Giving financial contributions isn't the only means for alumni to support the health and vitality of the MA-HRIR program. Program grads stay involved with the Carlson School in a variety of ways.

Serving on the CHRLS Alumni Association Board of Directors
The CHRLS Alumni Association supports an array of initiatives each year that serve alumni and students, including the HR Tomorrow Conference, the Alumni Mentoring program, and several Professional Development initiatives.

"I joined the Alumni Board because membership provides a chance to positively influence the future direction of a strong and vibrant academic program," says Eric Miller, '12 MA-HRIR.

"Membership on the Alumni Board is a way to continue to learn and share best practices while networking with HR leaders from various organizations," says Faith Leicht, '04 MA-HRIR.

"I benefited so much from my time at Carlson that I wanted to give back to the program that gave me so much," says Laura Blomberg, '06 MA-HRIR.

More information about serving on the CHRLS Alumni Board is available here; applications for membership are being accepted through May 5, 2014.

Becoming an alumni mentor
Alumni mentors connect with first year students once a month to provide career advice and coaching.

Augusto Perez, '08 MA-HRIR, has volunteered as an alumni mentor for several years.

"The payoff you and your mentee get out of the program, with relatively little effort, is outstanding," he says. "Mentees are so grateful that it is a delight to be part of it. Not to mention the opportunity for the mentor to develop talent," Perez says.

"Mentorship program participants discuss anything from what decisions the mentor has made in his or her professional career to a student's options for internships," says Kathleen Grosskopf, '02 MA-HRIR, and co-chair of the Alumni Mentorship Committee.

The 2014 Alumni Mentoring program kicked off in early 2014 and initial mentor/mentee matches have been made. However, additional mentors are always needed; interested alumni may sign up here.

Performing career services during recruiting season
The Carlson School's Graduate Business Career Center (GBCC) coordinates career coaching workshops, resume review sessions, and mock interviewing events, and is always looking for alumni volunteers.

"It was an honor to be able to help Carlson School students, giving back a little of all that I benefited from when I was a student," says Robin Johnson, '93 MA-IR.

"When students can spend time with an experienced professional, in either a resume review session or a mock interview, it helps them ultimately become more comfortable because they're better prepared," says Karen Phang, '98 MA-IR. "And, it gives alumni a chance to shape future talent."

Alumni interested in opportunities like these should contact the Graduate Business Career Center at

Volunteering as alumni ambassadors
During an October Carlson School alumni event in San Francisco, Johnny Liang, '01 MA-HRIR; Tina Liu, '06 MA-HRIR; and Taryn Shawstad, '88 MA-IR, introduced themselves to a few recent alumni who'd moved to the Bay Area, and offered to set up informational interviews following the event.

"I am always interested and willing to connect with other alums," says Liang. "[This connectivity] is one of our program's many strengths."

A recent phone call between CHRLS Alumni Association President Yogita Naik, '02 MA-HRIR, and 10 international MA-HRIR students illustrates yet another way alumni can give back to the program. During the call, Naik shared with students some of her experiences as an international student in the program and her career challenges and successes, and candidly addressed their questions.

"Students found this interaction to be immensely helpful," says Stacy Doepner-Hove, director of the MA-HRIR program. "To hear first-hand from an alum how she overcame some of the same challenges they are facing was extremely reassuring."

Alumni located in the Shanghai area have offered to help with recruitment efforts of prospective students.

"Carlson School alumni in Shanghai would be very willing to offer what we can to help the school reinforce the brand in China," says Arnold Guo, '07 MA-HRIR.

For more information about volunteering as an informal Alumni Ambassador, email the program at