On March 3rd, 2018, 10 UND students traveled to NDSU to attend the Student HR Conference and Case Competition. Students at the competition came from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. UND brought two teams of students, twice as many students as any other school, and both teams did well. In fact, one of the teams emerged as the winner of the event.
Amanda Carpenter, Desiree Robinson, Christine MacLeod, and Brooke Leabch presented their case on generational differences to a panel of judges and conference attendees, and came out with 1st place. The Case Competition started out with giving students one week to review a SHRM case. The students then had to submit a written paper to judges by Friday afternoon and then travel to present their case. The paper was worth 40% of their score and the presentation was worth 60%. Teams were given 15 minutes to present their case and answer follow-up questions.
Robinson, MacLeod and Leabch all agreed that getting to talk to the HR panel was their favorite part of the day. “I loved the HR panel, getting that advice that you’re doing something right, or to change your perspective,” said Robinson. The three also agreed that receiving feedback from the panel of judges was a self-esteem boost. One thing that the panel stressed in a pre-presentation Q & A session was that people in HR come from all different backgrounds and that SHRM is trying to end the stigma that HR isn’t just for really good times and really bad times in the office. “They want to get rid of the stigma of throwing parties and giving bad news, we’re (HR employees are) not Toby from The Office,” explained Robinson.
The students felt that the conference was a great learning experience and that it was interesting to see what all of the different groups did with the same case study. All four of the groups evaluated had different ideas and took the problem in a different direction. “All of the presentations took a different direction,” said Leabch. MacLeod added. “It was really fun; I learned about how I view a problem.” The three explained that if they were to incorporate the ideas of all of the groups on generational differences into one plan, a perfect plan could have been implemented.
In addition to their outstanding performance, these students represented UND in an extremely positive manner. Several HR professionals that attended the conference expressed to the UND SHRM Advisor and Management Faculty Member, Kathy Jones, how impressed they were with UND students.
The SHRM team talked about the positive impact SHRM has had on their academic experience. The skills that the students have learned in SHRM have helped them in their internships and academics. SHRM is open to all students in the business school and the members look forward to recruiting others.