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Hannah Wins Allen Associates' HR Award

Hannah Young, Employee Relations Consultant at global professional services firm Aon, has scooped Allen Associates’ award for best overall performance in the Oxford Brookes University MA in Human Resource Management.

Hannah, who joined Aon earlier this year from Macmillan Cancer Support where she worked as an HR Advisor, is pictured (centre) with Allen Associates’ HR recruitment consultant Constance Farthing, Managing Director Kate Allen and Finance Director Rob Allen as well as Oxford Brookes University’s Dr Jonathan Louw, after her graduation ceremony. Allen Associates presented her with a cheque for £500.

Speaking about her award, Hannah said: “I was surprised yet delighted to hear that I had won this award from Allen Associates. I have always strived to achieve my best, but genuinely did not expect to receive the highest marks due to the other exceptionally talented individuals on my course. Reflecting on my success, I believe that working in, and having a passion for HR, has helped me to do well. Although at times it was difficult, I thoroughly enjoyed the MA in HRM, and it has really helped me to progress my career. I would highly recommend the programme to other HR professionals looking to further enhance their careers.”

She continued: “I had no idea when I started studying for my masters how difficult it was going to be juggling it with working full time, planning a wedding, moving house and starting a new job. At times, it was also difficult and tiring driving over one hour each way from Reading to Oxford for the lectures each week. However, I had a great support network, including my husband, family, friends and teaching staff at Oxford Brookes Business School, who were outstanding and their help and support was particularly invaluable. My employers were also really supportive of my studies. For me, all the hard work paid off and has taught me a lot about perseverance in times of adversity. If you have a goal, then go for it - you'll be surprised at what you can achieve!”

Hannah’s dissertation focused on exploring the perceptions and experiences of key stakeholders during the introduction of a transformational change programme within the care sector organisation she was working for at the time. The research identified key challenges that can arise during any change programme, and highlighted the importance of looking at the bigger picture when implementing any programme, regardless of size, to mitigate risk and protect the organisation.

Dr Jonathan Louw, Programme Lead for the Postgraduate HR Management Programmes at Oxford Brookes University, said: “Hannah demonstrated an excellent overall performance while studying with us including fascinating research insights into how resistance to change can be better managed if change recipients are seen as a resource and better communicated with. She also presented this research to academics and HR professionals at our Annual Postgraduate HR Research Conference jointly organised with the Oxford CIPD Branch.  We are delighted that Hannah's achievements are being recognised through the Allen Associates prize.”

Kate Allen, Managing Director at Allen Associates, which has a dedicated HR recruitment division, said: “It was a pleasure to award one of our two annual HR prizes to Hannah who has clearly worked very hard to achieve such great results. I think we all recognise how challenging post-graduate study can be but having a great support team around you and a positive and determined attitude makes all the difference and it’s clear that Hannah has an exciting career ahead of her.” 

Hannah is part of the HR team at Aon, which provides a broad range of risk, insurance, reinsurance, retirement and health solutions.  As Employee Relations Consultant, she provides practical, hands on commercial advice and support in respect of all employee relations cases across Aon's business areas.

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