Listen to the interview (approx 1 hr, 1 min) or download it.
Graduated in 2007 with a degree in Music Business. Principal Instrument: flute.
Position: Midwest Regional Employee Relations Generalist (Human Resources) at H&M. Christmas’s region covers 130 stores and thousands of employees. She processes unemployment claims, terminations, benefits questions, and gathers information for litigations. She also tried to mediate disputes and takes calls from employees who are in crisis. Additionally, Christmas travels the region to teach workshops to H&M store managers.
Overview: Christmas started working part-time at H&M as a retail clerk while a Berklee student. After graduation, she moved to New Jersey and was able to transfer to another store. She had opportunities for jobs in other cities and to manage tours, but felt that those were too uncertain and she liked the steady income, so she went full-time and H&M. 6 months later, she was promoted to dept. managers, which doubled her pay.
Christmas spent 6 years as a dept. manager, moving several times, H&M letting her transfer to a new store each time. After ending up in Chicago, she got to fill in temporarily as a recruiter, which she enjoyed. Soon after, a permanent recruiter positions opened up, which she took. After close to a year, the person doing her current job, who was aware of her extensive volunteer work with Hope for the Day, encouraged her to apply for that job which he would be leaving. One highly competitive process and seven interviews (!) later, Christmas got the job!
You can see Christmas’s LinkedIn Profile here. She also invites anyone eager to discuss jobs in HR, or at H&M, to contact her directly at christmas [dot] eger [at] gmail [dot] com
Choice Quotes: “When an employee needs to vent and feels that something is unfair, I let them talk. If they’re in crisis I encourage them to seek out resources and get help. People don’t call me about happy things; I’m their last resort before they leave or are fired, and I’m their last shot at them being happy with their job here.”
“I got my current job thanks to my volunteer work with Hope for the Day which works with at-risk youth & self-harmers. I can keep a calm demeanor and coach pepole through a crisis. It also helped me because I am aware of the enormous impact, for good or bad, that a single conversation can have one someone’s life.
“I’m one of four regional human relations generalists working for H&M in the United States. All four of us started lower down in the company and worked our way up.”
“If you want to work in HR, be sure to find a company you care about. I couldn’t do my job if I didn’t believe in my company and what it stands for.”
Christmas coordinates Hope for the Day’s social media, generally assists the founder with whatever is needed, and helps out at the Vans Warped Tour, which Hope for the Day has a long-running partnership with. Hope for the day teaches musicians “crisis first aid,” or how to deal with fans who are going through a really tough time. Bands, in turn, let Christmas or other Hope for the Day representatives address their audience for a couple of minutes before going onstage. At the tour, Hope for the Day has a tent, counselors, licensed therapists, and the like to help people who are at-risk.
Christmas as a Berklee student. “Between the rigorous course schedule, working two jobs, and all the practicing, I could teach a course on planning and time management thanks to Berklee!”
Christmas getting her Berklee diploma. “College is a great starting point–you get to show that you can organize your time, retain information, and deal with different social situations. When you’re 18 and going in, you don’t yet know who you are. Enjoy your time at Berklee, but a piece of paper doesn’t define who you are and it doesn’t limit what you can do! Don’t feel bad at all if you end up in a different career.”