Growing as future leaders

Students in the organization, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), attended the SHRM state conference with the goal of learning about current human resources topics, skill sets and issues.

Students in Society for Human Resources Management reflect on insights from state conference 

UW-La Crosse business students heard about transformational leadership, financial literacy, robots in business and more during the 2019 Wisconsin Society for Human Resources Management State Conference in October in Wisconsin Dells. 

Students in the UWL organization, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), attended the conference with the goal of learning about current human resources topics, skill sets and issues. 

“Overall, the conference was a great success,” says Abby Christopherson, UWL student and vice president of SHRM. “Along with learning more about different HR topics and leadership competencies, we also enjoyed the time we got to interact with one another and grow as a group.”  

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) state conference. 

SHRM is a student-run organization, for all majors, that promotes professional development and workplace topics through speakers and activities. Throughout the semester, SHRM provides guest speakers from campus and the community, including UWL alumni and professionals from area businesses. SHRM also promotes learning through activities such as attending the professional area SHRM events and volunteering within the community. 

Students reflect on their experience: 

Abby Christopherson: 
My favorite part of the conference was the opportunity to bond and network with my fellow peers. In previous conference experiences, this bonding opportunity allows me to learn more in-depth about my peers and new perspectives on a variety of topics.  This conference allowed me to gain a new perspective on the consequences of complaining in the workforce. The last keynote speaker focused on why people complain, how it affects the workplace, and how the elimination of complaints can change one’s life. 

Eli Haas: 
My favorite part of the conference was seeing the wide variety of people involved in HR within Wisconsin. I also enjoyed being introduced to some aspects of HR that I didn’t know existed, such as the role that HR plays within sales compensation and how it intertwines with a company on the business level. A new perspective I gained came from the second keynote speaker. That was that complaining doesn’t do us any good, and that the only real way to solve a problem is to go directly to the source of the problem. I was also introduced to the business aspect of HR. 

Alexa Thurmes: 
I thought it was a good bonding experience and I liked getting to know everyone more. I also really enjoyed the speaker on “Corporate Culture: Incorporating Talent Attraction & Retention from the Inside Out” presentation.  In the” Corporate Culture: Incorporating Talent Attraction & Retention from the Inside Out” presentation, the speaker talked about how leadership is a transition. This was just an approach I hadn’t really heard before and it made me think about leadership from a new perspective and how I can be a better leader. 

Amanda Wciorka:  
My favorite part of the conference was gaining an insight of HR from the diverse perspectives of the speakers. 
Something new I will consider is all the possible biases in interviewing and how to prevent them. 

Dana Cale:  
As the primary leader of the group, I was very excited for the opportunity to watch the team bond and connect. I have seen this building of cohesion impact our executive board in the past; we work together more fluidly, and meetings and tasks feel less like an added responsibility and more like an opportunity to hang with friends while achieving results for our organization. I have a good feeling that the results of this experience will be no different. It is one thing to connect during social and volunteer events on campus and in our community, and another to do so in a situation different from our normal daily lives and one where we are only familiar with each other. I learned a lot about each of the members in attendance, and I am excited for the rest of the semester and school year! In addition to the conference providing a wonderful bonding experience, I also learned a lot in the sessions and was able to gain new insights and perspectives on current HR topics. One of my favorite speakers was Dr. Shirley Davis who spoke on diversity and inclusion and strategies organizations can take to increase such in their own workforce. Seeing her in such an impactful leadership role was inspiring to me, and it reiterated things I have learned about diversity and inclusion both in my classes and in my own HR experience. She spoke on the personal discrimination she has faced, and I enjoyed her stories on how she overcame that to get where she is today.