In September the North Carolina SHRM state council held its annual state conference in Greensboro, North Carolina. The state conference targets HR professionals interested in receiving current information in their field. HR practitioners attend for networking, professional development, and to learn about vendor products and services; and student SHRM members are encouraged to participate. Six North Carolina State University students volunteered to work at the 1999 state conference. The breakout sessions proved to be extremely interesting, and they integrated classroom learning with the reality of the business world. The students were exposed to the styles and attitudes of the HR professionals and saw first hand the importance of networking. NC State chapter members were also able to establish contacts by visiting vendor booths, and were able to "practice" talking to professionals, helping to prepare them for life after college. After visiting the vendor booths, the students realized that there are numerous career opportunities for people with HR backgrounds. In addition to working as an HR generalist or a specialist, a person with knowledge of human resources could perform HR system software development, work for a company specializing in background investigations, operate online services to match prospective employees with employers, or get involved with employee outsourcing.
If you are interested in attending a conference, contact your local professional chapter. There may be a possibility to negotiate a reduced registration rate for a state or local event, or possibly a registration waiver, for students who volunteer to work at the conference. The NC State University chapter has helped to set up for the conference, stuffed bags for conference attendees, and assisted with registration. In return, the conference committee has been very generous by allowing student volunteers to participate in the conference at significantly reduced rates. Watch your HR News publication for information on upcoming state SHRM conferences.
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