Between the SHRM Foundation Annual Luncheon, the #ALLinSTEP Challenge, and general conference happenings, it’s hard to sum up my entire #SHRM17 experience.
I first heard about #SHRM17 when applying to be a marketing intern for the SHRM Foundation. When I received an offer from SHRM via a phone call with HR, I mentioned I had another offer and would get back to them on my decision. Not even ten minutes later, I received a call from my manager-to-be saying there was a possibility I could travel to New Orleans for SHRM’s Annual Conference as a part of my internship. I was sold.
I heard so much about conference even before touching down in NOLA, but nothing could accurately describe what conference is like. The convention center is bigger, the people are more enthusiastic, and the sessions more exciting than I imagined.
As a SHRM Foundation Intern, one of my main jobs was to help at the booth in the exhibition hall. I was “tech lead” so I had to answer any and all questions about the #ALLinSTEP Challenge and Fitbit. And that first day there were a lot of questions. “How do I register?” “How do I sync my steps?” “How do I join a team?” It was a lot, but manageable and fun to interact with different HR professionals.
My favorite part of conference was the SHRM Foundation Annual Luncheon. Over 150 of the Foundation’s biggest supporters were all in one room. During the luncheon, it was my job to run the slides. We heard from board members and recognized the success of the top fundraising SHRM Chapters and State Councils. Cecilia Clark, an Army veteran and #SHRM17 scholarship winner, was one of the main speakers at the event. She spoke about her service, her mentor, and how she is currently helping veterans like herself integrate back into the workforce. Her speech was emotional and inspiring, and definitely moved the room. In addition, the Give50 scholarship winner was announced. There were two other amazing finalists who, with the help of the generous luncheon attendees, will each receive their own scholarships.
The final day of conference was a bit less hectic. At the SHRM Foundation booth, we had plenty of #ALLinSTEP water bottles to give out. Although people were enthusiastic about the free water bottles, they were even more excited about the #ALLinSTEP Challenge. The competition was fierce on Twitter, in the Fitbit app, and in person. My team, the SHRM Super Steppers, ended up in 7th place, however, I can say we easily got our steps in each day.
#SHRM17 was an experience unlike any other--so much was packed into the four days I was there. Even though I was not an HR professional (or even in the HR field), I was able to learn so much and meet so many new people.