Throughout my academic career, I was never one to get involved in extracurriculars. As soon as the school day was over, in my mind, it was a license to go home and put anything academically related into the furthest reaches of my brain. Now, the other activities? Those were fine! I love having an excuse to spend time with my classmates in any social environment. When I started in the Full-Time MBA program at the Broad College, however, I knew that to have the experience I wanted to have, there would need to be some balance of both.
Our administration does an excellent job of making sure that the student organizations within our program receive plenty of exposure, so it didn’t take long for me to find what I was looking for. Each concentration has its own professional organization, and I thought that it would be ideal for me to join the Human Resources Association.
The HRA is small but mighty in our program. Primarily consisting of students with a concentration in HR and Strategic Management, its purpose is to provide opportunities for members to gain professional development and to strengthen their personal networks. This being the case, we put on a variety of events, including the Recruiting Bootcamp in the fall to help guide students through the strenuous process of interviewing for full-time roles and internships, trivia nights at Crunchy’s (a local restaurant) and our grand co-hosted SHRM conference in the spring. Through it all, the organization consistently sponsors outstanding opportunities to accomplish our stated goals.
It’s hard to understate the effect that the HRA has had on my experience at Broad. For my first semester in the program, the organization was one of the only sources of community that I had. I began my career at MSU in fall 2020, so you can imagine that opportunities to socialize and grow with my classmates were none too common. Building relationships with the second-year MBAs, people I barely had any other chances to interact with, was a critical part of my experience as I came here in part to expand my professional network. Having seen the power of the organization in action, I felt convinced to offer them more of my time, so I applied for a few leadership roles. I started as a first-year representative, and in spring 2021, I was elected HRA president.
Helping to lead the HRA has given me several benefits. For one, I have the pleasure of working side by side with my classmates to improve the experience of the members of my organization and program. It’s also given me invaluable leadership experience and taught me to balance my responsibilities both inside and outside the classroom. All of this, naturally, were key reasons why I felt prepared to present a professional face to future employers during interviews and networking activities, and I’m positive that having this experience on my resume is a key reason why I was able to secure a full-time job offer in the fall of my second year. Most importantly, leadership in HRA has taught me the value of going above and beyond, stepping outside my comfort zone to partake in something that serves a higher purpose than recharging my batteries, for the benefit of others.