Building Blocks for a Dream Career
PROVO, Utah – Nov 17, 2021 – When visitors enter a LEGO store, they are often treated to elaborate designs painstakingly put together to represent favorite characters, movies, games, architectural wonders, or other interesting objects and structures from around the world. Shoppers can pick out sets to take home and build, often walking away with a new addition to their collection, a fun activity to do as a family, or a taste of their old childhood dreams. However, when BYU Marriott School of Business senior Megan Atkisson left a London LEGO store in 2018 after visiting on a study abroad trip, she instead walked away with a blueprint to build her dream career in employee experience design.
Atkisson, who is majoring in human resource management (HRM), visited London after the conclusion of her freshman year as part of a study abroad hosted by the experience design and management program at BYU Marriott. The trip’s goal was to help students see the various ways experiences can be created.
“As students, we were taught about how to improve everyday experiences for people, such as traveling, laying out a workspace, and even how to design retail stores. We not only focused on creating experiences based on how people interact with events but also on designing areas and environments to compliment those experiences,” Atkisson says. While the group visited several places, the LEGO store was what stuck out to Atkisson the most.
“Our group went ‘behind the scenes’ to learn how LEGO designed employee experiences at its retail stores,” Atkisson explains. “We saw how employees were given the freedom to implement their ideas with autonomy and create their ideal workday.” She was struck by how much the LEGO employees loved their jobs, and she left London with the desire to create similar workplace experiences for other employees. “My dream job is to be a creative human resource professional who designs employee experiences, such as those at the LEGO store. I would love to be the link between a creative team and an HR team,” Atkisson adds.
Since Atkisson wants a career dedicated specifically to helping employees, she pursued an HRM degree to gain as much employee-centered experience as possible. While her focus is now on developing her skillset for a career in human resources, Atkisson has remained passionate about experience design, an interest which was fostered during her time in London. “I decided to major in human resource management with a design-thinking minor because I can create my dream job based on the marriage of those two ideas,” she says.
Atkisson, who hails from Draper, Utah, says that while her combination job concept is still an emerging idea for many companies, she currently has a unique opportunity to test the intersection of her two interests at her internship with Pattern, an ecommerce acceleration company. Atkisson works with Pattern’s human resource managers to craft her role in the company’s HR department.
“I work project to project, so my job is not super uniform,” she explains. “I implement ideas and research the changes we want to make within the company. My bosses and I create my job together, which is awesome.” Atkisson helps with several projects, including updating company benefits and mapping out the 2022 summer intern experience. She hopes the experience of designing her own job at Pattern can lead to future success in similar positions.
As she continues to build her dream career, Atkisson says her time at BYU Marriott is helping her successfully transition into a corporate setting. “Before I was a student in the HRM program, I was inexperienced when I came into business environments, but now I know the concepts of business communication and when to appropriately ask for help at work,” she adds. “I better understand the ins and outs of how a business operates and what productive business relations are supposed to be like.”
While Atkisson may not spend her time completing intricate LEGO models, she knows she would not be where she is today without her time in London and subsequent HRM classes. “Being at BYU Marriott has been fun because I’ve been able to have experiences that have helped me develop as a person and find interests that I am passionate about,” she says. “I feel like I’ve grown up here, and I’m accomplishing both my educational and professional goals.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Mike Miller