An occasional series highlighting a member of our alumni community, a current student, and one of our faculty members.
Alumna Hilary Marden-Resnik, ’94 MA-IR
Where are you working currently?
I am currently working as the Senior Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer for UCare. Prior to joining UCare in 2010, I worked as Vice President of Human Resources for Hennepin County Medical Center, Human Resources Director for HealthEast Care System, Attorney in the Employment and Healthcare Practices for Gray Plant Mooty, and Human Resources Manager for Fairview Health Services.
Have you moved away from the human resources field?
In my present role, I continue to oversee the human resources team, along with several other operational functions including Information Technology, Project Management Office, Claims, Customer Services and Provider Services. I also co-lead the strategic planning function for the organization. Therefore, while my time is no longer fully dedicated to the HR field, it is still an area of responsibility for me.
Why did you choose to branch out into additional areas of responsibility?
While I have always been passionate about my HR work, over the years I found that I also enjoyed supporting organizations’ other operational areas. And I have learned that a solid HR background can provide a professional with the leadership skills that are necessary to oversee other areas of the business. I was fortunate to find an opportunity at UCare where I could continue to apply my HR expertise while learning new areas of responsibility.
What’s a hobby or something fun you like to do when you’re not working?
Nearly all of my free time is spent with my husband and kids, Nathan (age nine) and Allison (age seven). I also enjoy volunteering as a Board member for AchieveMpls, the strategic non-profit partner of the Minneapolis Public Schools, and for my kids’ elementary school. And I rely on my daily morning run to keep it all in balance.
First Year Student Joanna Hedstrom
Why did you choose to attend the Carlson School’s MA-HRIR program?
I chose to attend the Carlson School’s MA-HRIR program because I wanted to further my business education but specifically in HR, and I knew that the Carlson School’s program is competitive and offers an integrative curriculum. I also really enjoyed connecting with the people I met from the program!
Where did you go for your undergraduate degree, and what was your major?
I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota as well, with a marketing degree from the Carlson School. I loved everything about my experience!
What’s been your favorite part of the program so far?
My favorite part of the program so far has been meeting new people from so many different areas of the country and the world. It is interesting to me to relate to others from different cultural and professional backgrounds. I also have really enjoyed the coursework and faculty.
Why did you continue to be part of a sports team into your graduate school career?
I am a true senior on the basketball team at the U, and so I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to complete my intercollegiate basketball career, even during grad school. I love being able to take my HRIR courses and applying some of the concepts I have learned in my role as a Captain on the team.
Do you notice yourself applying anything you learned from being part of a sports team into being a MA-HRIR student or vice versa?
I definitely have made connections between the content I have learned in my MA-HRIR courses and my experiences in basketball. In class, whenever we are applying concepts to workplace situations, I always relate the topic to my experience with basketball, whether that be regarding team relations, team performance, or leadership. I also have utilized some of the things I have learned about motivation and leadership communication in my role as a team captain in basketball.
Is it easy to balance class and being on a sports team? Difficult? How so?
At the beginning of each semester and basketball season, it takes a bit to adapt to a new schedule and the responsibilities of practice, athletic treatment, weight training, nutrition, group projects, and classes. However, I have a lot of support from both my professors and coaches, and now that it’s my fourth year of doing it, I feel confident in my ability to prioritize. I am thankful for my HRIR classmates who have been flexible with my busy schedule and have come to watch some of my games. (Shoutout to Jonnie, Emma, Amitosh and Jerusha)!
Do you have advice for other students who are balancing a number of priorities during their time in the program?
My best piece of advice for other students who are balancing a number of priorities is to not be afraid to ask for help and support, and let go of the need to be perfect. Sometimes there just isn’t time in the day to do it all, but I have been most successful when I put my focus into what is most important, and do as much as I can to the best of my ability, considering my circumstances.
Associate Professor Colleen Manchester
What are you teaching this semester?
This spring I will be teaching HRIR 6111, “Using Data and Metrics in Human Resources and Industrial Relations” in the evening to part-time students in the MA-HRIR program as well as two undergraduate courses on research methods that Carlson School students take for writing their Honors Thesis.
Do you have any advice for current students?
Take time to reflect on the concepts you’re learning in class. What connections can you draw across classes? How do they connect to your experiences (work, personal) or current events? Drawing these connections fosters a deeper understanding of material, making it of greater use to you down the road.
What are you currently reading?
Dan Ariely’s “Payoff: The Hidden Logic that Shapes Our Motivations” and Paula Polk Lillard’s “Montessori Today” (my oldest son just started Kindergarten at a Montessori School).
Is there any little-known fact about you that people might be surprised about?
I use to compete nationally as a cross-country skier. While it has been a while since I skied regularly, I hope to return to the hobby this year.