Strategic Human Resource (SHR) Management orientation took place as it normally would with all of us getting together to meet one another, meet the staff, and begin our journeys into HR. Except this year’s orientation was completely virtual. The Center staff put effort into creating an experience that was not only informative but also conscious of the fact that it was going to be a different sort of year. We packed into one day a multitude of lessons including meeting with our Career Management contact, Betsy Golomski, and how to begin to work virtually in teams.
We started orientation with introductions of Charlie Trevor, the Academic Director of SHR, and our Assistant Director, Linda Barrett. It was interesting to learn about some of the professors that guide the SHR specialization. We introduced ourselves to one another, and we included where we call home and fun facts such as “I love Costco” or having a deep love of gummy worms. These silly facts allowed us to become more comfortable with one another in a situation that might otherwise have felt uncomfortable over a video call.
One of the main points from the presentation that Charlie created was the role that our school’s culture plays. He stressed that it is our culture and our values that will set us apart from other schools, and that “We matter in ways that matter.” Charlie saying that really struck a chord with me and made me feel like I have entered into a program that seeks to create positive-minded and capable individuals that have good values. The effort that the staff put into our orientation proved how they aimed to foster the SHR culture right away and promote and positive learning environment.
We also met with Betsy Golomski, the Career Management team member that we will be working with over the next two years. Betsy will be our contact for advice and direction when it comes to internships and our eventual job searches. Betsy will hold sessions and virtual workshops to help us develop skills such as interview training, case training, and creating our elevator pitches.
In our final part of the SHR orientation, we completed a team-building session with the second-year students that was facilitated by Adventure Learning Programs (ALPs). During this session, we participated in various activities in small groups. These exercises allowed us to practice working in groups over video calls, which will be extremely beneficial for the foreseeable future. These activities also showed the importance placed on our ability to work with our classmates no matter the circumstances.
Ultimately, orientation provided us with the knowledge we needed, and showed us what we could expect in the future. We know how much effort our faculty and staff will put into us and our program, and that despite the abnormal learning environment this year, we will still continue to be a vital part of the ongoing SHR culture.