SPRINGIN Back Into The Quarter

This was the first week of MLHR classes for spring quarter 2011.  This would probably be the first time that I have not had a full syllabus week this year.

If you are not familiar with Syllabus Week, it is basically the first week of classes for the quarter where all the professors are supposed to distribute and go over the syllabus.  And that’s it.  It is every student’s hope that the professor will be nice enough to let everyone out of class early and not cover any material until the next week.  Ideally, it is supposed to ease you into that particular class and the quarter in general, before the onslaught of reading, papers, studying, quizzes, assignments, and other things that comes with being a graduate student in the Fisher College of Business at the Ohio State University.

Now, I will be the first one to tell you that I was surprised that I would even get a Syllabus Week in grad school in general…I figured all my professors would be hard core and ready to get down to BUSINESS the first day (get it?).  I mean the first week of fall and winter quarter did not fit the Syllabus Week formula perfectly, but it was still nice.  I guess this is just a sign of more challenging (which I assume will also mean more interesting) classes … and graduation!

So after the dilemma I had in which courses to take this quarter, I will give you my first impressions so far.


Because of my internship and their current business needs, I decided to take this class.  The place I intern for is in need of some sort of recruiting/applicant/resume tracking software.  I am hoping to incorporate the class project with my internship to kill 2 birds with one stone.  Most of the other first years are taking the economics class, so there are only a total of 3 first years that I recognize in this class.  It’s a little weird since the second years all know each other, but I am glad (and hope) to make some new friends.  Even though most of them are graduating, it will be good to network for future employment when I am in their shoes.  The class is taught by the Department Chair of Management and Human Resources  and Director of the MLHR program.  When I first signed up for a class, I thought the professors were going to teach the class together as in like a duet (KC and JoJo,  Hall and Oates, etc).  But, no, they pair off, so that Dr. Greenberger teaches the first half of the course, and Dr. Heneman teaches the second half.  They both have separate assignments and books they want us to read which is kind of interesting.  I don’t even get to see Heneman until late April/May.

The first class took off a little slow just for the fact that the lecture was very techy.  I am still reading Excel For Dummies, let alone whip up a HRIS system (even though a recent skills test I performed confirmed that I am not as bad as I think).  The first book we are reading is about crowdsourcing.  It is a very interesting topic, and enjoyable read.  I feel like this is a book I would have read in one of my former popular culture classes.  I think Dr. Greenberger is going to teach a good deal about social media in the application of HR.  That is the main thing I focus on for my internship, so I hope that it will be able to make me more effective.  Social media is something that a LOT of people are looking to get into, so I am excited that I will get some new knowledge that will hopefully and eventually lead me into a paid internship.


I’ve been excited to take this class for the fact that both my job and internship are currently having me work on staffing related projects.  I feel like this is one of the key skills a HR person needs to have to help him/her stand out as an HR professional (and so did the professor by calling it the 2nd most important HR function).  The first lecture was interesting, and I find the professor to be interesting … and funny.  He claims that he tells really bad jokes, but I was snorting during just his first one. (I mean everyone else was lightly chuckling at best but that’s my kind of humor).  I am excited that by the end of the class we will be “certified interviewers,” the book is easy to read, there is no midterm, and the final exam is optional.  This class is kind of split up.  It is mostly composed of first-years (the other part of the cohort is taking Training and Development), but there are quite a few second-years in the class.  The only thing that might become annoying is that I feel a lot of people in the class either are or have been recruiters or have/had some kind of staffing experience, and I really find it annoying when students think they know more than the professor just because they have experience but only time will tell. So far, so good.


Not gonna lie.  I am nervous about this class.  One of my really good friends from undergrad just graduated with her bachelor’s in HR from Fisher (and she is currently employed in Chicago), and said that the group project was really hard.  So did Wes (reference to another MLHR blogger) who has already taken this class.  Dr. Heneman is the professor.  Apparently his next book is about compensation, so he obviously is an expert in the area (and maybe that’s why the project is challenging).  For the last two quarters, the classes in which I did the best were the classes I have taken with Heneman, so I am PRAYING I still have that luck (and that Eric J Dosch is one of my group members).  Compensation is also something I find weird, because I feel like most HR people only take one class in compensation, but I feel like it is a hard specialization to break into entry level wise, and I feel most organizations want Compensation Specialists who have quite a bit of experience.  Another perk with this class is that the final is a week before actual finals week.  That means that finals studying will start a lot sooner (for at least one of my classes this quarter) and that the class will FLY by the material.  However, if I do well enough in Staffing where I do not have to take the final then I could be done with finals super early by that Monday of finals week (like when I was an undergrad … I miss you Spring 2010).

So far, I am liking classes so far.  Fall quarter we took Foundations I and Stats I, and then winter we took Foundations II and Stats II.  It is nice to be mixing it up in the learning department.  It is a little weird not having Dr. Bendapudi as a professor, but it will be nice to get to know other professors in the department (this my last quarter with Dr. Heneman and I might have to bring a box of tissues to the last class I have with him).  Spring quarter is by far the hardest time to study.  Even compared to fall quarter and the football season, there are SO MANY distractions.  On top of that, I have good friends who still go here as 4th and 5th year seniors who are going to want me to be around to help them celebrate their final quarters of undergrad.

I am confident that I should be able to excel this quarter.  Especially since I am done with stats.


Coming Full Circle

Here I am, in my second spring quarter in the MLHR program in the Fisher College of Business at THE Ohio State University.  Yes, it is my second spring quarter, yes I am a first year, no I am not graduating early.

What I did instead was take two courses SP10 as a graduate non-degree student to try out the program.  Since there were no pre-reqs for the program, I was able to apply and have my application approved without issue and register as soon as registration closed for students in the program.  For those on the fence about the program, this is a great way to get a feel for the program and its demands.

I took BMHR855 and 865, Training and Development with Dr. Noe and Compensation with Dr. Heneman, respectively.  It was a tremendous experience:  tremendously educating, tremendously challenging, tremendously frightening and tremendously exciting!

Who remembers the first day of our program, sitting down in your first seat (the one you probably kept all quarter long), grabbing your new best friend from orientation, affixing your name tag (that no one uses anymore) and putting your name plate up in its little slot.  Felt good, right!?  You were talking excitedly with everyone else, sharing secrets about the professor you learned from a 2nd year at Varsity Club after the team building, and catching up about what you’ve done since orientation.  You were anxious and nervous but the burgeoning Cohort mentality was mitigating all that and you felt good!  Happy!  Excited!

Now, take that all away.  As a graduate non-degree, I had no orientation, no team-building, no socials, no name plate (I had a sad piece of paper that Noe wrote my name on for me because my handwriting is so small) or name tag.  One of the courses I took is generally geared toward 2nd years, one more toward 1st years.  Regardless, the Cohort for each year had been established and bonds had been built.  And in walks me, GND Guy, the loner, the weirdo.  No one to talk to, no one I knew.

That was the frightening part.  Next was the challenging part: being in a course with grad students in a very intimate setting (compared to the cavernous, student-packed halls of undergrad Psych lectures), with renowned professors who are experts in their fields.

That was also the educational part.  These professors knew what they were talking about!  Noe is a whiz and up to date with all the most recent training and development methods and technology and generational nuances.  Noe literally wrote the book that was taught.  Heneman is a compensation Jedi master, and to see him in his depth and speaking passionately about his specialty is to see a man come alive.  Heneman is cited in the compensation book every other paragraph seemingly, and that is no exaggeration.  And of course, the mixture of students with me provided insight from either their jobs that were directly involved with HR or were able to draw connections between the material and their own careers. Very exciting stuff.

I had no idea what to expect from that moment on. It was difficult making connections, if only because I was being uncharacteristically shy and intimidated.  But once we began working in groups, it became incredibly easy to speak to people and get to know them.  Because true to the MLHR spirit, we are great people who love to connect, support each other  and help out a friend or colleague in need.

And that’s how I fell in love with the program.  The first time.  Then came all the hooplah that came with my official acceptance, like the name plate and bonding and big huge envelopes.  And of course, the Cohort.  How much I love my Cohort and how they have enriched my experience in the program cannot be expressed.  Maybe they’ll get their own blog entry, because it would take too many words to show my appreciation for them and describe how they have made this program so memorable.

So here I am, come full circle, second spring quarter.  Very different than the first, but just as tremendously educating, tremendously challenging, tremendously frightening (in a different sense) and tremendously exciting as the first time around.