Amanda C. Scott-Shirley lives in Houston, Texas where she works as a Human Resources Senior Advisor for Enbridge, Inc. Scott-Shirley’s expertise in employee relations, strategic management, and workforce planning, as well as organizational and leadership development has allowed her to excel in her field. Scott-Shirley earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Texas in 2005 and was a member of the Honors Program.
What brought you to the University of North Texas (UNT)?
I knew UNT had a fantastic liberal arts college. Also, my favorite color is green.
Why did you choose to be a member of the UNT Honors College (or program) during your studies?
I wanted to ensure I received a richer, more complete, college education and experience.
What do you remember enjoying about the Honors College?
The courses offering more material to learn and all of the professors were incredibly engaged with their students. I especially enjoyed the seminar course with Dr. Cox my last year – she made it incredibly enlightening and helped us all prepare for post-collegiate life.
How did your experience at UNT and in the Honors College shape your career path?
The Honors College afforded me the opportunity to take courses that were more challenging than the mainstream offering.
What was the most valuable lesson – inside or outside the classroom – that you learned at UNT?
I was luckily granted experiences that taught me to have confidence in my choices. Through that preparation and practice at UNT, I have always felt able to make a change without apprehension or fear.
What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?
I spent the first six years working in five different states on ten different political campaigns as both a campaign fundraising director and HR manager. I helped several women with their bids for office at all levels, including presidential, gubernatorial, senatorial, congressional, and Houston City campaigns.
Please share a memorable moment or experience from your time at UNT and the Honors College.
One of my first courses was am Honors Communication class. We all had to get up and give a 2-minute speech after only 20 minutes of prep. It was the hardest thing I had ever done since I used to be incredibly afraid of public speaking. The professor was great – she got us all to laugh, realize that all of us were nervous and taught us some great relaxation techniques that I still use today. By the time each of us had to present, we were all a little less nervous! Public speaking is a skill I use to this day and I am so grateful for that professor!
How would you describe UNT, the Honors College, and Denton?
UNT is a great school with a fantastic culture that very student-focused. The Honors College is even more so, with a more personalized and attentive experience for the students. The professors selected for Honors College classes are the best of the best, with engaging lectures and interactive lessons. Denton is a quaint, quirky, and fun little town. It is close enough to the big cities of Fort Worth and Dallas to give students the cosmopolitan experience during down time, but also far enough away to still feel like a small town.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
In 2012, we implemented a new HR Information System. I was the lead for all things having to so with HR Management within the new system. We started with the current processes and outlined how the same process would look in the new system, in all aspects. We worked on security profiles, approval and work flow design, all while keeping within applicable laws and guidelines. It was a large endeavor and we completed the transition within the project timeline with minimal fluctuations in deadlines and costs.
Did you pursue any other career paths prior to your current occupation? If so, please describe your occupational history.
I had small HR entry-level jobs during college and worked as an HR manager each of my campaigns. In 2010, I earned a Development Dimensions International (DDI) Facilitator certification and became part of the HR Organizational Development team designing and conducting management training. In 2011, I moved into an HR Business Partner role, regularly visiting global offshore rig locations to liaise with employees and assist rig management with workforce issues & implementing HR strategy. In 2015, I completed my MBA-HRM from Houston Baptist University. I moved into a Sr. Advisor role in early 2017, as part of my “Rising Leaders” development plan within my company.
What advice/insight do you have for UNT alumni and students interested in your field?
Start getting experience in college! Get a part time job, try for an internship or ten, join any professional associations available to you AND attend meetings. Learn how to mingle and network and ask someone in HR to be your mentor.