, workforce training and other related issues that have high value to employers.”

Henderson is currently a Customer Service Manager at Diversified Chemical Technologies, Inc where she is noted as a top presenter. She credits a specific course within OU’s HRD program for preparing her for this achievement.

“I attribute my level of success to my course in presentation and facilitation. This course provided me with the knowledge and skills to facilitate and deliver professional presentations in various training settings,” she says.

Henderson notes that HRD may not be a career path a typical freshman would think of while entering the world of college, but throughout her time in the program, she realized several ways that it was the perfect fit for her. Not only did the program teach her how to be a dynamic speaker and how to create supportive and functional environments within the workforce, it also taught her the importance of proper leadership.

“Most importantly, I learned that you must humble yourself to not only be a coach, but also be willing to be a student. Creating an environment that thrives from collaboration and personal growth is leadership at its finest,” she says. “OU’s program in Human Resource Development has given me a voice in my organization and that has been the most rewarding part of my career.”

To learn more about OU’s human resource development program, visit

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