Apr 4, 2006

People are the business of the Society for Human Resource Management

by Tanya Whelly

The third meeting of Liberty’s chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management came complete with name tags, door prizes and a panel of professionals.

While many students may not understand exactly what SHRM is about, President Laura Egle explains that the group is for anyone who is unsure of what they want to do with their future.

“It’s for people who want to work with people,” said Egle. “It’s a way of providing them with knowledge to succeed in this field.”

The meeting, which took place on Thursday night in a classroom of DeMoss, featured the Dean of the School of Business Dr. Bruce Bell, as well as Dr. Darin Gerdes and Professor Steven Halford from the School of Business. Students in attendance asked questions that had been handed out on scraps of paper at the beginning of the meeting on behavior modification topics. Some of the topics included how to handle arguments between employees, obscene language in the workplace and employees who use company time to surf the Internet.

Over and over, the professors stressed how important it was for employers and employees to speak to each other about their problems.

“It’s amazing how much communication plays into this,” said Bell during the panel discussion.

The professors also discussed bad interview practices and gave tips how to make a good first impression to employers.

Other orders of business conducted during the meeting included electing Stephanie Wilhelm as historian and planning a bake sale of which half of the proceeds will go to Liberty’s Godparent Home. The group is also planning on setting up a booth next to the School of Business’s booth for the next College for a Weekend so that prospective students can get acquainted with SHRM early.

The chapter of SHRM at Liberty is only a small extension of the international SHRM which represents more than 175,000 individual members. The cost to become a member of the SHRM is $35 a year and includes privileged resources such as job opportunities and professional advice. One of the most valuable tools that becoming a member of the SHRM provides is a means of networking with others in the business.

“It’s a great way to land a job,” said Egle. On April 13, the Lynchburg chapter of SHRM will be holding a meeting at the Wingate Hotel, giving members another way to interact.

Although many of the student members are business majors, many are not. Egle, the president of the SHRM is actually studying Psychology and has promoted the group to 10 different psychology classes.

“HR is people,” said Egle. “You have to understand people and their abilities.”

Egle hopes to bring other outside speakers to the remaining SHRM meetings and believes that once students understand what HR is really about, the group will attract more members.

“I think we will see it grow a lot,” she said.
Contact Tanya Whelly at tmwhelly@liberty.edu.

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