As the 2015-2016 academic year comes to a close, the Carlson School community looks back on a year filled with learning, connecting, building relationships and expanding global networks.

The Fall Semester started with New Student Orientation, where the Carlson School welcomed 66 new students. The orientation offered the newcomers an opportunity to get to know each other and their future professors. The students quickly discovered just how friendly and welcoming their peers were. 

In October the Alumni Board held their first Speed Mentoring Event.  In the style of speed dating, 11 alumni and 23 students discussed their careers, exchanged advice, and enjoyed a great afternoon of networking.

Students also had a chance to learn from other alums’ experiences during the Alumni Office Hours project. Three MA-HRIR answered students' questions and responded to comments they had regarding the program and their careers.

Toward the end of 2015, the MA-HRIR Program hosted its 3rd Annual International HR Case Competition. LG Academy was the lead sponsor. After a grueling three days of work, the University of Minnesota team came out on top. The case competition challenges student teams to address a real-world, global HR challenge that a major company faces. Teams of graduate students from around the world compete to find the best solution.

Keeping in touch with alumni can take faculty and staff across the country or around the globe. Professor John Budd met with alumni in Seattle, Silicon Valley, San Francisco and even South Africa, while External Relations Coordinator Anne Obst met with alumni in Chicago and in downtown St. Paul, where she visited a Book Club comprised entirely of HRIR alumni who have been meeting for more than five years. 

One of the most-anticipated events of the year was the 2016 HR Tomorrow Conference, held on April 22. With 17 speakers and 310 guests, the day-long event of presentations from HR professionals was a success. This year's theme was “Rethinking the Role of HR."

As the year came to a close, the soon-to-be graduates came together to raise money for the 2016 MA-HRIR class gift. The class gift campaign was record-setting, both in terms of dollars raised and participation. Forty-eight donors contributed a total of $1,100.60, plus they earned a $1,000 matching gift sponsored by John and Nancy Lindahl. More than 58 percent of the MA-HRIR Class of 2016 participated in this effort, which will benefit the Center for Human Resources and Labor Students program fund.

And, wrapping up the academic year on May 16 was Commencement, where 70 students graduated from the MA-HRIR Program and became proud alumni.  The Carlson School community wishes them the best, and looks forward to another great year of learning and connecting as the next class of future HR professionals arrives on campus in August.