The core classes that we take may help us to build a foundation of HR knowledge, but the electives that Fisher offers can really play to those specific areas of HR that are the stuff of dreams. Because don’t we all dream about taking more classes?
As both the 1st year and 2nd MLHR students approach the spring quarter and with it the chance to take an elective, I thought I’d throw my 2 cents in. Thus far I have taken the following electives: Managerial Negotiations, International HR, and Business Ethics. Here’s a breakdown of how these courses went- compare these descriptions to those dreams we talked about earlier, because there just might be something that tickles your fancy.
Managerial Negotiations– Professor Dumas
This course was all about learning and practicing the art that is negotiation. Yes, it is an art. But you are in luck, because it can be learned. Most classes started off with some lecture, but the in-class negotiations were where the juice was. Before most classes, we each received negotiation prep materials and were assigned to a role. We then spent a week plotting how to drive the hardest bargain and make the party on the other side of the negotiating table squirm. Because when your negotiating opponent suddenly loses their memory when it’s time to sign the contact you just got them to agree to, you know you’ve won. It was brilliant. During most class sessions we tried out our negotiating skills on the person (or people) assigned to negotiate with us, and found out what worked and what didn’t. Trying to do the good cop/bad cop bit doesn’t work. No, really- it doesn’t.
International HR– Professor Bendapudi
If you have an interest in developing a better understanding of the working world outside of the U.S., think you might want to work in a foreign country, or have an interest in learning why employee grooming requirements made Euro Disney a failure, this class is for you. There were a lot of juicy case studies that explored cultural differences and the fallout that occurs when a company fails to realize that people and cultures vary across and within countries. If this is such an easy concept, why are so many major corporations clueless when it comes to international HR? You’ll have to take this class to find out.
Business Ethics– Professor Cook
How do you know what’s ‘right’ and what’s ‘wrong?’ Do you think that there are exceptions to every rule, or are you more aligned with the notion that rules are meant to be followed each and every time? Find out a bit more about your personal philosophy regarding right and wrong and how that fits in with corporate ethics by taking this class. You’ll talk about how corporations can learn how to “do the right thing” despite major companies like Enron and Ford (can you say: Pinto?) trying to make unethical behavior the new business standard.