Alex (Crump) Smith

CHRLS Alumni Association Board Member


  • Master of Arts 2003
    Human Resources and Industrial Relations, Carlson School of Management


Alex (Crump) Smith,'03, graduated from the full-time MA-HRIR program and is currently the chief human resources officer for the City of Memphis. Before that, she held positions at Microsoft, Target Corporation, and Brightstar Corporation. Choosing the MA-HRIR program involved a lot of research for Smith. “After researching career options, I knew that human resources was the career for me,” she says. “With my economics background, I had a strong interest in connecting business with my HR education. As I began researching HR graduate programs, I focused my sights on schools in the top tier that also had a business focus. Luckily, I found one program in which the HR program was housed in the business school: the Carlson School’s MA-HRIR program, which allowed me to take both MBA and HR-focused classes allowing me to develop as a strong business leader as well as an HR professional.” Smith found the program prepared her well. “The HRIR program taught me the foundations of HR as a profession and the many complexities one can face in the function,” she says. “After my first day in the program it was clear to me that HR was more than just about hiring and firing. It is truly about the proper acquisition, care and feeding of employees so that they produce for the organization.”  Joining the Alumni Board became the next natural step for Smith. “I truly believe that the HRIR program helped me to be on an accelerated career path and I am thankful,” she says. “I wanted to join the Board to give back and help as many students and alumni as possible reach their dreams. The program has given so much to me, it is time for me to pay it forward.” And what would she say to current students?  “I know you want to be CEO or VP right now but trust me: taking your time to get foundational experiences will serve you and make you the best CEO or VP when you get there,” she says. “Slow down, get the experience, and learn. It is worth it.”