On April 15th, the Graduate Human Resources Association hosted the First Annual HR Summit: “Fast Forward: The Trends That Will Change the Way You Do Business.” While there have been many GHRA events I wish I could have attended, this summit was one not to miss.
The summit, held at the Fawcett Center, featured local HR professionals including Brian Worth, SVP of HR at Cardinal Health, Candice Barnhardt, VP, Chief Diversity Officer at Nationwide Insurance, and Patti Cotter, VP of HR at Nationwide Insurance. Steve Russell, CPO and SVP of McDonalds also kept the audience’s attention with an interesting discussion of diversity in the workplace.
To aid with our mingling and networking, each participant was assigned to a table. I was able to talk with second-year MLHR students that I had never met, an MBA student and a local HR professional. We were also provided a surprisingly tasty buffet lunch, which was a nice change-up from our usual pizza fair at special events.
As the speakers presented their topics and we worked together on a mini group project, I was struck by the overlap of the presented information with our classroom materials. Not only have we been learning about key HR topics, but professionals in the “real world” were validating this information. This was amazing to feel the classroom converging with professional HR.
Although many MLHR students attended the first summit, I can only imagine that it will grow in interest with each year. As one of my classmates put it: I’m trying to get my money’s worth while I’m here. Combining the classroom experience with learning from professionals is one of the reasons that makes Fisher a great place to be. Those free meals don’t hurt either!