The Development and Dinner series lets students practice relevant skills while networking with their colleagues

The MA-HRIR program serves a variety of students, from those just emerging from their undergraduate studies to HR professionals who have been in the workforce for 20 years. To bring the various groups together and foster even greater collegiality, the program recently created the Development and Dinner series.

Twice each semester, students have the opportunity to take part in a professional development course, free of charge, and network with program colleagues over dinner.

"There are so many great people in our program, amazing students with hugely varied backgrounds," says Stacy Doepner-Hove, director of the MA-HRIR program. "Hopefully this will be a good chance to get them together to meet, work together, and get to know each other while they are still students in the program."

The first Development and Dinner session focused on improvisational training that taught students important human resource skills in listening, observation, collaboration, and risk taking.

"Improv theater is the art of creating something out of nothing, instantly," says Doepner-Hove. "Students were able to learn new methods for creative and effective problem-solving in a safe environment for active communications."

The next Development and Dinner session will be held in November, and students are invited to choose what topics they are most interested in.

"We hope these out-of-the-classroom learning experiences will be of interest to all of our students, and will help connect them to the program, and to the school in the future as well," says Doepner-Hove.