Director’s Update: October 2015

Summer is a nice time of year in Happy Valley.  Most of the students leave for home, internships, or other adventures.  The town is quiet (except for Arts Festival week!), the hills are green, and there are no lines at restaurants.  But after a few months of this tranquility, the folks who live here year round start to miss the students and the energy they bring to campus.  And just about then… they come back.  All 48,000 of them!  This happened just a few weeks ago, and now that we have gotten through the chaotic first few weeks, we are settling back into the routine of fall semester.

Like always, we have a busy semester of activities planned.  Our student organizations have all held there first meetings and are busy trying to recruit new members.  One development in this regard is that two of our most active groups have decided to merge because of a significant overlap in membership.  The Society of Labor and Employment Relations (SLER) (which traces its roots back to The Labor Studies Club) and the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) have joined together to form one group which at this moment is unnamed (the frontrunner is SHRM-ER!).  Our two labor-oriented groups, United Students Against Sweatshops and Student Works at Penn State continue as separate organizations since the former focuses on international issues and the latter on domestic.

Surprisingly, even though we are still in the early part of the semester there is a lot of buzz among our students about jobs. This is because the big Fall Career Fair at Bryce Jordan is held in the third week of classes.  Based on the experience of the last few years, we are pretty confident that this year’s graduates will do very well in the job market.  In fact, even though the semester just began several of our M.S. students have accepted positions with great employers.  Since many of our alums have responsibility for recruiting new employees for their employer, I want to invite you to let us know If your company or organization is looking for young talent in the human resources, employment relations, or labor areas.  Better yet, set up a recruiting trip to Penn State.  We’ll make sure our best and brightest students know of your opening.

Fall means the return of football weekends.  If you come to campus on the Friday afternoon before a game, stop by, say hello, and check out our still relatively new offices.  You won’t find us in the Liberal Arts Tower, Old Botany, or Williard.  We have moved since those days.  We are now on the 5th Floor of Keller Building, right across the street from the Nittany Lion Inn and the Nittany Parking Deck.