Current Students Invest in Future Students’ Transition to MA-HRIR Program

HR professionals know the value of an effective onboarding program—the process of orienting and training a new employee. Welcoming new students to a rigorous graduate program can require a similar initiative to ensure a smooth transition into the program, especially when the cohort is coming from across the U.S. and around the world. It’s within that backdrop that the MA-HRIR program embarked on an extensive overhaul of its new student orientation process.


Front: Sofia Gu, Mari Miyamoto; Back: Stacy Doepner-Hove, Star Wynn, and Jerri Snyder.

Throughout the Fall 2019 semester, four MA-HRIR students, first-years Sofia Gu and Jerri Snyder, and second-years Mari Miyamoto and Star Wynn, worked together with staff member Stacy Doepner-Hove to create a new online orientation program for incoming students to use during the summer. The program is laid out through six modules integrated through Canvas, the online educational portal, which helps familiarize incoming students with the platform. In addition, Canvas is accessible almost world-wide, which works well for our “geo-nationally diverse cohort.” Every two weeks during May, June and July 2019 a new module will open for incoming students to explore ‘getting-to-know-you’ information, brief HR content and suggestions for summer study if students want to brush up on things before the program begins, campus and community resources, information from the graduate business career center, the HRIR classroom and small group work, and both individual and group assignments around cross-cultural agility and working in diverse teams. These modules were thoughtfully designed by our group of students.

The group’s first meeting for this project began mid-December. They met weekly to discuss their individual progress and to create future goals for the direction of their work. The team collaborated well together; each member provided unique perspectives that assisted them throughout the creation of the program. The students share their experiences during the process:

Jerri Snyder: Our team was comprised of students from a variety of perspectives and past-experiences. We had students from both first- and second-year classes as well as domestic and international students represented. This diversity of thought greatly impacted our process for developing the online orientation.

Star Wynn: Our process has been to first establish the opportunities for growth of the HRIR program participants as well as key competencies that would help them to excel in the program. Based on what we identified we built programming and resources.

Mari Miyamoto: We started brainstorming to generate ideas of what kind of applications, assistance or content we could provide to enhance their [incoming students] overall program experience. We also asked our classmates who were the best people to ask opinions about particular matters individually, then brought them back to our group. Then, we came to a consensus on what content we needed to create based on this idea- generation stage.

Sofia Gu: In January, we started to work independently and meet weekly to share updates and get feedback, which worked very well in our team.

Mari: I think this helped a lot for us to work as a group because there was a lot of  content we had to create individually. Since we understood what other members did and what content it should be, we were able to help each other in each meeting.

Jerri: In many cases, we would discuss the potential structure or resources for the site and a team member would bring up a completely different way of looking at or interpreting that information.

Sofia: Everyone was thoughtful and open to new ideas. Sometimes, we were even overwhelmed by the continuous creative solutions and had to give up some of them due to the limited time.

Jerri: As we created the site content, Stacy also wanted to keep our “voices” and how we would phrase or construct things in the final product. So, rather than having one voice and lens throughout the orientation, we have included several different ways to look at, engage with, and phrase the information. I believe that incorporating this process into the orientation will help us reach more students.

The group members share how they hope the new program will impact future students:

Sofia: I think it’s beneficial for both domestic and international students, especially in the HR major. Not only does the summer orientation program provide them with abundant campus and community resources but prepares them to study and work in a diverse setting.  The inter-cultural agility part is not just designed for international students to understand the U.S. culture as other orientations do. It could foster mutual understanding and give practical advice for a diverse work setting.

Jerri: In particular, I hope that domestic students will utilize the resources within the orientation to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by international students. In identifying resources and working on various projects, our orientation team tried to consider how these resources could promote cultural agility within the program. For example, when developing content about culture shock, our team conducted focus groups and created videos with current students telling their story in their own words. These resources and others we developed are meant to demonstrate how change impacted students from a wide range of backgrounds. I hope that these resources will not only support students on an individual level but also help them consider how they can better offer support from a peer-perspective.

Mari: I believe this helps them feel they are ready to come to the University of Minnesota and acknowledge that our program is trying to assist them to land here smoothly.

Sofia: Taking some resources out of the in-person orientation could make them more accessible before and after the orientation. Also, more practical activities like experiential training on networking will be on the orientation schedule.

Star: Future students will now be prepared both academically and socially in our rigorous intercultural HRIR program. They will learn tools that will allow them to succeed professionally as well.

Developing the new online orientation program was a significant project for each of the group members. They learned a great deal from their process and hope that the program will provide incoming students with a smooth transition to our community. The members share why creating the program was important to them:

Star: It was important to our group because we are investing in the HR professionals of tomorrow and in our degrees. By building the next generation of Carlson School students we add value.

Jerri: My primary goal in this project was helping to ease the transition into the program for future HRIR students. The HRIR program is strong because it is home to so many unique perspectives and experiences, and that also means that students are coming in with different needs and interests. It was important to me that our online orientation try to intentionally connect students with a number of resources and provide all of those connections in one, “easy-to-find” site.

Sofia: A lot of work we did is pure innovation and we are proud of ourselves. I appreciate working with the team. They are all amazing people and open-minded to my ideas. I thought to work in the U.S. was a big challenge to me, but the team really made me feel like home. I’m also responsible for building up the course on Canvas, and I enjoy being an expert and helping people out on their part. The group work is perfect, and we’ll keep an eye on how the orientation program goes.

We are grateful for the hard work and consideration each of the group members put into designing this program to help incoming students work well in our diverse environment. We will follow-up next fall with an article that shares how the members’ hard work impacted incoming students. Stay tuned!

Georgianna Herman Plants Seeds for Growth and Vitality through Support of Library

Cropped1 GeorgieOne of the most well-known and loved former staff members of the CHRLS, Georgianna Herman, retired in 2001 but continues to support the students, faculty and staff of the HRIR program through her generous donations to the Library that bears her name. During her career as librarian in the IRC Reference Room, as it was called then, which spanned from 1953-2001, she helped lay the foundation of growth for what is now named the Georgianna E. Herman Library, an integral part of the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies and the HRIR program. We recently checked in with Georgie to see what she’s been up to since retirement, and why she feels so strongly about supporting the library and the HRIR program.

Q. First, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What do you consider the highlight of your career? Greatest accomplishment? Do you have any fond memories or funny stories to share?

A. The highlight I remember most now is my retirement party. I was so amazed and honored by the turnout. I had no idea so many people would come to show their support and appreciation for me. I suppose my greatest accomplishment is that I was able to stay in a dream job for my entire working life. I knew from an early age that I wanted a career. My father died when my brother and I were in elementary school and that left my mother to be the breadwinner. She went to work and had a long career as a secondary school teacher. Her example steered me away from wanting the life of a conventional housewife. I liked to joke that I didn’t want to grow up to bake cookies. I was very fortunate that my mother sent me to University High. I well remember riding back and forth from St. Paul all those years on the bus. From there I went straight to the University of Minnesota and I never left. I was offered work in what became the Reference Room when I was still an undergraduate. I think I was good at it because I always did my best to try to help people and I was very sociable and friendly besides, which people seemed to appreciate. In any endeavor it helps if you wear a smile on your face.

Georgie Brenda 2015Q. You had a long and successful career directing the Library, and you must have seen numerous changes over the years. Can you share a few thoughts about those changes? Did the usage of the library change over the years? Certainly the technology did; what about the students themselves?

A. Yes, there were many changes, but I don’t think about them much. The people were still the same and I had an absolutely wonderful staff. Jennifer is still there. She could do anything.

Q. What do you miss most about working with students and faculty?Georgie Students 2015

A. I miss the people. Every day was different in some way. There was always a lot happening at the University. Faculty members were going off to Washington and other places all the time and lots of executives from big companies visited the University. It felt like important things were going on and it was fun to be in the midst of that.

Q. What was it like to work as a professional woman in a male-dominated (both faculty and student) field?

A. I honestly never really thought about that. As I already mentioned, my interests through college were not directed toward marriage and a family. My job was about helping people find the resources they needed, and I was good at that. I remember one time a professor called in a panic to find materials he needed for a speech he was about to give out of town. I found the materials he needed and had to run out to his car to deliver them as he was on his way to the airport. That was the measure of success in the Library—how we delivered the goods—I didn’t see myself as being in a competition. I was always grateful for my job and it was satisfying to have work that was interesting.

Georgei Brenda Sign 2015Q. You’ve been active in supporting the Library financially for many years; what prompted you to start? And, what motivated you to expand your philanthropy so generously with your most recent gift?

A. I don’t have children and my parents and my brother are all gone so it makes sense to leave a legacy that reflects the things I value and that have been influential to me in my life. The University of Minnesota is one of the great universities in the country. Who wouldn’t take pride in having a library there named after them? I don’t look like a person you would expect to have a library named after her, so it can be a real surprise to someone who doesn’t know me from before. You can’t imagine how much fun that is.

Q. What do you hope for the future of the Library, and how do you hope your gift impacts future users?

A. It’s hard for me to find words to describe how I feel about the future. I do feel that the field of study supported by the Library is important to the future of business because it involves—should involve—the whole spectrum of people who organize those activities—from top to bottom. I hope that encourages businesses to serve everyone—from top to bottom. Another thing is the bigness of the University isn’t always comfortable. I think of my Library as a haven where people can study and think in the comfortable safety of a smaller space. I don’t know if the Library will always be there—I hope it continues—but the University isn’t going away, so I think some good will come from my gifts regardless.

Q. How do you enjoy spending your time now?

A. I enjoy being in my home. I’m lucky at my age (87) to be able to stay in my home. It’s the house I grew up in and it’s where most of my memories are stored. I have a beautiful yard and garden which I can enjoy year-round. I like to show people my garden.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I feel so very lucky. I’ve had a wonderful life, with wonderful opportunities. It all started with my parents, who were serious about education, making sure I enrolled at U High and then the University of Minnesota. I’m very grateful for everything. Thank you so much for your time.

Come and see my garden sometime.

Professor John Budd Selected as 2019 LERA Fellow

unnamed-1Congratulations to Professor John Budd, who was selected as a 2019 LERA Fellow by the Labor and Employment Relations Association. This designation recognizes scholars and practitioners who have made contributions of unusual distinction to the field and have been in the profession and field for longer than 10 years. The selection committee for this title considered contributions from the following disciplines: industrial relations, labor law, economics, human resources, business, sociology, political science, and organizational behavior. The multi-disciplinary awards committee was especially impressed with Budd’s performance in the field of labor and employment relations. They commented on the impact that Budd’s works have had on the field, including his published books—one of which is a leading textbook in employment relations—and his articles in scholarly journals. They also acknowledged the leadership Budd has provided as Chair of the Department of Work and Organizations and Director of the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies at the Carlson School of Management, as well as his many contributions to LERA. Awards will be presented at the LERA 71st Annual Meeting in Cleveland, OH in mid-June.

Making World a Better Place at CORE of Alumna’s Commencement Message


University of Minnesota Duluth Commencement Speaker Anne Tsui, ’73 BA; ’75 MA-IR. Photos courtesy of University Marketing and Public Relations, University of Minnesota Duluth

Congratulations to alumna Anne Tsui, ’75 MA-IR, who spoke at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Commencement Ceremonies on May 11. Tsui grew up in China and came to the U.S. in 1970 to attend college. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from UMD in 1973 with a minor in business administration, her master’s degree in industrial relations from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 1975, and her doctoral degree in behavioral and organizational sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1981.

After 49 years of her academic journey, Tsui had the opportunity to return to her alma mater to share the core values she’s learned over the years with the graduates and their families, and her advice is universal.

She organized her core values into an acronym that spells out CORE.

C is for Compassion
On the first day she arrived at UMD, Tsui recalls how she was met with kindness from a stranger. She had boarded a bus intending to find food in town, but mistakenly rode the bus all the way to Superior, Wisconsin. While feeling lost and disappointed, she noted that the bus driver was understanding, and kindly drove her back to her dorm, free of charge. “This small act of kindness made a lasting impression since I still remember it so vividly 49 years later.” Tsui says this experience allowed her to understand the value of compassion. “I am sure you can recall many incidences when you are either the giver or the recipient of compassion,” Tsui says. “You never know what someone is going through, and how impactful a small act of compassion can be. Compassion makes you a nicer person, the recipient happier, and the world better.”

20195_commencememt_Tsui_Anne_5058_1O is for Optimism
After graduating from UMD, Tsui says she struggled with finding the next step in her professional journey. She was discouraged after being rejected from ten psychology doctoral programs. She was, however, admitted into the University of Minnesota Twin Cities’ MA-IR program, but was unsure whether she should attend. She took a short break for travel, and then called her advisor at UMD. He encouraged her to enter the MA-IR program in Minneapolis; he believed she would have a good future with that major. “His optimism for me brewed optimism in myself. I became more confident, and less fearful of the unknown,” she noted. “Optimism is a ‘can do’ attitude. Optimism radiates positive energy, which draws people in. Optimistic people believe the future can be better than the present, and they believe they have the power to make it happen. Optimism is about believing in others also, like my advisor did for me,” she continues. “Few accomplishments come easy. You, as I did, will face many challenges. However, optimism lifted me out of many low moments. Some days, it was my optimism that encouraged others, and other days, it was my colleagues and students who inspired me with their optimism.”

R is for Responsibility
“As an academic, my lifelong priority has been to inspire my students to care about the world they live in and be a positive force in society,” Tsui says.  She described her experience as a co-founder of the Community for Responsible Research in Business and Management, a global project which she and 23 other professors have become involved in over the last five years. “Our movement aims to transform business research toward greater relevance for society. We encourage research to produce knowledge that will contribute to more responsible business practices,” she explains. “Responsibility begins with doing your job well and playing your roles conscientiously and professionally with excellence. However, responsibility is not only about doing a job well, it also means having the moral courage to do the right things,” Tsui says. “Responsibility is about leaving your comfort zone and participating in or even initiating actions that are morally right to do. It is this sense of responsibility that has propelled people to participate in causes that are greater than themselves.”

20185_commencement_Chan_Tsui_4599And E is for Engagement
“UMD emphasizes engagement because a community thrives when everyone in it cares,” Tsui explains. “I learned that each year, UMD students put thousands of hours into community volunteering, such as organizing youth camps like STEM for girls, lobbying for support for their university at the capital, organizing gifts for under-privileged families and students, and installing solar panels in Africa in their study abroad program. You ARE very engaged,” she says. “UMD is proud of you, and I am too! I hope you will always keep engagement as part of your life’s focus. Your life will become busier as you start your new career…it is very easy to get caught up in life and lose that level of engagement,” she notes. “As I think about all the significant movements today and throughout recent history, almost all are being fueled by young people.”

In conclusion, Tsui says, “With a strong CORE as your foundation—topped off with a healthy dose of humility and gratitude – I believe you WILL live a good life. You will do meaningful things.You will find joy in your relationships. And you will find the world to be a pretty amazing place. However,” she continues, “we also know the world is far from perfect today. Find the issue that you care about the most. Pursue it with your strong CORE: Compassion, Optimism, Responsibility, and Engagement, and you will succeed in whatever you do and at the same time make the world a better place.”

Photos courtesy of University Marketing and Public Relations, University of Minnesota Duluth

Anne Tsui received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1973 with a minor in business administration, her master’s degree in industrial relations from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 1975, and her doctoral degree in behavioral and organizational sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1981. In 2015, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Economics from the University of  St. Gallen, Switzerland. Tsui is currently Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame, Motorola Professor Emerita of International Management at the Arizona State University, and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Peking University and Fudan University, China. She was the President of the Academy of Management, the Founding President of the International Association for Chinese Management Research, and editor in chief of two leading scholarly journals. She is a co-founder of the Community for Responsible Research in Business and Management, a global movement to transform business research into a force for greater good.

Spotlight On…

An occasional series highlighting a member of our alumni community, a current student, and a member of our staff or faculty.

Assad Victor - 0205 (2).jpgAlumnus Victor Assad, ’88

Where are you working currently? 
I currently have two firms. Victor Assad Strategic HR Consulting helps employers improve their ability to recruit and retain employees. I blog weekly from this platform and on LinkedIn and work with small and large employers.

My second firm, InnovationOne LLC, conducts research on the traits of highly innovative companies and helps companies improve their capability and cultures for innovation—and their profitable growth. InnovationOne with The Conference Board is currently conducting the 2019 Global State of Innovation Survey which will identify what drives innovation in organizations and the tools, measures, and talent strategies necessary to be a highly innovative company. This is our second survey on innovation with The Conference Board. My partner, C. Brooke Dobni, PhD, has published 20 academic, peer-reviewed articles on innovation and business strategy. Human resources professionals can have a major impact on the innovation of their companies by shaping culture and launching talent strategies that support innovative capabilities and culture.

I am publishing my first book, Hack Recruiting, early this summer. It is about first hacking the bad habits many executives and companies have fallen into with recruiting by ignoring the empirical evidence on assessments and how to hold insightful and inspiring interviews. Secondly, it points out that recruiting is a high volume, repeatable process that should be run as efficiently as a lean, exceptional manufacturing or agile software development process. Thirdly, hacking the recruitment process itself with new digitization that will enable recruiters to find qualified candidates in seconds, improve the job candidate experience, and rapidly improve hiring high quality job candidates.

I am almost finished with a second book, Cultures of Innovation: Brand it! Build It!, that will show from empirical evidence that culture can be measured and managed, and that innovative cultures significantly impact a company’s ability to be disruptive and grow profitably. The book will highlight the traits of highly innovative companies and the talent strategies required to develop and nurture these cultures—and HR’s role.

What’s your favorite part about working in the HR field? 
I love HR. I love it when executives realize that to be a successful and innovative company they need to think more like an economist and less like an accountant, managing only costs and numbers. It is very rewarding when executives learn to have transparent and dynamic cultures, and improve their organizational learning and the skills of their employees. I love it when individuals realize they can achieve their potential with new learning and changed behaviors and when teams realize that through norms and building trust they can achieve great results, larger than as individuals.

I also love implementing innovative solutions in human resources and for companies such as innovative cultures, flexible work environments, global teams that are just as effective as collocated teams, and creating great company brands with exciting and fast-paced recruiting processes that help them attract and select excellent employees and then the work cultures and talent strategies that continue to develop and provide feedback to employees, who in turn accelerate innovation and performance of their companies. It is all related.

What was your favorite part of the MA-HRIR program? Did you think the program prepared you well for the ‘real world’?
It was like a candy store for me. I loved the learning in various HR disciplines and how it all fit together to create a dynamic company culture and employee experience, and improved financial performance for the company. Yes, it prepared me for the real world which, of course, is very diverse company by company and across the world. My HR career with Honeywell and Medtronic allowed me to practice HR from Mumbai to Milano and to learn and work in very diverse cultures. Very exciting and rewarding.

What’s a hobby or something fun you like to do when you’re not working?
I enjoy family and friends, jazz music, fine dining and wine, plays, hikes and bird watching.

Do you have any advice for current students? 
Today’s HR leaders need to understand how the business makes money and attracts and retains customers. They need to be strategic in their thinking and always show the business team how HR proposals will improve business outcomes and provide the business with a return on investment. Finally, they need to know digital technology as well as the Chief IT Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. Knowing HR and executing it well, although critically essential and expected, is not enough anymore. Today and for the last 20 years, those who will be successful will be continually learning and adapting.


Part-Time MA-HRIR Student Amber Devries

20181012_Amber DeVries-0190.jpg

Why did you choose to attend the Carlson School’s MA-HRIR program?
I decided to attend the Carlson School’s MA-HRIR program after hearing about its great reputation and placement rate post-graduation. The program was also recommended to me by a previous alum who only had good things to say about the program and the faculty. It seemed like a perfect fit for me and seemed a no-brainer to apply for the program.

Where did you go for your undergraduate degree, and what was your major?
I attended the University of Minnesota for my undergraduate degree and double-majored in Psychology and Spanish Studies within the College of Liberal Arts. I graduated with both degrees in May 2016.

Do you have any work experience?
I have worked for the University of Minnesota since I graduated in 2016. I started within the College of Design working with the undergraduate curriculum, and recently transitioned to working as a human resources generalist for the Carlson School of Management. I have been really enjoying getting to know the Carlson School from a staff and student perspective.

What’s been your favorite part of the program so far?
My favorite part of the program thus far has been getting to know the various faculty members, adjunct instructors, and other professional students. What I love about being a professional student is seeing how the concepts we learn in class clearly apply to various work environments. Through the examples and stories that my classmates provide, it connects what I’m learning to the real world which is something that I didn’t experience in my undergraduate education. I have the opportunity to see what HR looks like in different organizations across the Twin Cities and have had the ability to learn the vast amount of career options available within the scope of HR. I also have met some incredible faculty members and adjunct instructors who have been excellent resources and mentors throughout my time in the program.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I volunteer for the Animal Humane Society where I work in dog adoption support. When I’m not with AHS, I also enjoy running, puzzles, binging Bravo network reality television shows, and spending time with friends and family. Granted, with a full-time job and school, free time is limited!


AmyStaff Member Amy Danzeisen

When did you start working in Carlson School’s CHRLS? What tasks does your job consist of?
I moved to Carlson in March of 2016.  My job is all about getting great people into the Masters in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. I tell people about our program, I help them determine if it’s a good fit for them, I guide them through the application process, as well as what happens after they are admitted up until orientation. I love it.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job? 
Helping people find a path and years later hearing how people are so excited about where it has taken them.

What is your educational background and what other work experience do you have? 
I have a degree in English and Human Relations from St. Cloud State University. I then lived in California for a few years and started working at the University of Minnesota in 2000. I’ve worked in several departments, but my current role is definitely my favorite, and I never would have thought about doing something like this if it hadn’t been for my friend Ann. She worked in a similar role years ago, and she told me she thought I would be good at it, and asked if I’d be interested in applying for the job she was leaving. I really didn’t think it would be a good fit, because it sounded like sales, which I thought I was allergic to.  She asked if I would at least fill in for her at work for a couple of weeks until they hired someone, and that first day, I knew I loved it. Helping people find the information they were looking for, providing opportunities for people to come together, connecting people and resources, and welcoming people. This is what I love to do in my life, and I’m so lucky that I found it in a job!

What’s a hobby or something fun you like to do when you’re not working?
I love to read, attend speakers and movies and learn about what’s going on in the world, although that has become less fun and more painful lately. I also like to canoe and hike in the woods and go to happy hours with friends.

Is there any little-known fact about you that people might be surprised about?
I love road trips and camping and live music, so my favorite recent vacation that combined all three was to the Winnipeg Folk Festival. 4 days of 10 stages of all kinds of music to choose from all day long. Bliss.

Mike Davis Reflects on Sharing HR Expertise and Passion

MikeDavisOver the past 14 years, Mike Davis has shared his considerable expertise and passion for HR strategy and executive compensation with MA-HRIR students at the Carlson School of Management. Most well-known for teaching the Executive Compensation elective course, Davis also taught the core Compensation & Benefits course as well as the Managing Groups class through the MBA program. He is stepping down from teaching this spring to fully embrace retirement, and we wish him all the best. We sat down with Davis to ask him about his tenure as an adjunct instructor.

How did you start teaching at the Carlson School?
In the summer/fall of 2005 an opportunity opened up to teach the core Compensation & Benefits class in the spring semester of 2006. Professor Avner Ben-Ner offered the opportunity to me, and as I’d always wanted to teach Comp & Ben and Executive Compensation, it seemed like an ideal opportunity. The only challenge was that I was still working full time at General Mills in a big HR job. I was working for two executives at the time and asked each of them how they felt about this opportunity. They both quickly said to go for it; they both knew it was part of my career plan.

How did the creation of the Executive Compensation elective course come about?
A real high point for me from my 14 years at the Carlson School was advocating for and helping develop, in conjunction with program faculty and staff, the Executive Compensation course. I had deep expertise in the area and wanted to put it to use. This elective was taught on a pilot basis for a few years, and became an official course offering a few years ago.

How was this course beneficial to students?
Executive compensation expertise becomes increasingly important to most HR professionals as their careers progress. As new Chief Human Resources Officers are named, this is often a development area, but it starts to become important at the director level at most companies. I taught the basics of Executive Compensation during the term.  Everyone who has taken the course remembers the group project, where they do an Executive Compensation proxy analysis in groups of three. They actually finish teaching themselves through this real-life project. They get their own proxy statements through SEC EDGAR, and find relevant company performance data from financially oriented internet sites. Then they do their group analysis comparing and contrasting their companies, and provide their final analysis in a written report. These reports are amazingly good. When I hear from former students it is often when they put this expertise to use, and they often reference the proxy project. This is a great elective companion to the core Compensation & Benefits course.

What has this teaching opportunity meant to you over the years?
I have obviously enjoyed the experience. First, it was so gratifying to give back some of the knowledge that I had acquired from my mentors and nearly 40 years of experience.  Second, it was a great experience to interact with so many students over the years. Third, the faculty and staff became a new group of work friends. They could not have been more welcoming and supportive the entire time. I can’t fully express my gratefulness to have had this opportunity at such a first-rate university. 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I recommend alumni consider sharing their expertise in a university classroom; it doesn’t take long at work before you have a lot to add as a guest lecturer. We all learn from each other in professional roles, and this is a great way to give back.

Alumnus Named Recipient of HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers Program Award


Congratulations to Leo Cardoso, ’12 MA-HRIR, who was named a recipient of the HACR (Hispanics in Corporate America) Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers Program Award. At the ceremony in Miami, Cardoso and other recipients were recognized for their demonstrated leadership qualities and capabilities within their corporations and having a deep commitment to the Hispanic community.

Award recipients also participated in an intensive leadership development, education and training conference focused on corporate diversity, personal branding, emotional intelligence, and organizational services. Cardoso was nominated for the award by his employer, Land O’Lakes.