Greetings from MA-HRIR Program Directors: Avner Ben-Ner and Stacy Doepner-Hove

Avner Ben-NerAs Directors of the MA-HRIR program, we are extremely pleased to welcome 67 new students to our program this fall: 23 international students from 7 different countries joined 34 of their full-time domestic counterparts, and an additional 10 part-time students, to become part of a long line of smart, capable, excited and active students who continue to prove the worth of the UMN MA-HRIR degree to the world.


Stacy Doepner-HoveThis year the program has added some new twists along with continuing our well-established and well-respected coursework. Outside the classroom we have added three new components:

Case Competitions

For the past two years our students have competed in case competitions at Purdue University and The Ohio State University. Our teams have done well in the past, and this year we had six teams competing internally to be chosen to represent us at both national and international competitions. The main addition to this roster of competitions is our very own Carlson International Human Resources Case Competition that will take place here November 14-16. We will host two Chinese, one Canadian, and two US teams along with our own Carlson HRIR team in a competition based on a live international HR issue for a local organization. Keep an eye out in the next newsletter for a wrap up of how this inaugural event went!

First-year Lunchtime Development Series

Last year we invited all of the full-time first-year students to attend lunchtime workshops focused on helping the class build an active and engaged cohort, including sessions with experts from around the University on teamwork and cross-cultural interactions. It was a great opportunity for the class to get to know each other, grow closer, and see what professional teamwork-building workshops look like. November will see the start of the lunchtime sessions for this year's first-year class. We hope this out-of-classroom training will become an integral part of the overall experience. To that end we have also created one other initiative:

Development and Dinner

On October 11 we had our very first Development and Dinner session. We brought in a local trainer to show our students how to use improvisation as a training technique. (See related article below). It was a great opportunity for the students to get a little out of their comfort zones and see how different techniques can be used in team building and group facilitation. We had students from the first, second, and part-time cohorts at the event and they shared dinner together after the training. Our next Development and Dinner will be November 22; all students are invited to weigh in on the choice of training topics for the next session.

Our academic program grows and improves every year as new faculty, new ideas, and new technology add to the curriculum at every turn. Our own Professor Colleen Manchester is a Carlson School pioneer when it comes to the "flipped classroom." She often has her Using Data and Metrics in HRIR students watch her lectures online before coming to class. That way she can spend more time in class going over the assigned problems for the day and working through questions that arise. Professor Manchester won the Herbie Award for teaching from the students last year-- so she must be doing something right!

We continue to build on the great work that has come before us and we are excited to move forward with the program in many new ways. The brightness of our students, the intellect and dedication of our faculty and staff, and the engagement and support of our alums makes this program second-to-none in the country, as far as we are concerned. We both are thrilled to be a part of it all.

Avner Ben-Ner, Faculty Director of Graduate Studies for the MA-HRIR Program

Stacy Doepner-Hove, Director of the MA-HRIR Program