Scheduling dilemma(s) for spring term

Well I am officially over this weather and this quarter (and I haven't even taken a midterm yet), so obviously I am looking onward to all the joys of spring quarter on campus:

  • Watching people on "Oval Beach"
  • Seeing people bust out the flip flops and shorts as soon as it cracks 50 degrees (yes, I'm serious)
  • The public university and its freedom of speech (insert Oval preacher and anti-abortion activists...with their opponents right out there debating them)
  • Warm weather
  • The spring football game with at least 70,000 people in attendance - for a PRACTICE game
  • Trying to find time to help my fifth-year friends celebrate their last quarter

Class? Yes class.  I have actually looked forward to spring quarter classes.  I'm sorry, but between this weather, gliding to class on ice, the cold, and having foundations, research methods, and statistics all into one quarter, I have just not found any interest in this quarter.  Now, I realize that these classes are important and necessary, but "going through the motions" is an understatement. (It might be due to the weather :-))

One of the things that I have liked with this program is that our academic adviser will just tell us what to register for.  However, at the beginning of the quarter there was an MLHR elective session held where professors who taught different electives came in and gave quick presentations about each of their classes.  At first I thought it was pointless, since I thought that we just once again would be told what to do, until I went to the Master Class Schedule and saw that we actually do have to pick between 2 classes for each day we have class.  Next quarter we only have class on Monday and Wednesday.  If so, I will be so excited to that my academic Fridays will be on Hump Day... I have been so jealous of the second-years being done by Wednesdays at 9pm (Thursday night classes can be hard on one's "interest level").

I don't schedule until next week, but I am not sure what classes I should take!  It would be easier to know if I had an internship, because I would then be able to anticipate the skills and know what I would be working on in the summer, so that I could know what to take but alas I do not so I will have to do some guessing.

Mondays: Human Resources Information Systems (eHR) or Seminar in Human Resource Policy?

HRIS: I think they said that they would no longer be offering this class when they switch to semesters so is it a waste of time to take or should I take advantage of it right now?  Electronic HR, from what I've read, is not very strategic and many times gets outsourced.  However, it is important and one must learn how to master the operational aspects of HR before moving to the top dog management table.

Seminar:  The class is about the employee relationship, and organizational development and motivation from an economic perspective.  I have not taken any economic related courses in college, so that would be helpful to have, and it would probably help me develop business acumen.  But would it be helpful in a summer internship?

Tuesdays: Employee Training and Development or Staffing the Organization

Hands down THE BIGGEST DILEMMA.  No matter what, I can guarantee almost everyone of us will need to use one if not both of these skills in their internships.  Will my internship want me to create a training program or will they want me to help with recruiting, sourcing, and interviewing?  Or what if I get an internship after the summer?  Which class would it have been better for me to take? Ugh.

Wednesdays: International HR or Compensation Theory and Practice?

Not as a big of dilemma, but it could be.  I will probably take Compensation (because I love Prof. Heneman), but what if I get an internship with a global organization?  What if it is more important to know about international HR, and if I end up not having to do anything with compensation in my internship? Sighing once again.

After checking there are 2 other classes that I think we can take (but they were either not present at the session I went to or were not recommended for us to take until our second year).

Managerial Negotiations: That is offered on Mondays, but I remember one of the second-year MLHR bloggers discussing this class last fall, so I just assume that will be a core class that we take next year.

Performance Management:  This is currently not a required class, but when the program switches to semesters it will be.  Should I take it now since that is where the program is headed into the future since it is an elective? Maybe, but this class is on Thursday (not saying that that should be a reason not to take it but I have lot of choices being thrown at me!).

I also am thinking about who else in my cohort is going to take what class.  I also want to take classes with professors I am familiar with but also want to get new experiences with different professors.  TOO MANY DECISIONS.

Well I have approximately 6 days to figure it out.  No matter what, I think these classes will be interesting and be able to engage me more.  If anyone has any suggestions please feel free to throw them my way!


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February 7, 2011 at 8:44 am
Kathleen Newell

Perhaps my second year MLHR wisdom can help to clear some things up :)
1. Managerial negotiations is NOT a required MLHR course and is a great elective to take if you're interested in working in a union environment at some point. This is the only class that really covers "how to negotiate." There is a Labor Negotiations course that IS required, but this is different (mostly labor history and theory) and will be offered in the fall.

2.Seminar in HR Policy IS required, and it's something that most people would rather take sooner than later. You all have a different professor this time, but the course is essentially about supply and demand and business applications. My class had a heavy quantitative focus and we read a lot of case studies. If you haven't had any econ classes before, you might struggle in this course and want to plan on building some extra study time into your schedule. If you've already got an internship secured, I'd recommend taking it.

3. The HRIS class is your only opportunity to have Greenberger as an instructor and it might be good for you if you're looking to switch things up and have a different professor and a fresh take on things.

4. Most of the people in your year will be taking Staffing in the Spring and you should sign up for it if you want to have a class with your "cohort." Also, you might have a hard time doing your required Case Study (the one that you do during the Spring term in order to graduate) if you haven't already had staffing.

5. Similar to Staffing, Compensation might be better to take now than leave for later. That Spring Case Study is going to draw on functional HR knowledge and you could be in for a tough time if you have to do the case study without having completed Compensation.

In sum, I'd strongly recommend signing up for Staffing and Compensation. The third class is up for grabs if you prefer to take an elective instead of Seminar in Policy.

February 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm
Garren Cabral

Thank you so much for the advice Kathleen. I went with everything except for HRIS, because I might finally have an internship, and one of the things they are looking into is purchasing and buying some kind of software that allows them to collect resumes (right now all they do is have all applicants email one baseline email address).

Thanks again!