Students entering the Master of Arts in Human Resources and Industrial Relations program this fall were delighted to join a diverse and unique class from all over the world.  

"I am constantly amazed by the experiences and lives that our new MA-HRIR students bring to the program," Program Director Stacy Doepner-Hove says. "No two classes are ever alike and it seems each year we get more interesting people from around the world." 

The incoming class of 2016 comes from a variety of backgrounds, and brings with them a wide range of HR knowledge. While some students are joining the program fresh out of their undergraduate programs, many students have held HR jobs, or are currently working in the field. 

Kelsey Schumacher grew up in Prior Lake, Minn., and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in marketing and management. Though she did not receive her undergradate degree in HR, she has been working at Ecolab in HR for about five years. 

Others, like Christopher Carlson, have held a variety of jobs; Carlson is currently a vault operations manager at Wells Fargo's Corporate Trust Services. Prior to entering the banking industry, he worked in restaurant management for ten years.  

"My wife and I recently purchased our first home, and are expecting our first child early next year. It is safe to say I will be quite occupied," Carlson says about the next two years of the MA-HRIR program. 

While many students have lived in Minnesota all of their lives, the class of 2016 has the highest percentage of international students in recent years. They arrive at the Carlson School from an array of countries, including China, South Korea, Russia, and Denmark. These international students add an interesting perspective to the world of HR. 

"With the world growing ever smaller, the ability of our students to work closely with people from all over the world will be a huge benefit for our students and the world of HR," Doepner-Hove says.

Sung Hwan Chang and his family arrived in the United States from South Korea about two months ago, and have since been trying to integrate into American life. 

"I have two sons, and I play basketball with them every day. I don't know how to play well yet, so please let me know if you have any tips," Chang says. 

In Russia, Liana Karimova works in organizational and business psychology. Besides conducting trainings and helping people improve their skills, she is a travel blogger.  

"I like to write articles, and take photos and videos to share my travel experience, and inspire people to visit different places," says Karimova. 

As students began classes on September 2nd, Doepner-Hove was looking forward to learning more about the many diverse backgrounds students were coming from. 

"I am excited and ready to get to know these interesting people," she says. "And in just a few short years they will be heading out into the HR world - that's exciting too!"