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Natalie Russell

Specialization Spotlight: Strategic Human Resource Management

by Natalie Russell Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) specialization teaches students how to manage and develop a firm’s human capital, its greatest asset, to support organizational strategies.

Key Characteristics of Successful Students.

Attributes of successful students include the ability to think strategically, analyze and solve problems.  SHRM students also need to relate well to other people, work effectively in team settings, negotiate solutions to complex situations, communicate clearly using multiple communication channels, and manage multiple projects at once.

Roles After Graduation.

Our required coursework is aligned with the Society of Human Resource Management’s Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK), making it practical for graduates to pursue careers in a range of functional areas. Recent graduates have pursued careers as HR generalists supporting business functions, as well as in compensation, talent acquisition, employee relations, and business and HR strategy roles based on their individual interests and skillsets. We have corporate partners who recruit annually for HR Leadership Development programs and other roles to allow students more flexibility in selecting their career path.  You can learn more about potential career paths on our website.

Coursework that Creates Expertise.

Our alignment with the SHRM BoCK ensures students are meeting industry expectations. Beyond required courses, students have flexibility in their degree plan to take electives in specific areas of interest, both HR and non-HR related, and build their expertise.  You can find specific information about the SHRM curriculum on our website.

The student experience is enhanced by our HR Faculty, who generate knowledge in HR by conducting and publishing research that is disseminated at national conferences and in leading HR journals. For example, Professor Charlie Trevor, who teaches Negotiations, received this year’s Scholarly Achievement Award from the Academy of Management, Human Resources Division for his paper titled “Pay-for-Performance’s Effect on Future Employee Performance: Integrating Psychological and Economic Principles Toward a Contingency Perspective”.

Applied Learning Opportunities.

Each spring, students participate in a semester-long course dedicated to applying the theories learned in their HR courses. This course, the HR Capstone, includes frequent guest lecturers, exercises to simulate real-world experiences, and a consulting project. The deliverables for the consulting projects vary greatly, but typically require extensive research, analysis, and strategic thinking on a real-world need for an external organization. The expected deliverables include consultant-quality recommendations, which the organization can use to address its needs.

Our one-day HR Summit is an opportunity for student to connect with program alumni, community HR professionals, and HR executives. Speakers are typically executive-level professionals with extensive experience in human resources. Presentations range from real-world business cases at large, multi-national organizations, to career and leadership advice, to the latest HR research.  You can learn more about the SHRM applied learning opportunities on our website.

Unique Benefits.

The SHRM Wisconsin MBA specialization was created in coordination with corporate partners to meet the talent needs of Fortune 500 companies. Through general research and interviews with these partners, it was identified that organizations seek HR professionals who not only understand the technical application of processes but also their business impact. The Wisconsin MBA achieves this by elevating our student’s level of strategic thinking and business understanding to add more value to the organization.

The alignment of our program with the SHRM BoCK allows students to be eligible to take the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certification exams sooner than other candidates who are enrolled in a general MBA program or who accumulated HR work experience alone. SHRM certifications are recognized globally, showing an individual’s expertise in the HR field.