May 05, 2017

EMU human resources student team takes first place in regional competition

Students draw on knowledge to solve HR problem they'll possibly encounter as professionals
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Winners Banpreet Kaur, left, and Nahiba Mirza hold first-place check in the graduate degree SHRM competition. The money goes to the University to reimburse for travel expenses.

YPSILANTI – The Eastern Michigan University student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) took first place in the Division II of the society's regional competition in Houston this spring.

Thirty teams competed in the job preview competition, where team members apply knowledge acquired through their studies in confronting an HR situation likely to be encountered in the field.

“Winning one of the three Regional SHRM Case Competitions is a terrific honor for our graduate programs at EMU,” said Fraya Wagner-Marsh, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, GPHR, head of EMU’s management department in the College of Business and Director of the EMU Masters of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development. “This case competition includes many of the top schools in the country, and the winners have to exhibit exemplary knowledge and understanding of HR.”

Nabiha Mirza, who is from Pakistan, and Banpreet Kaur, from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, comprised the EMU student team that took first place. Mirza is pursuing a Master’s of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development (MSHROD), and Kaur is earning an MBA specialization in Human Resource Management (MBA-HR). 

“I believe Nabiha Mirza and Banpreet Kaur are representative of the high quality students that come to EMU for their graduate HR education,” said Wagner-Marsh. “Our faculty involved with the HR graduate programs try hard to make sure that we are encompassing the right competencies and skills in our curriculum that our students need in order for them to be successful in the workplace.

“I believe this type of honor helps validate our efforts. This type of success also certainly helps spread the word about the high quality of EMU's graduate programs."

Case competition teams may choose to compete at any one of the three SHRM Student Case Competition and Career Summit events, which are designated as East, West and Central. Teams are placed in two separate divisions, graduate and undergraduate, to address the varying experience levels of both traditional and nontraditional students.

“Students have to excel at written and oral communication skills, presentation skills, problem solving, and be able to answer impromptu questions from the panel of judges,” said Wagner-Marsh. “It is an intense competition.”

As part of the competition, teams must analyze a case study and come up with a solution, preparing both a written executive summary and PowerPoint slides to be used for a 15-minute oral presentation at the competition. Teams then deliver their presentation to a panel of judges and answer additional questions.

The winners receive complimentary registrations to the SHRM 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition, to be held June 18-21 in New Orleans. A team plaque is presented at the Saturday Awards Ceremony and a check for $2,500 goes to the university to pay for travel reimbursement.

About EMU’s Graduate and Undergraduate Programs in HR

Eastern Michigan University offers a Master’s of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development, a Graduate Certificate in Human Resources, a Graduate Certificate in OD, an MBA-HR specialization, and a BBA-Management Major/HR Concentration. These programs are offered through the Management Department at the EMU College of Business, which is accredited by AACSB, the highest accreditation for Colleges of Business. For more information, see the MSHROD website, the management website, or email Dr. Fraya Wagner-Marsh, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, GPHR, the department head of the Management Department, at fwagnerm@emich.edu or call 734-487-324

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

Contact Geoff Larcom, glarcom@emich.edu, 734.487.4401

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