Cornell’s first team competing in the Human Resources (HR) Games took first place at the regional competition held at Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pa. on April 6. The team will advance to the national competition this June.
The HR Games consisted of a series of matches between teams of three students from various Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) student chapters. The Cornell SHRM chapter sent Amy Schwab ’02, president of SHRM, David Klesh ’02, and Maggie Lorenc ’04 to the regional competition.
“It feels great to win the regional competition in the first year of participating in the HR Games. I am very happy to represent Cornell and ILR [School of Industrial and Labor Relations]. It was good to use the information I learned from my classes and to see all the hard work pay off,” Klesh said.
Lorenc added, “It was good meeting kids from other schools interested in HR.”
Overall, the Cornell team won six games, beating Drexel, Seton Hill College, and two teams from Robert Morris University and Pennsylvania State, last year’s reigning champion.
The competition, which is similar to the television quiz show “Jeopardy,” is geared toward aspiring HR professionals. The students answer questions similar to those found on the Professional of Human Resources (PHR) Certification exam. The teams that earn the most points advance to the next round and the team that wins the final game wins the championship.
The Cornell team will advance to compete for the national HR Games title against the five other regional winners at the National Society for Human Resource Management Conference in Philadelphia, on June 24 and 25.
Prof. Chris Collins, human resource studies and faculty advisor for SHRM, noted the importance of the HR Games for aspiring HR professionals.
“The regional competition was staffed by many HR professionals from large companies. Participating in the competition is great exposure to professionals in the field. There will probably be even more exposure at the national competition,” Collins said.
The Cornell team, coached by Micky Candia grad, prepared for the competition for two months prior to the HR Games. They attended weekly study sessions and studied books and flash cards.
“They were a great bunch of students to work with. It was a lot of fun and neat to share the experience with the students. I was impressed by their enthusiasm,” Candia said.
California State University at Frenso founded the HR Games in 1992 as a fun way for students to study for the PHR Certification exam. During the next several years, participation in the competition expanded to other student chapters in California. The first national HR games took place in 2000 with six regional competitions and a national championship.
“SHRM is a way for students to gain knowledge of the HR field that is different from the knowledge learned in classes. They can get to know other students interested in HR, meet professionals in the HR field, and build a network of contacts,” Collins said.
Lorenc added, “SHRM is a good opportunity to learn more about HR. It is a good networking tool and good way to study for the PHR certification exam.”
This year, other than participating in the HR Games, the Cornell SHRM chapter also hosted speakers, workshops and company visits with HR professionals from companies including Abercrombie and Fitch, Eaton Corporation, and IBM.
The Cornell SHRM chapter hopes to host the HR regional games next year.
Archived article by Joann Kang