University of Tennessee

Rebecca Harmon

“I want individuals with transferrable skills, who care about this company, rather than a perfect resume.”

Professional MBA - Alumni

As a psychology undergraduate at the University of Tennessee, Rebecca Harmon’s goal was to understand why individuals make the decisions they do and how those decisions impact others, especially in the workplace. Her passion and career direction: human resources.

After beginning her career with UT’s financial aid office, Harmon accepted a human resource position at DeRoyal, a medical device manufacturer headquartered in Powell, Tennessee. At DeRoyal, Harmon discovered that she could make a significant impact on her industry by recruiting top candidates to roles where their strengths led to success.

“The human resource foundations and on-the-job training that I received in my first role with DeRoyal really inspired me to learn more,” Harmon says.

In 2001, Harmon returned to the Haslam College of Business to pursue her professional MBA.

“ProMBA really spring-boarded my career as well as expanded the opportunities that I was afforded,” she says. “I gained so much institutional knowledge from my classmates and made connections that I still hold dear.” 

Harmon is now the chief administrative officer for DeRoyal and provides strategic direction and support for human resources, quality and regulatory, and information technology. She says that her favorite part of her job is developing others, and she often advises them, ‘It is a job today, but a career tomorrow.’

“I want individuals with transferrable skills, who care about this company, rather than a perfect resume,” Harmon says. “Those are the people that will succeed the most.”

Harmon is the director for the Tennessee Society of Human Resource Management’s state council, a past board chair for the East Tennessee Technology Access Center, a leadership development coach for the Professional MBA program at Haslam, an advisory board member for the Department of Management with Haslam and was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam as a member of the Tennessee Human Resources Board of Appeals.