Knowledge has been gained, connections have been made, and plenty of food/drinks have been consumed by student and young professional members at the SHRM 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition.
For the second year in a row, the SHRM Foundation sponsored the Student & Young Professional Super Sunday Session. This event, held over breakfast, was an informational (and fun!) orientation specifically for future leaders of the HR profession. Scott Ferrin, SHRM-CP, Field Service Director for SHRM, started off the morning as the audience’s cup of coffee. He energized the group and played the role of master of ceremony for the networking activity later in the day. He passed the mic and the energy over to Bettina Deynes, SHRM-SCP, VP of Human Resources and Diversity at SHRM, to share her career journey with us. What an inspirational treat!
Tom Darrow, SHRM-SCP, Board Chair of the SHRM Foundation, then presented the award for 2016 Student Chapter Advisor of the Year to Michelle Dean, PH.D, Associate Professor of Management, College of Business Administration, San Diego State University. He also shared the story behind one of the SHRM Foundation Scholarship winners, Melissa Pillias, an HR Student from Guam hoping to help advance the next generation.
Next, I was humbled to present the 2016 winners of the regional SHRM Student Case Competitions alongside fellow Young Professional Advisory Council (YPAC) member, Tatiana Hernandez. The winners were... drumroll, please...
- Central (Omaha, NE)
- Division 1: University of Central Florida
- Division 2: New York University
- West (Salt Lake City, UT)
- Division 1: University of North Texas
- Division 2: California State Polytechnic University at Pomona
- Division 1: University of West Florida
- Division 2: Villanova University
- East (Atlanta, GA)
A sneak preview of next year’s SHRM Student Case Competition and Career Summits was also announced. Don’t forget to save the dates!
- March 10 - March 11 in Houston, TX
- March 31 - April 1 in Portland, OR
- April 21 - April 22 in PA (contract pending)
The session wrapped up with a conference orientation from Beth McFarland, SHRM Foundation Director of Foundation Programs. She walked attendees through an overview of the conference schedule and resources while sharing tips and tricks to promote a positive conference experience for all. The audience was then treated to a few wonderful guest speakers: Joe Jones, Ph.D, Director of HR Competencies and Resources Research at SHRM, and Stephanie Goetsch, founder of Spark Career Strategy.
On Monday evening, students and young professionals were invited to the "Find your YP Moment" Young Professional Networking event. The venue (Clyde’s of Galleria Place) was beautiful and the food was delicious. In between conversations, attendees posed for the SHRMofficial Snapchat and had some fun with a variety of props and signs. Huge shout-out to Max Rickard, SHRM-CP, and all of the the other members of the SHRM Young Professional Advisory Council (YPAC) that made the event a success.
It’s not over yet. Although the concurrent sessions are dwindling down and vendors will soon start packing up their branded table cloths and leftover swag, there is still a lot more for students & young professionals. Find your breakthrough!