Each year, the CHRLS Alumni Association Board of Directors hosts free workshops, on a variety of topics, to encourage the professional growth

Each year, the CHRLS Alumni Association Board of Directors hosts free workshops on a variety of topics to encourage the professional growth of alumni, current students and other HR practitioners.

In 2012-2013, the three workshops revolved around Global Human Resources.
The workshops were held at the Carlson School of Management and were also offered as a webinar for those who could not attend in person.

"I'm long retired but enjoy knowing what's going on," one alumnus said. "I come to the University for various programs but staying home and being part of a "virtual" program is neat, too," he said.

The first workshop was titled "International HR: A Global Perspective," and was held in October. Speaker Paula Cooney, Director of HR Strategic Programs for H.B. Fuller Company, provided insights into her HR experiences from an international perspective. She discussed selection, job elimination, working across countries with vastly different employment laws, and her experience as an ex-patriate in the U.S.

The second workshop, held in February, was titled "From Minneapolis to Mumbai: Key HR Learnings," and focused on Rebekah Ferguson's two-year global assignment with General Mills in Mumbai, India. Ferguson, Human Resources Director at General Mills, gave an overview of GBS (Global Business Solutions) India, and highlighted various HR focus areas including recruiting, retention, learning and development, compensation and benefits, and culture.

"The Expatriate Experience," the final workshop held in May, was presented by Pamela Pappas Stanoch, the founder and President of Athena Group International. Pappas Stanoch focused on four different cycles of the expatriate experience: the selection process; signs of success; training and development of the employee in their role; and re-patriation.

All of the workshops included networking and light refreshments before the presentation and a question and answer period at the end of the session.

Erika Williams, '00 MA-HRIR, who chaired the Professional Development Workshop committee, noted that the workshop series is another form of education. "We want to provide current ideas and subject matter experts to our HR colleagues who are interested in other areas, and don't get a chance to work within that specialty on a routine basis," she said. "I think our workshops provide useful information for anyone who has an interest in human resources, business and any function dealing with people."

When surveyed following a workshop, one attendee said "I always learn something, and it is great to meet or connect with alumni." Other comments shared through the workshop evaluations included, "Great learning opportunity!" and, "Great for networking and staying in touch with the program."

Each session was recorded and may be found on the CHRLS Alumni Association webpage: click into the gray box titled "2012-2013 Professional Development Workshop Series," and select one, two, or all three of the workshops to view.

The CHRLS Alumni Association will be planning additional professional development workshops this fall. For questions, or to suggest topics of interest, please contact chrls@umn.edu.