Updating Results

Rosalind Potts

The key soft skills I would stress are listening to understand and not to judge, working well with others and curiosity. It is always beneficial to have some work experience and as such internships are a valuable opportunity.

Rosalind's journey since UWA

I was fortunate to be selected into the BHP Steel HR Graduate Program where I gained experience in a variety of HR disciplines over the next three years across different Steelworks in NSW.  

I moved back to Singapore as I wanted to have greater experience with multinational organisations and secured a regional HR job with a Swiss Chemicals Company, Ciba Speciality Chemicals, that broaden my skills and knowledge of different HR practices across the Asian Region.  

I had always had a deep interest in the area of psychological assessment and development and after seeing it in practice from an organisational perspective I decided to deepen my knowledge in the area and moved to an American Consulting Company, DDI, that specialised in Assessing individuals suitability for senior roles using the assessment centre methodology.  I subsequently joined PDI, a boutique consulting organisation with offices across the globe where I became an assessment and development expert, consulting for organisations such as Shell, American Express, Holcim, Swiss Re, etc

In 2008, I set up my own consulting company; leadership labs that focused on identifying and development capability in organisations and worked with clients such as Roche, Credit Suisse, UCB, etc

In 2012, I had the opportunity to rejoin BHP, now BHP Billiton as the Global Head of Organisational Capability, Marketing based in Singapore where I redesign the systems and processes for identifying and developing capability across all levels of the Marketing Organisation across 15 countries.

In 2016, I moved to Perth and have taken a bit of a different turn with my career, focusing more on my family and consult on the various selection and coaching projects.  I also am a Board Member of St George’s College and Chair of the Education Committee at College.

How did you choose your specialisation?

I wanted to gain a practical understanding of what I had studied and felt that a role in HR in a large organisation would provide insight into people’s behaviour as well as the opportunity to understand the realities of the business world.  I did consider going into the world of consulting but did feel that I needed a broader base first.

What was your interview process like? 

I had numerous interviews before the selection process with BHP and learnt something from all my interviews that helped me to be more prepared for the next interview.  The BHP interview was with a panel and they asked me questions about myself and asked me to share behavioural examples to illustrate my answers.  I also had to do a psychological assessment, cognitive tests and we were given a tour of a steelworks followed by dinner with a number of senior managers.

Suppose a student was considering your career. What would you advise them to study?

Psychology is a great discipline as it builds a good foundational understanding of human behaviour.  An MBA is also helpful as it is important to understand the way business works.  The key soft skills I would stress are listening to understand and not to judge, working well with others and curiosity.  It is always beneficial to have some work experience and as such internships are a valuable opportunity.

What does your employer do?

World’s largest mining company.

What are your areas of responsibility?

Succession planning, diversity and inclusion, organisation culture, organisation development, leadership development

Can you describe a typical workday?

Usually numerous meetings, the meetings are either a way of executing work, planning for work across teams or getting buy-in for various initiatives from the senior leadership team.  Developing content for these meetings, PowerPoint presentations, writing white papers to get an endorsement from the leadership team, etc.

The last thing I worked on was increasing the number of women in manager succession plans, we shifted the needle by 35%.

What sort of person succeeds in your career? 

Collaborator, an expert in the area of people development, career management and identifying potential, hardworking as a typical working day was 10 hours and oftentimes 12 hours with early starts and late finishes as I was in a global role that covered multiple time zones.

If you could share one piece of advice with an international student at UWA, what would it be?

Think about how your international experience helps you to stand out in a positive way.  What is unique about what you bring to an organisation as you are studying in a country that you have only recently moved to.