How an accidental interview led to a dream career

Photo by Dan Toulgoet

Kailey Bishop never expected to land a new job in HR when she walked through the doors of Atomic Cartoons, an animation studio in Vancouver. Although she’s now completed SFU’s Human Resources Management Certificate, at the time, she had little experience. 

While working in various retail and administrative positions, Kailey realized she loved connecting with people. She began exploring an HR career after completing a recruiting apprenticeship at an accounting software company.  

When Kailey reached out to a friend at Atomic Cartoons to learn more about the field, that friend arranged for her to meet with his supervisor. But what Kailey thought was a casual career chat led to a new opportunity. 

“It turned out that meeting was an interview for a position that I didn’t even know about,” Kailey laughs.  

Now a senior talent acquisition specialist, Kailey handles recruitment for the studio’s 2D and 3D animation projects, sometimes having to hire for up to 60 positions at a time.  

Wanting to expand her role beyond recruiting into broader aspects of HR, she enrolled in SFU’s certificate program.  

For Kailey, taking classes confirmed that HR was the right career path, as she learned from instructors currently working in the field. They would bring real-world examples and ongoing issues from the workplace into the classroom. 

“We would all troubleshoot it together as a group and say, ‘Oh, this is why this solution wouldn’t work out, or this is why this is happening this way’,” she recalls. 

Kailey’s favourite aspect of her role is the variety of people she gets to connect with. Even when she has to inform a candidate they did not get a position, she makes sure to treat every person with kindness.  

“There’s so much negativity around recruiting and talent acquisition on LinkedIn about candidates being ghosted or not treating people with respect. I’m trying to fight that stereotype,” she says.  

Since completing the program, Kailey has been working towards her CPHR designation. She’s also hoping to move into strategic HR roles within her organization in the future.  

Kailey encourages anyone considering the HR certificate to take the leap and at least start with a course.  

“If you’re interested, go to the info session to learn more. You don’t have to finish the program to walk away with knowledge that is super valuable.” 

By Bernice Puzon