SHRM Emerging Professional Champions: Romina Muhametaj

Andrew Deichler By Andrew Deichler March 24, 2021
SHRM Emerging Professional Champions: Romina Muhametaj

As part of an effort to recognize the next generation of human resource leaders, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is naming students, alumni and others who work on behalf of emerging professionals as SHRM Emerging Professional Champions. This week, we're looking at Romina Muhametaj, president of the SHRM Student Chapter at Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ).

Muhametaj immigrated from Albania to the United States at age 17—all by herself. "I still don't know how my parents let me do it. I think they like my brother more," she said, jokingly.

After finishing high school in Chicago, she initially went to college to study pharmacy. It wasn't the right fit, and she eventually dropped out. "I don't even know why I went for pharmacy," she said. "I love talking to people, and I love business, so I should have just gone with that to begin with."   

After working in sales for several years, she decided to go back to school. Now living in Jacksonville, she decided to enroll at FSCJ because the school let her build her class schedule around her work schedule.

Muhametaj didn't initially intend to study human resources; that came after attending a SHRM Student Chapter meeting. The HR manager at her company, who was also a student at FSCJ and was serving as president of the chapter, invited her to come check it out. After attending, Muhametaj realized that HR was her calling, because it would give her a chance to work across an entire organization, touching all areas of the business.

Her co-worker encouraged her to apply for the position of chapter president once it opened back up; she believed that Muhametaj's sales experience and her love of working with people would make her a perfect fit. "I fused in all my sales, marketing and HR experience and the knowledge from school," she said.

Under Muhametaj's leadership, her chapter has continued to stand out among its peers, earning the 2019-2020 SHRM Superior Merit Award for the fourth consecutive year. She's also organized a multitude of SHRM events at FSCJ, setting a new record of over 60 attendees per event.

She approaches her role as president like that of a CEO leading a business, which is also something she knows a bit about. In 2020, she was laid off from her company due to cutbacks brought on by the recession. But instead of looking for another sales job, Muhametaj decided to go into business for herself. She started Six 7 Radius, a consulting firm that helps companies grow by building marketing strategies and sales techniques.  

Ever the multitasker, Muhametaj also hosts her own podcast, Coffee with Romina. Every week, she talks with people from diverse industries who share their stories of overcoming personal and professional obstacles.

And just in case you thought she might not have enough time to study, think again. Just this week, Muhametaj won FSCJ's Annual "On the Heels of Excellence" student award.

After she graduates in the fall, Muhametaj plans to earn the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) designation. She's not sure whether she plans to go to graduate school or not yet, but she has a clear idea for where she wants her career to go. "I want to be the person to go to different organizations and help them keep talent in-house," she said.  

Muhametaj's personal experience has informed her end goal. She previously worked for a company where she was told that she would eventually get promoted if she put in the time and gained experience. But not only did she not get promoted after years of hard work, she also didn't receive any coaching or advice to help her get to that next level, and she ultimately left. Now she wants to use her skills to show other companies why that type of approach is a mistake.

"You don't know what your people are capable of unless you give them that chance," she said. "And there are other ways to help people grow without necessarily promoting them. So that's why I'm really keen on helping people be the best versions of themselves, no matter what stage they are in at the company."

Do you know an outstanding SHRM student leader? How about a former SHRM student member who is achieving great success professionally? Or maybe a SHRM professional member, student chapter advisor or professional chapter that is advancing student membership and emerging professional programming? Nominate them as a SHRM Emerging Professional Champion today.

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