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NC State Participates in Mock Interviews

by Rachel E. Lowry   

Student Chapter Idea Book


vice president, programs and publicity

In January, the North Carolina State University student chapter held a mock- interviewing workshop for its student members. Five professionals from the parent chapter participated as mock interviewers. Each professional interviewed two students and provided feedback on interviewing skills, resumes, and professional attire. Students were able to give each other feedback as well.

Upon completion of the mock interviewing session, professionals and students reconvened to discuss the interviewing process. One question that students had was "what are you looking for in an interview?" The professionals agreed on that the following characteristic are often sought in interviews:

  • Business orientation
  • Strategic thinking
  • Knowledge
  • Enthusiasm
  • Professionalism
  • "fit" - values, complexity
  • Communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Dedication to profession
  • Flexibility
  • High performance
  • Transferable skills
  • Students learned that use of behavioral interviews, multi-level interviews, and non-verbal signals were indicators used to assess the above characteristics.

    Students also learned how to avoid some common interviewing mistakes. Following are some tips to remember:

    • Mention class names (i.e. "Staffing") instead of numbers ("BUS495T"). Students have the tendency to give examples about situations in classes and refer to it by the number. While this makes sense to students and professors at the university, it means nothing to an interviewer.
    • Eliminate nervous habits. Twitching your feet, cracking knuckles, or twirling a pen indicate that you are nervous and do not convey a professional image.
    • Write a thank-you note. This will give you a leg-up on other students. All of the interviewers commented that they rarely receive thank-you notes from applicants. Demonstrate your good manners and your genuine interest in the position by sending a note after the interview.


    A Day in the Life of an HR Practitioner
    by Jamie Shrock

    Last spring, I participated in a shadow day and learned first-hand what a typical day is like in the human resource department. I shadowed Tom Dixon, the assistant vice president of HR at Buffalo General Hospital, a member of Kaleida Health Care in downtown Buffalo. My day began at 8:30 am. Tom filled me in on the colorful history of Buffalo's many hospitals; especially those affiliated with Kaleida. I listened via speakerphone while Tom talked to a union official and worked out the exact wording of a document for an upcoming negotiation session. I watched as Tom handled an employee disciplinary situation. Due to a merger and a change in payroll processing systems, there had been a number of recent payroll problems at the time of my visit. I had an incredible opportunity to sit in on several sessions where Tom counseled employees on payroll discrepancies. Faced with a few very unhappy employees, he handled these potentially explosive situations with ease. Watching this was very educational and I felt it was the highlight of the day. My shadow day was a wonderful chance to network and to observe a real HR department in action.


    Northern Illinois Holds Meet the Students Night
    by Jackie Zemanek, merit coordinator

    The Northern Illinois University student chapter has developed a fun way for students to meet potential employers in a casual atmosphere. The third annual Meet the Students Night provided opportunities for students to visit with local employers and obtain career advice and discuss job opportunities. The event was held on a Monday evening in February, and light refreshments were served. Ten area employers attended, representing a variety of organizations including law firms, retail, placement organizations and insurance companies. Students were encouraged to bring resumes to hand out and to visit all the tables. When they arrived, each student received a brochure listing all the participating organizations. Students who visited every table were entered in a prize drawing at the end of the evening. The event helped students to prepare for their careers, while also providing organizations with a chance to identify good candidates for their job openings and internships. For information and ideas on creating your own Meet the Students Night, contact the NIU chapter at niu_shrm@yahoo.com.


    ENMU Promotes Higher Education to High Schools
    by Cindy DuBois, president & Sara Henry, treasurer

    The Eastern New Mexico University chapter created a one-hour presentation to promote higher education opportunities to high school seniors. The program was presented to 30 students in Portales, New Mexico and was very well received. The event opened with a brief introduction of the ENMU chapter by chapter president, Cindy DuBois, and an overview of the functions of a human resource department. Another chapter member then addressed the importance of continuing one's education after high school. Chapter members explained the various financial aid opportunities available, including scholarships, grants and loans, and encouraged the students to take advantage of them and attend college. The program concluded with a lively presentation by investment broker Glen O'Rear who discussed the financial outlook for students who attend college versus those who don't.


    University of Illinois Sponsors Multicultural Fest
    by Monica Lester, media relations specialist, UIUC chapter

    In November, the University of Illinois chapter co-sponsored the 13th annual Potluck Multicultural Fest. The sequence of events began with an elaborate feast composed of cuisines from around the world. Audience members proudly presented dishes symbolizing their ethnic heritage. Every cuisine from Domada (a West African dish) to Sushi (a Japanese favorite) was represented. Guest speaker and alumna Carleen McElroy Thompson spoke about the growing diversity in the field of human resource management and gave accounts of her professional encounters with diversity. Audience members participated in a group exercise, and then concluded the day by expressing their dedication to equality and respect for others. At the close of the event, the remaining food was donated to a local shelter.


    ETSU Provides Seminar Tips

    At least twice each year, the East Tennessee State University chapter sponsors a seminar to help its members learn more about various HR topics. A popular seminar on interviewing skills recently drew more than 100 student attendees. Seminars are a great way to network and meet other students from a variety of majors, and organizing the events provides an opportunity to develop valuable project management skills. Coordinating a seminar is hard work, but seeing the end product is definitely rewarding. ETSU would like to provide the following list of helpful hints for planning your next seminar or workshop:

    1. Begin planning early. It is easier to find speakers if you schedule early.
    2. Find out what topics will interest your membership. Try to select broad topics that will appeal to all students, not just SHRM members.
    3. Pick a location that is easily accessible and easy to find. Make sure that parking is available.
    4. Consider using a panel of speakers instead of a single speaker. This way you have a variety of topics and perspectives represented.
    5. Have a prepared list of questions for the speaker or panel in case audience participation is minimal.
    6. Plan adequate breaks every hour or two.
    7. Offer interactive sessions such as mock interviews, group discussions, etc.
    8. Serve refreshments.
    9. Ask professors to give extra credit for students who attend a seminar.
    10. Publicize the event well in advance. Use campus newspapers, e-mail lists, bulletin boards, and class announcements to spread the word.


    Kentuckiana Attracts Non-Traditional Students
    by Shelly Prochaska, chapter advisor & Area II manager

    Chapters with non-traditional working student members often struggle to find convenient meeting times and maintain active student involvement due to the many demands on their members' time. The Kentuckiana chapter, a multi-campus chapter with members from five different schools, has come up with a creative solution to this dilemma. They hold their meetings on Saturdays at noon at local businesses. Each month, the chapter finds an HR professional who is willing to speak and to host a meeting at their organization. The members meet on-site in a company conference room, listen to the speaker, and then tour the facilities. Since the students get the opportunity to visit actual companies, the meetings are much better attended than they used to be. The chapter holds its meetings at organizations of different types and sizes in order to give the members a good overview of HR in different settings. The Kentuckiana chapter feels that this unusual meeting format has been the key to its success.


    UC Chapter Gains Insights on Recruiting (2/01)
    by Bridget Delaney

    The University of Cincinnati chapter hosted guest speaker Chris Ramsey, a partner and owner of R.W. Hunt, who shared some valuable information on recruiting and selection with the students. Ms. Ramsey has more than 20 years of experience as a "headhunter". Her advice to HR professionals is to "know who your customer is in the company." To find the right candidate, you must understand what kind of personality will fit best with the organizational culture. Another tip for successful recruiting is to really listen to the candidate during an interview. With careful listening, the interviewer can discover the candidate's personality, their preferred working style, and what is important to them in a job. In the future, Ramsey sees the Internet becoming a significant force in the recruiting process. She feels that online recruiting can produce more cost-effective results than traditional means such as newspaper ads and job fairs.


    MSU Takes Company Tour (2/01)

    Last semester, the Mississippi State University chapter visited Lexmark International, Inc. located in Lexington, Kentucky. Lexmark is a global developer, manufacturer and supplier of printing solutions and products. The group met with compensation director Betsy Larson who discussed the importance of HR in an organization, and outlined how to find an HR position using good networking techniques. A meeting with SHRM Area II manager and chapter advisor Shelly Prochaska gave the students new ideas to increase involvement in their chapter projects. The group then took a tour of the Lexmark facilities and its various departments. Company tours are a great way for students to view the human resource function in real-world situations, plus they earn those very important Merit Award points!
    MSU Tour


    Central Washington Builds Web Page for Parent Chapter

    By Corey Hess, vice president

    For several years now, the Yakima Valley Human Resource Association (YVHRA), the sponsoring or parent chapter to Central Washington University (CWU), has provided an immeasurable amount of help to the student chapter. During the past year alone, YVHRA donated 1000 cookies in support of a highway rest stop fund-raising project that earned $1100, awarded two CWU students with $250 scholarships, presented a $250 award to the student chapter, provided students with several job shadowing opportunities and multiple learning experiences. In order to show their appreciation for all the support provided by YVHRA, the student chapter decided to create a web page for their professional sponsoring chapter.

    A small number of students from the CWU chapter had previous experience in creating web pages. But for most, this was a new experience. To build their knowledge regarding web page development, several student chapter members attended a web page workshop during their winter break. After acquiring the basics of web page development and getting a general idea of what YVHRA wanted on the page, the students began their work. The chapter members took it upon themselves to be creative and to design a professional-looking page that their parent chapter could be proud of.

    A number of chapter members spent time brainstorming and providing input for the project then a team of three members did the actual design and creation of the page. The students began in early January and were able to give a paper version of the web site to their parent chapter on January 26 at their annual awards banquet. You may visit the new web page at www.hryakima.org.


    ETSU Creates Chapter Library
    by Marilyn Webber, PHR

    The College of Business at East Tennessee State University provides an office for the use of all student organizations. This fall the office was relocated and several bookcases were added. To entice members to use the office more frequently, the chapter decided to create a mini-library of relevant business-related books. But where could they obtain books and resource materials at a reasonable price? After some thought, the chapter decided to ask their professional chapter for assistance. At the next SHRM professional chapter board meeting, the students asked if members could donate any professional or business magazines or newspapers for the student office. Not only did they donate issues of the Wall Street Journal, Business Week and Money magazine, they also gave other books including catalogs, and state and federal guideline books.

    All of the College of Business Organizations were encouraged to collect materials and professors were also invited to donate. As a result of their efforts, the ETSU SHRM chapter members have created a ready reference for reports and papers. The other College of Business organizations also benefit by sharing access to the library. HR professionals and faculty members now have more space in their offices. Trash to treasure: recycling at its best!


    University of Illinois Hosts Etiquette Dinner

    by Mike Madigan, co-president

    The University of Illinois chapter hosted an etiquette dinner for members on February 3, 2000 near the U of I campus. Concerned about second-round interview visits with employers, members were excited about the opportunity to brush up on their table manners and etiquette skills. The evening included a formal dinner with an active discussion of proper table manners and a quiz between courses that put students' knowledge to the test. The discussion was led by Nancy Madigan, a business educator, University of Illinois alumni, and the mother of Mike Madigan, chapter co-president. Ms. Madigan explained and emphasized the importance of proper table manners, especially in a job interview or dinner setting. She also discussed situations that students might experience during the interview process.

    In addition to the discussion, handouts were provided to members which included a quiz of some of the more difficult etiquette decisions one might face. The evening was an enjoyable event for everyone. Based on the positive feedback received, the chapter plans to make the etiquette dinner an annual event.

    Dinner Etiquette Tips

    • Always be sure everyone at your table has been served before you begin your meal.

    • Never rest your elbows or arms on the table during dinner.

    • When passing the roll basket, pass the basket with your right hand and take the basket with your left hand. Use either hand to take a roll, and then pass to the next person with your right hand.

    • When you are confused about which eating utensil to use, always work from the outside to the inside. Remember, not all silverware may be present even though you may be served an item (i.e. soup without a soup spoon).

    • When eating soup, always use a spoon starting from the inside of the bowl and moving slowly toward the outside -- and never "slurp" the soup.

    • If possible at a formal dinner, avoid ordering food that will be difficult to eat such as spaghetti. If faced with a difficult food, cut it into very small pieces before eating.

    • When cutting a piece of meat with a knife and fork, always lay the knife on the side of your plate before you begin eating with the fork-- otherwise, you look very hurried in your eating habits.


    Baylor University Finds New Speakers

    by Ashley Bradshaw, vice president

    The Baylor University chapter has invited several speakers to meetings over the past year and the SHRM representatives and business professionals have enlightened the group on various aspects of human resources. Providing this type of networking and education for students is essential for career planning and preparation for a job search.

    Every chapter faces the challenge of locating potential speakers. If you are running out of ideas for speakers, don't overlook the opportunities within your own university. In addition to the business community, the Baylor chapter identified a new source of speakers: its faculty members. Professors from related fields such as business law and insurance have spoken to the club about the influence their classes have in the field of human resources. Classes such as employment law, interviewing and employee benefits are not required for a human resources major at Baylor, but they complement the major as electives.

    Additionally, other classes and academic areas which may be of interest to student chapter members are good subjects for a chapter program. These include: gerontology (dealing with the aging workforce), psychology, educational administration (HRM in a school/university setting) and others. Just be creative as you check your university's course catalog and talk to fellow students about great classes they've taken with great teachers. To thank the speakers, the chapter has presented them with gift certificates from bookstores and local restaurants. Meeting new professors provides different perspectives and networking opportunities for student members. Simply put, involving professors from other fields is a win-win situation: the students hear interesting speakers, the chapter builds its reputation across campus, and the meeting is easy to organize for the officers.


    University of Cincinnati Visits Progressive HR Department

    by Linda Blessing, vice president

    In November, the UC SHRM members visited the R.A. Jones Company. John Tamishasky, vice president of human resources, greeted the group. R.A. Jones is a packaging technology company with approximately 500 full-time employees and their customers include Anheuser-Busch, General Mills, Kraft Foods, Hewlett-Packard, and many other well-known companies. Basically, R.A. Jones designs and installs the machines for product packaging. The chapter members toured the offices including finance, project management, sales and service, and adminstration and then met in the conference room for a brief video on R.A. Jones. During the tour of the plant, students witnessed bottle packaging, laser packaging, paper product packaging, and a host of other equipment and processes. The most impressive part of the visit was the candid and detailed conversation with the HR staff. College classes often stress the increased role HR plays in the strategic management of a company. The staff at R.A. Jones took the students' classroom knowledge and converted it into a practical on-the-job demonstration.

    Human resources is fully integrated into strategic planning at R.A. Jones. The VP of HR is a member of the Executive Leadership Training committee that meets weekly with the CEO. In addition, HR has implemented a 360 degree feedback program for managers to give feedback on performance to individuals and upper management. Over the last year, HR has begun psychological testing on current and future employees to eventually create a profile of the ideal R.A. Jones employee. It was obvious to every member of the group that HR is not only a strategic partner with upper management but actually a trusted advisor to the CEO.

    Communication with employees and their spouses is a prime example. The company conducts quarterly business meetings with all employees, utilizes focus groups of 20-25 people for feedback sessions and is implementing monthly luncheons with the CEO. New hire orientation is conducted quarterly and the spouses/significant others are invited to participate. It was enlightening for the UC students to find such a progressive company with an aggressive human resources department. John and his staff answered all the students' questions candidly about a variety of HR functions and even gave them a few hints about achieving HR goals and objectives. This "requirement" of the student chapter Merit Award program enabled the UC chapter to combine textbook learning with real-life experience. The group is looking forward to their next company tour.


    Fresno State Holds 1 st Annual Workplace Workshop

    by Ellen Day

    The Human Resources Association of Central California (HRACC) and the California State University, Fresno student chapter co-sponsored the 1 st Annual Workplace Workshop on November 11, 1999 at the Sid Craig School of Business. The workshop was held from 1:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. followed by a social hour which gave students an opportunity to network with the local HR professionals. Three speakers volunteered their time to speak to the professionals and students regarding HR-related issues. The final event of the day was a mock HR Games competition between the members of HRACC and the students.

    The workshop sessions included timely topics such as: Wage & Hour AB60 laws, Employee Assessments, and Surveillance in the Workplace. Approximately 35 members attended and enjoyed the educational sessions. The mock HR Games following the workshop also turned out to be very popular. The HRACC professional members won the first round and the CSUF students won the second. This was an exciting event for chapter members as they helped in the planning and organization of the workshop. The day was a success and the chapter definitely plans to host similar events in the future.


    Old Dominion University Tours Theme Park

    by James Doty, treasurer

    The ODU chapter established a schedule of company tours in the fall of 1999 to give student members a chance to meet and interact with HR professionals throughout the community. One such memorable trip was to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg. Busch Gardens is a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Brewery Company designed to promote entertainment in the theme park industry. The HR department at Busch Gardens employs a staff of three HR professionals and numerous assistants. The small staff is responsible for conducting all aspects of human resources for a wide range of seasonal employees. The number of employees at Busch Gardens can range from about 1000 in the off season to around 7500 in the peak season. Mr. Robert Wozniak was the HR manager that spoke to our group of twelve members. He touched on all areas of human resources, especially recruitment and training for seasonal employees. At the conclusion of the discussion and tour, Mr. Wozniak presented the group of Old Dominion students with tickets for free admission into the theme park as a token of his appreciation that local students were focusing on the human resources field. SHRM company tours here at Old Dominion University promote a professional atmosphere in human resources and help the student members to gain a better knowledge of the field while having fun absorbing the information HR practitioners have to offer.


    NC State Discovers New Career Options at Conference

    by Rachel Lowry

    In September the North Carolina SHRM state council held its annual state conference in Greensboro, North Carolina. The state conference targets HR professionals interested in receiving current information in their field. HR practitioners attend for networking, professional development, and to learn about vendor products and services; and student SHRM members are encouraged to participate. Six North Carolina State University students volunteered to work at the 1999 state conference. The breakout sessions proved to be extremely interesting, and they integrated classroom learning with the reality of the business world. The students were exposed to the styles and attitudes of the HR professionals and saw first hand the importance of networking. NC State chapter members were also able to establish contacts by visiting vendor booths, and were able to "practice" talking to professionals, helping to prepare them for life after college. After visiting the vendor booths, the students realized that there are numerous career opportunities for people with HR backgrounds. In addition to working as an HR generalist or a specialist, a person with knowledge of human resources could perform HR system software development, work for a company specializing in background investigations, operate online services to match prospective employees with employers, or get involved with employee outsourcing.

    If you are interested in attending a conference, contact your local professional chapter. There may be a possibility to negotiate a reduced registration rate for a state or local event, or possibly a registration waiver, for students who volunteer to work at the conference. The NC State University chapter has helped to set up for the conference, stuffed bags for conference attendees, and assisted with registration. In return, the conference committee has been very generous by allowing student volunteers to participate in the conference at significantly reduced rates. Watch your HR News publication for information on upcoming state SHRM conferences.


    UWW Chapter Puts Resumes Online

    by Carol Wilcenski, national secretary, UWW chapter

    Every year, the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater student chapter assembles resume books containing resumes of their members who are seeking jobs or internships. The books are then distributed to the local professional SHRM chapters to assist them in locating qualified HR candidates. With the help of technology coordinator, Chad Schmidt, UWW has now put their resume books online. This new service will give both students and professionals an advantage as they search for that perfect job or perfect job candidate. To view the resume books, visit the UWW SHRM homepage at www.geocities.com/WallStreet/Exchange/2261/, and click on "resumes." To contact the chapter directly, e-mail shrm@uwwvax.uww.edu.


    St. Francis Students Help Prisoners

    by Deborah Locke, PHR

    Imagine walking into a prison and having doors electronically closed and locked behind you two to three times. This September, students from the Graduate School of Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations of St. Francis College in Loretto, Pennsylvania understood first-hand the feeling of being behind bars. In conjunction with their sponsoring chapter, HRMA of Blair County, they participated in an outreach project called Workforce 2000 at the Federal Correction Facility in Loretto. The institution is a moderate security prison which houses about 1200 inmates.

    The facility designed a program in cooperation with the Federal Corrections Board that assists inmates who are about to be released to prepare themselves to reenter the workforce. Employers from surrounding areas were asked to volunteer their time for a day to do mock interviews with the inmates to help increase their chances of finding employment, thus reducing the risk that they will commit further crimes. Each inmate had volunteered to participate in an eight-week training course on resume preparation and interviewing.

    The career services director at the college, the director of the student chapter, and masters degree students all volunteered to participate in the day long event. For those who had never been inside a prison, the experience was sobering, though in retrospect the security was reassuring. For example, volunteers had to carry their ID's with them to ensure their release at the end of the day.

    The prison provided sample questions to each interviewer and instructed them to use any interviewing methods a person might expect to encounter when looking for a job. More importantly they were told to ask and be tough about getting a response to the question of why the inmate was convicted and incarcerated. Time was allotted at the end of the interview to provide feedback to the inmates on how they presented themselves. An evaluation form was also left with each participant to provide information and guidance for the future. The experience was rewarding for all who participated. At the end of the day a recognition ceremony was held in which each inmate received a diploma. Then a representative from the DOL shared information on possible tax credits available to employers for hiring and maintaining a reformed inmate.

    The inmates expressed their genuine appreciation for all the time that was given to help prepare them to reenter the workforce successfully. Statistics show that seven out of ten inmates will return to prison upon release. However similar programs at correctional institutions across the country are making progress towards lowering this number. Student participants now understand the need for various outreach programs and why these programs are vital for people attempting to begin a new life. The experience was rewarding and the volunteers felt good knowing that they had made a difference in the lives of the inmates.


    ETSU Holds Interviewing Seminar

    What's the number one concern of most students who are approaching graduation? Getting a job, of course! And what aspect of getting a job frightens students the most?? Interviewing! Like many chapters, the East Tennessee State University chapter is composed primarily of juniors and seniors who will soon be faced with the challenge of finding employment. To assist these members and give them a "leg up" on the competition, the chapter held an interviewing seminar in the spring of 1999.

    The chapter hosted an expert panel comprised of professional SHRM members from the Northeast Tennessee chapter as well as ETSU professors recognized for their expertise in this area. After discussing twenty important questions regarding interviewing, the panel then took questions from the audience. During the session, many panelists shared personal and humorous experiences the students could relate to. When the panel session concluded, interested students had the opportunity to participate in mock interviews and receive a thorough review of their resumes. After each mock interview, students received specific feedback and suggestions on how they could improve their interviewing skills. The event was standing room only confirming the belief that interviewing is of great concern to most students. The response to the interviewing seminar was so positive that the ETSU chapter plans to make this an annual event.


    University of Buffalo Helps Children's Hospital

    On March 2, 1999, ten members of the University of Buffalo SHRM chapter participated in Kids Day. Kids Day is a fundraising event to benefit Buffalo's Children's Hospital. On Kids Day, members of various organizations from across the Buffalo area get up early to begin selling Buffalo News newspapers at 6 am. Volunteers are stationed at various streets and intersections where commuters can easily pull over and purchase their morning paper. All proceeds from the sale of newspapers that day went to benefit Children's Hospital. Over the course of three hours, the UB SHRM chapter sold 150 papers. Chapter members welcomed the opportunity to give back to the community, and the beautiful sunny weather helped make it an enjoyable morning for all.


    American University Tours Sweatshop Exhibit
    by Lee Voegler, president

    Last spring, members of the American University chapter in Washington, D.C. had their safe illusions shattered as they enjoyed a private tour of the Smithsonian's exhibit Between a Rock and a Hard Place, A History of American Sweatshops, 1820-Present. The tour began with the expected scenes of working conditions in the 1800's including a mock sweatshop showing the small spaces where people worked for 14 hours a day and often slept as well. Though most people today believe that sweatshops and virtual "slave labor" no longer exist in the United States, the students were shocked to learn that many sweatshops are currently operating in America and the number is rising. The workers are most often illegal aliens brought into the country specifically to work in these facilities. Since many companies now buy products piece meal from various suppliers, it is often difficult for them to keep track of where their supplies are coming from. Other organizations deliberately turn a blind eye to the method of production in order to take advantage of the low prices available on sweatshop products. The disturbing exhibit reminded the students that injustices occur when society becomes complacent. It also demonstrated the important role human resource professionals can play in upholding fair labor practices.


    SUNY Buffalo Generates Friendly Competition (12/00)

    To increase participation in fundraising projects, SUNY Buffalo chapter treasurer Elizabeth Pantano created Project 2000. Chapter members are divided into five teams and each team appoints a captain. The teams each choose a method of fundraising such as selling candy or washing cars and then compete against each other to see who can raise the most money for the chapter. Performance is tracked and announced at each general meeting and a chart is maintained in the SHRM office for all to see. The team that raises the most money will be awarded a grand prize and bragging rights for the next semester.


    University of Guam Raises Money for Conference
    by Darline-Lynn C. Santiago

    Just two years old, the University of Guam student chapter has forged a strong link between its professional sponsoring chapter, the chapter advisors, and the student members. Membership has increased steadily and the health and vitality of the chapter continue to grow. The chapter is preparing for the highly anticipated University of Guam "Blue Night" scheduled for March. There the members plan to market their infamous Mongolian Barbecue followed with Charter Day festivities. The proceeds will be used to send a group of students to the SHRM 51st Annual Conference & Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia.


    University of Illinois Focuses on Programs
    by Connie Blankenship, co-president

    During 1998, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign chapter restructured and set new goals. One of the main objectives identified is to provide balanced, meaningful programs which broaden members' understanding of the HRM field in the professional world. The chapter is also working to have all events planned a semester ahead. In accordance with their goal of hosting two vice-presidents of HR from major corporations, the chapter recently sponsored a wine and cheese reception featuring Ken Alvarez from Sun Microsystems. Mr. Alvarez spoke to the students on HR's role in high-tech industry. In conjunction with other campus organizations the chapter sponsored the Multicultural Fest with the theme Globalization: HR's Focus on the Future. At this event a panel of speakers discussed the issue of diversity. The panel included: Ron Sipiora, vice president of HR for Aon Consulting; Frank Campbell, past president of the Tri-County Urban League; and Serdar Demir, a master's student with experience in European business. Professor John Lawler facilitated the discussion. The chapter's new focus has helped the group increase membership by over 300% in the past year.


    Baylor University Encourages Faculty Interaction
    by Erik Haven, secretary

    With the hectic schedules of university professors these days, how can they develop a sense of community with other faculty members? The Hankamer School of Business faculty are often too busy with teaching, research, consulting, and other obligations to venture out of their offices and mingle with one another. To encourage professors to spend more time interacting in the faculty lounge, the Baylor chapter sponsored morning refreshments four times during the semester. Students advertised with flyers in the departmental mailboxes and then provided donuts, bagels, and morning newspapers at 7:30 am in the lounge. This simple act has helped to build more unity within the business school.


    NC State Coordinates Mentor Program
    by Melanie Parham

    For several years student members of the North Carolina State University chapter have participated in a mentor program with their sponsoring chapter, the Raleigh-Wake HR Management Association. Each academic year one student volunteers to work with a representative of the professional chapter in coordinating the program. Students and professionals complete a brief enrollment form indicating their career interests and availability. Then the program coordinators match students with local professionals working in various areas of human resources. A mentor program allows students to learn directly from those with experience how to prepare for HR careers and what it takes to be successful in them. Mentor program participants agree: the payoff is great!


    UW-Whitewater Completes Compensation Surveys
    by Jake Zastrow

    University of Wisconsin- Whitewater student members have participated in two compensation surveys. The first survey was done in conjunction with the Blackhawk Human Resource Association in south-central Wisconsin and involved preparing and processing data under the direction of a consulting firm. The students were trained to use the needed software and then adapted it for the survey. Project leader Chad Schmidt received accolades for his perseverance in overcoming many obstacles and completing the project ahead of schedule. The chapter is currently working on a compensation and benefits survey of upscale resorts in the Midwest. This project involves developing the survey, reviewing job descriptions, and processing and reporting the data. The survey, led by Amy Bach, is blind to ensure confidentiality of the data and it covers hotel services, spas, golf facilities, and ski resorts. Both projects required the students to solve problems and utilize knowledge they had gained in a variety of classes and internships. Working on the surveys has been an excellent learning experience.


    University of Scranton Assists Rotary
    by Will Weissman, vice president

    In November, University of Scranton chapter members volunteered to assist the Rotary International District 7410 Youth Exchange Program with their interview and selection process. Each year the Rotary program selects high school students to spend one year with a family abroad. SHRM volunteers attended a training session covering the behavioral interview technique, problems with rater error, and the specific goals of the selection process. Next, panels of interviewers met with student applicants and their parents both together and separately. Applicant responses were rated on several dimensions including motivation, maturity, confidence, tolerance/flexibility, and communication skills. The ratings were then combined in a consensus session, and a final overall rating was determined and used for selection. Serving as interviewers was good experience for the students because many of the issues that came up were similar to those faced in the expatriate selection process in the corporate world. Assisting Rotary is a terrific way to extend the chapter's reach beyond the university and into the community.


    Eastern Washington Participates in Mentor Program (10/98)
    by Diana Hazzard, vice-president

    Eastern Washington University offers a mentorship program, sponsored by the College of Business, that allows HR students to start learning about the field before they graduate. Interested students complete applications and are then matched up with business professionals working in the human resource field. The program is a great way for students to find out about current events in HR. In addition, students can seek advice from their mentor about topics such as resumes, interviewing questions, internship opportunities, or other career-related subjects. Eastern’s program has been very successful in helping HR majors to prepare for their future careers.


    NC State Attends Leadership Workshops
    by Jenny Vivian Baumrind

    North Carolina State University's Union Activities Board sponsors a series of leadership workshops on campus every semester and offers organizational memberships to registered student organizations. The SHRM chapter maintains an organizational membership. The chapter pays a fixed fee each semester and chapter members are then allowed to attend any number of workshops for just $5 per session. Workshop topics include "Basic Personal Finance", "Assertive Communication", and even a ropes course. Upon completion of ten workshops, a student receives a Leadership Certificate and a descriptive Leadership Transcript listing all the workshops attended. These are an excellent resume supplement. The Leadership Development Committee has succeeded in developing exciting, innovative programs that address current issues facing today's leaders and managers. The NC State chapter has found these workshops to be very beneficial to its members and they also serve as a terrific recruitment tool.


    Scranton Chapter Holds Candy Sale
    by Deborah Beck

    The University of Scranton chapter held a successful fundraiser last spring. The chapter sold candy bars to hungry students coming to class directly from work. Chapter members provided a service and filled a need since the sale helped students satisfy their appetites until the end of class. The fundraiser was effective because the chapter earned 50 cents on every $1.00 candy bar sold.


    ETSU Holds ‘Meet the Chapter’ Open House
    by Kelly Sours, president

    At the beginning of each semester, the East Tennessee State University chapter holds a “Meet the Chapter” open house. This event gives chapter members the opportunity to meet and talk to non-members about the benefits of SHRM membership. The meeting begins with a Powerpoint presentation highlighting specific member benefits:

      1. Opportunity to network with HR professionals by attending professional chapter meetings. This networking could lead to a job since HR practitioners represent potential employers.
      2. Compilation and distribution of a student resume book to professional chapter members.
      3. Opportunity to attend a resume-writing seminar in the fall and an interviewing seminar in the spring to help prepare for the job search.
      4. Availability of research and reference materials such as HR Magazine and the SHRM web site.
      5. Opportunity to apply for SHRM awards and scholarships.

    After the presentation, chapter members recruited and networked with potential members. The event gave everyone the chance to get to know each other and to learn more about SHRM membership. Try it in your chapter!


    EWU Volunteers at Employment Expo (3/98)
    by Morgan Jannot, recruiting director

    The Eastern Washington University Chapter assisted their Career Services Center by volunteering to work at the university's Annual Employment Expo. Bringing together employers and students from five local universities, the Expo is an excellent opportunity to make contact with a number of potential employers. Chapter members worked at the registration table and the student evaluation table. Students also distributed and picked up the employer evaluations, giving them a chance to meet and network with a number of different recruiters.


    Wilmington College Holds Sub Sale (3/98)
    by Joe Houghton, president

    Looking for a way to raise money for an upcoming project or conference? Look for a need on your campus and fill it. At Wilmington College, adult students attend classes on the weekends, however the cafeteria is closed. At lunchtime these students want to get a sandwich and get back to class. To fill this need, the Wilmington College chapter began holding submarine sales on the weekends when classes were in session. The students bought bags of chips and cans of soda at a discount store and they negotiated with a local deli to buy a large quantity of assorted submarine sandwiches at a discount. The students put up flyers and sent notices to teachers to advertise the event. On the weekends they staff a table for two hours each day and sell lunch including a sub, chips, and canned drink, to weekend college students. In addition to raising money for the chapter, the event also provides good exposure for the SHRM group on campus.


    Advisor Appreciation Day (3/98)
    by Kelly Sours, vice president of programs East Tennessee State University chapter

    The East Tennessee State University (ETSU) chapter held an SHRM Chapter Advisor Day this spring to thank their advisor Karen Tarnoff for her support of the student chapter. Students collected thank you notes and congratulations cards from current and former student members and posted them on the advisor's office door in the morning. With the help of the College of Business staff, they left a series of small gifts and flowers in Karen's office throughout the day. Chapter officers treated her to breakfast, and the day concluded with a surprise reception in her honor attended by student chapter members, alumni, professionals, and school officials. The event was a terrific way to thank a terrific chapter advisor!


    Scranton Makes the Most of Company Tour (3/98)
    by Deborah Beck

    The University of Scranton chapter visited Fleet Financial Services for a tour last December. In addition to touring Fleet's state-of-the-art facilities, the students used the opportunity to make valuable connections. Some members made business contacts and were given leads on job openings. The group met the SHRM diversity director for Pennsylvania and also located a new speaker for an upcoming meeting. The visit included an introduction to Fleet's services, an open-forum discussion on current HR issues, a tour of the facilities, and a luncheon with the entire HR staff. Chapter members were able to see how a progressive company is run and how HR can play an important part in achieving the company's strategic plan.


    Money-Making Idea (3/98)
    by Dale Bayless, vice president fundraising and accounts

    Does your chapter want to raise money to attend a state or national conference? The N.C. State Chapter discovered a fundraising project that brings in good money in a short period of time. For the past three years, our chapter has sold Dine-A-Mates, a book of restaurant and entertainment coupons specific to geographic regions. These popular books practically sell themselves, and the company provides free promotional materials. There is no risk involved. The books for the upcoming year are available in late August, which coordinates perfectly with the academic year. Your chapter does not have to pay for books sold until January, and unsold books can be returned to the company at no cost. Our chapter sent six students to the 1997 SHRM Annual Conference in San Diego with the help of this project. To see if Dine-A-Mates makes a coupon book for your area, call 1-800-374-4464. The more you sell, the more you earn!!


    UF Plans Officer Transition (3/98)
    by Ilisha Moore, director public relations committee & Jennifer Carraway, executive assistant

    To smooth the transition between current chapter officers and new officers, the University of Florida chapter plans to hold their elections this spring. Holding early elections will provide time for the current executive board members to act as mentors to the new officers, and will allow the new officers time to shadow the board members before taking over their positions. In this way, the new board members will have a better understanding of what their jobs entail. Spending time with current officers will also give the new board members time to ask questions and obtain relevant chapter materials before people graduate or leave for the summer. Electing new officers now will give the chapter a head start in planning for next year. UF feels confident that this new process will help to ease the transition of officers and ensure that the chapter will prosper for many years to come.


    EWU Chapter on the Road (1/98)
    by Morgan Jannot, recruiting director

    Look out, the Eastern Washington University (EWU) chapter is on the road. The station wagon has the cruise control set as the group is doing their best to visit all neighboring chapters. The Central Washington professional chapter was their first stop, over 100 miles away from EWU, and the meeting was held at 7:00 AM in the morning! It was a very informative visit and the group looks forward to visiting more chapters. So if you are in the Northwest and see a green family truckster with an eagle in the window filled with college students, it is just the EWU chapter on the road again.


    Aggie Undergraduate Chapter Hosts Seminar (1/98)

    The North Carolina A&T State University “Aggie” Undergraduate chapter co-hosted a professional development seminar in January. The day-long seminar, designed to help students prepare for their careers, featured sessions such as “Technological Knowledge”, “Impression Management”, “Self Assessment”, and “Corporate Political Savvy and Networking”. Providing training in the necessary skills for future career management helps students to identify any personal roadblocks to success and then teaches them strategies to overcome those obstacles.


    ETSU Hosts Sponsoring Chapter Meeting (1/98)
    by Kelly Sours, vice president of programs

    The East Tennessee State University chapter hosted the Northeast Tennessee professional SHRM chapter's monthly meeting. ETSU coordinates two of their sponsoring chapter's meetings each year, including planning meeting logistics and locating speakers. This is an excellent way for the students to thank the professional chapter for their continued support. The meeting featured a talk by associate professor Dr. Douglas Dotterweich, and recognition of the chapter's outgoing president Megan Burleson for her outstanding leadership of the ETSU chapter.


    Binghamton Chapter Creates Home Page (1/98)
    by Tim Humphrey

    With the help of chapter advisor, Professor William Murry, a handful of students braved a fierce northeast winter and met several nights a week to work on their new project. In May of 1997 the team unveiled its work at the Southern Tier Association for Human Resources’ (STAHR) monthly dinner meeting. The product was a fully-functional, informative, and interactive home page on the World Wide Web. The home page provides STAHR members with meeting dates and times, a monthly newsletter, organizational goals, an executive directory, and links to other HR-related web sites including the SHRM web site. "As a continuing work in progress, the students have the responsibility for updating the page to fit the needs of the local HR association," said Professor Murry. When the site is complete, STAHR members will be able to e-mail their dinner reservations and apply for or renew their memberships right online.


    UTEP Chapter Develops Speaker Network (1/98)
    by Jackie Eason, chapter advisor

    The University of Texas- El Paso (UTEP) chapter developed an HR Speaker Network as a 1996 Merit Award project, and it has paid huge dividends. The network was created to identify professionals willing to share their experiences with UTEP students. The chapter invited members of their sponsoring chapter, El Paso SHRM, to volunteer their services as speakers. Approximately 40 members responded to the invitation. During the past year, 16 professionals representing 14 different organizations in the El Paso business community have donated their time to HR-related activities on campus. Approximately 500 students have attended these events which include student chapter meetings, class discussions, and a resume and interviewing seminar. In addition to providing speakers, the network also helped UTEP to fill a temporary faculty position with a local HR practitioner. The network was recently expanded to include speakers in the areas of general management and marketing. Over 100 local professionals are now readily available to communicate directly with the UTEP student body.


    Lehigh Valley Hosts Student Conference (9/97)
    by Kenneth Buck, PHR

    The Pennsylvania State Conference & Exposition, hosted by The Lehigh Valley professional chapter in May, included a day-long student conference. More than 300 students and professionals and 40+ exhibitors attended. The student program featured sessions such as How to Be a Legal Beagle, Conflict Resolution in Organizations, Being Ethically, Politically, and Culturally Correct, and Mixed Signals- Communications in Organizations. Students were able to mix with HR practitioners throughout the day as they visited the various exhibitors between presentations, and gained insights on the HR profession. The conference theme was “A Universe of Possibilities” and it definitely lived up to its name. As one student attendee remarked “I know so much more now about what HR really is. This conference has absolutely convinced me that I have chosen the right career!”


    University of Idaho Films Job-Preview Video (9/97)
    by Stephanie Jurgens

    Six University of Idaho (U of I) chapter members created a job-preview video for Latah Health Services (LHS) in Moscow, Idaho. LHS was experiencing high turnover among its nursing assistants so they wanted to provide a more accurate preview of the job to potential employees. What appeared to be a relatively simple task turned out to be a very complex project. Legal releases had to be signed by people agreeing to appear in the video, scenes had to be planned and filmed, dialogue and music had to be selected and recorded and the whole video had to be edited into its final form. With the assistance of the campus media center, the team worked more than 100 hours collectively to produce the seven- minute video. Would they do it again knowing all the work that is involved?? Of course!


    USI Chapter Leads Conference Session (9/97)
    by Jeff Bone, president, USI chapter

    On April 18, 1997, members of the University of Southern Indiana (USI) chapter spoke at the Evansville Area Personnel Association’s Spring Labor Law Conference. The students led a session entitled “Generation X’ers vs. Babyboomers” in which they discussed the issue of age diversity. The session explored such concepts as the importance of understanding diversity, common stereotypes associated with age diversity, and how to manage this diversity in the workplace. The students were honored to have the opportunity to speak to more than 150 HR practitioners at the conference. It was a terrific way to finish out the semester!

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