Joining and participating in the Society for Human Resource Management, often abbreviated as SHRM, was one of my top priorities beginning this year. Here at the Strategic Human Resource Management Center, we already have a SHRM-aligned curriculum which means that many of the resources and information available to national SHRM members lines up well with our coursework. Taking advantage of the substantial student discount, membership to the organization has already provided excellent value. SHRM provides an unmatched variety of resources from free job benchmark data on 30 jobs per year through Salary.com to articles written by human resources experts on topics of immediate relevance to the profession.
But the real value of a SHRM membership is the ability to network and interact with many human resources professionals and there are few opportunities as robust as the opportunity to attend one of the many conferences organized by the organization. Wisconsin is fortunate to have a dedicated and active membership at the state level who work hard to create meaningful networking opportunities. Once a year, the state-level organization, known as WISHRM, organizes a conference that brings together professionals from across the state, and speakers and experts from across the nation, to discuss the most pressing issues facing professionals in human resources right now.
The speaking events are fantastic and informative; the way the conference is organized affords you the opportunity to attend the sessions that will provide the most value to you. If your organization is struggling with a 401(k) design, there are sessions to teach you how to make the most out of your 401(k). If you are struggling to design an effective diversity and inclusion program, there are sessions that provide practical, real guides on how organizations have designed and implemented similar programs. This allows you to get information that is especially relevant for your organization and collect continuing education credits to recertify your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.
But as a student, having the opportunity to attend these sessions is also about the ability to discuss these issues and connect with professionals within human resources. During my time at the conference, I was able to meet countless professionals throughout the state and numerous students from the many different schools that had attended. WISHRM goes the extra mile to provide interesting and unique ways of encouraging interaction through daily scavenger hunts (with prizes no less!), interesting activities such as the group trivia session on the second night of the conference and even had events specifically for students. On the first night of the conference, I participated in the HR Student Games and received a substantial cash prize for coming in 1st in the competition. As you can tell, I found the conference to be valuable and I will definitely be attending another.