Crystal Sequeira is a first year MA-HRIR student. She is also the president of the Graduate Society of Human Resources Leaders (GSHRL). We asked Crystal to tell us more about what GSHRL does and why the student organization is important to our master’s students.
What exactly is GSHRL?
Founded in 1956 as Iota Rho Chi, or IPX, and later renamed to the Graduate Society of Human Resources Leaders, GSHRL is a professional student organization comprised of graduate students enrolled in the Human Resources and Industrial Relations (HRIR) program at the University of Minnesota. The mission of GSHRL is to provide academic support and promote professional growth opportunities through a variety of networking and social activities for our members.
A primary goal of GSHRL is to establish and strengthen relationships with the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies (CHRLS), alumni, and the Twin Cities business and non-profit communities. GSHRL is affiliated with several other professional organizations, including the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies Alumni Association (CHRLSAA), the Twin Cities Human Resources Association (TCHRA), and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). These organizations provide opportunities for students to learn more about the field of HRIR, in addition to providing opportunities to meet current professionals in the field.
Who are the members?
GSHRL has seven Board members, including the President, VP of Administration & Communication, VP of Engagement & Philanthropy, VP of International Affairs, VP of Member Relations, VP of Part-time Outreach, and VP of Professional Development. GSHRL is a cohort model with 120 active members in the MA-HRIR graduate program community. The average age of our full-time students is 25, 60% of them being women, and 53% of the total population being international students. Our part-time students are on average 28 years old, and 75% women, all of whom working full-time in Minnesota.
Can you tell us about the activities that GSHRL supports?
GSHRL supports current MA-HRIR students in three core ways:
- Mentor Program—allows first-year students to connect with second-year students
- Meeting of the Minds—events to learn more about classes/faculty prior to registration
- Online Book Exchange – allows students to share textbooks and class materials
- Lunch and Learns—provides students extra support in finding and securing internships
- Leader’s Live Events—presentations by HR professionals from Fortune 500 companies
- Development Days—on-site learning visits to companies in the Twin Cities area
- Monthly Social Events—designed to increase engagement and collaboration in program
- Philanthropic Events—events to give back to the Twin Cities community
- End-of-the-Semester Celebrations – opportunity to connect prior to the end of the program
GSHRL Events: International student and general orientation events, Etiquette Dinner,
Gopher football games, Apple Orchard visits, Pumpkin Patch events, Pot-luck Thanksgiving Dinner, end-of-year bowling events, Cookie Cart philanthropy events, ice-skating events, Lunar New Year event, international food potlucks, Minnesota Timberwolves games, Minnesota Twins games, end-of-year boat cruise event.
Why is GSHRL important to Master’s Students?
Our main purpose as a student organization is to create a strong, engaged and collaborative group as a means to foster continued academic and professional development, and to provide a platform for networking between our members and HR practitioners. By creating events and opportunities for students to engage in dynamic discussions with their peers, GSHRL is supporting our members, the Carlson School, and University of Minnesota community as a leader in developing the field’s top HR talent.
How can alumni help out?
The MA-HRIR student body population could benefit from additional programming directed toward strengthening students’ global mindset and fostering the development of cross cultural communication skills. Given that the University of Minnesota and Twin Cities community are both growing in diversity, an integral goal of GSHRL is to provide our members with professional development opportunities and support prior to their entry into the global workforce. By partnering with the Alumni Association, GSHRL hopes to strengthen their outreach and support the Alumni Association in encouraging current students to become future Alumni Board members. All of which contributes to our program being recognized as one of the premiere programs in the world for the study of human resources and industrial relations.