PROFile: Sara Murphy

Assistant professor, Department of Business and Administration, U of W

Sara Murphy’s journey to becoming an assistant professor for the University of Winnipeg’s Department of Business and Administration began with undergraduate work in psychology. 

Supplied photo.

“I really, really liked the psychology of work,” Murphy says.

As a result of developing an interest in psychology during her undergraduate studies, Murphy attended a college program in human resources.   

She then attended grad school at Wilfrid Laurier University for a master’s in organizational behaviour in human resources.

Currently, Murphy’s main area of focus is interviews. In particular, she examines e-recruitment and social media. 

While conducting this research, Murphy pays attention to “both sides of the coin.” She examines both the perspective of the organization hiring new employees and the job-seekers themselves. 

“When they have, for example, a Facebook profile and a LinkedIn profile, what kinds of things do they do to try and make themselves appear a bit more appealing to recruiters or to avoid certain impressions made?” Murphy says. 

In the classroom, Murphy finds that students respond particularly well to lessons on job interviews. 

“It’s relatable. A lot of them have been through an interview or at the very least seen one (in) a movie or on TV or something like that. I find a lot of students really react well to that topic, and they like talking about it,” she says. 

Relatability aside, Murphy takes the time to go in depth about the many aspects (such as cognitive biases, for example) of organizational behaviour and human resources with her students, putting her energy and knowledge to very good use.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

“I think it would be to be in two places at once.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I love being outdoors.” 

What was your worst grade in university?

“My worst grade, I think, was a 65.”

What’s the best thing about your work?

“How rewarding it is.” 

What is your best tip for someone who’s going into a job interview?

“In general, just try to treat it like a conversation.” 

Published in Volume 75, Number 02 of The Uniter (September 17, 2020)

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