Looking Back: The Year in Review from A-Z

The Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies has a lot of highlights to share from the 2016-2017 academic year. Here’s a quick look at 26 of them!

On Admitted Students Day in March 2017, more than 30 prospective students visited campus to get an in-depth look into the MA-HRIR program before they arrive in the fall.

The HRIR Alumni Blog is updated often, with the goal of keeping alumni and current and prospective students in touch with events, opportunities, highlights and more.

The 4th International Case Competition (CIHRCom) was held in November 2016, welcoming six graduate student teams from four continents to compete with each other to solve a pressing global HR management issue.

Last fall, we welcomed a very diverse group of students, including 63 full-time students, nine part-time students, and two PhD students. Of the 63 full-time students, 14 different countries were represented!

The flexible Evening HR Master’s program allows students the option to work full time while taking their courses in the evenings, weekends, and online. Students enroll in an average of 4 to 8 credits per semester, with many students completing the program in 3-4 years.

Many of our world-class faculty were interviewed about their research and featured in a variety of news outlets this past year, including Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post, Marketplace, Minnesota Business, Minnesota Public Radio, MinnPost, StarTribune, Twin Cities Business and the Wall Street Journal, in addition to Carlson School alumni website and magazine features, as well as in numerous academic journals. Follow these features via Twitter or Facebook.

GSHRL, the Graduate Society of Human Resources Leaders, is a professional organization composed of graduate students in the HRIR program. The mission of GSHRL is to add value to the quality of academic, professional, and social life of graduate students pursuing HRIR careers.

The 38th annual HR Tomorrow Conference was held on April 21. This year’s theme of Trends and Transformations explored how many organizations are melding HR and business operations to push the boundaries of what is possible.

Most full-time students complete a summer internship between their first and second years in the program.

Six alumni are finishing their three-year journey as members of the CHRLS Alumni Association Board of Directors: David Bryant, Laura Elletson, Marc Gauthier, Chris Kujawa, Kristin Lee, and Joe Lucio.

Recent graduate Tom Kaiser gave a speech at the Spring Celebration Dinner on May 14, where he reflected on his time as a part-time student in the MA-HRIR program. “While it’s sad that tonight is the last of our group celebrations, we can be happy in the knowledge that by 11:00 a.m. tomorrow (after the graduation ceremony), we’ll be leaving with a network of friends and a degree that will serve us a lifetime,” he said in his speech.

The Georgianna E. Herman Library is the CHRLS’s reference library. While students use the library every day for its collection of labor union newspapers, newsletters, working papers, court cases, and more, it’s also become the unofficial gathering place for students to socialize and study, and also hosts a variety of alumni-student events each year.

CIMG3277In January, HRIR alumni were matched with current full- and part-time students for what will be a year-long mentoring relationship that will allow them to exchange advice, best practices, and tips to succeed in the field.

The Centerpoint alumni newsletter is a publication for alumni, friends, faculty and staff of the CHRLS and is published electronically five times a year. and keep them updated on going-ons around within the MA-HRIR program.

In February, a team of four MA-HRIR students representing the University of Minnesota took third place in the Fischer Case Competition at The Ohio State University. Earlier this academic year, another team of four students placed second in the Purdue University, Krannert School of Management HR Case Competition.

In September, Stacy Doepner-Hove, director of the Master’s Program in HRIR, introduced a new practicum course which required all first-year MA-HRIR students to meet bi-weekly. Each course focused on a different HR theme.

Alumnae Jingjing Chen, ’12, and Bijun Zhang, ’12, fielded questions from current international students when they participated in the International HRIR Alumni Panel on February 1. They shared their experience and career paths since graduating from the program with current international MA-HRIR students.

Silicon Valley - Rok Steakhouse Group Photo

Alumni reunited in a number of locations outside the Twin Cities, as the CHRLS and the Carlson School hosted a variety of events in locales including San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Phoenix, Chicago, New York City, and soon to come: Anaheim, Houston and Seattle.


A number of our MA-HRIR students enriched their graduate school experience with the opportunity to study abroad. The program offers two main study abroad options for its students: Global Enrichment Programs which are January or May-June short-term programs, or Global Immersion Programs, which are half- and full-semester long options.

Deniz Subasi, an international student from Turkey, spoke to her classmates during the Spring Celebration Dinner on May 14 about her experience in the program. “Although the Carlson School taught us how to contribute to the creation of successful businesses,” she said, “it also taught us how to create a strong network, how to respect and collaborate with people from all over the world, and how to work together to create a better world. So we are not only business professionals, we are the collaborators of the future for our ever increasingly multi-cultural world.”

Alumni are encouraged to update their contact and employment information regularly to ensure they stay in touch with news and events happening in the CHRLS. Contact chrls@umn.edu.

Two of our alums and one faculty member were featured in October in a set of videos available on the HRIR alumni blog.

A number of free career-related webinars were offered to alumni by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association on topics ranging from building a compelling resume, to professional presence, to creating a meaningful career.

The CHRLS is extremely grateful for the support of our generous corporate sponsors: Best Buy, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Bristol-Myers Squibb, C.H. Robinson, Chevron, Eaton, Ecolab, Entrust Datacard, Ford Motor Co., General Mills, H.B. Fuller, Ingersoll Rand, Land O’Lakes, LG Electronics, Polaris and Wells Fargo. Their support made the 2016 Case Competition and 2017 HR Tomorrow Conference possible.

There are many additional informative and entertaining videos created by faculty, students, and alumni of the MA-HRIR program on its YouTube channel.

CommencementA-Z3Eniola Aderibigbe, left, and Lizhen (Mandy) Zhao represented the beginning and the end of the alphabet of the 63 MA-HRIR students graduating this spring.


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