Cornell University

International Programs

117 Ives Hall, 607-254-7255


September 1 2006

An International HR Career Discussion with Laurel Marshall, ILR BS '91

Laurel Marshall with studentsIn the first week of classes a diverse group of graduate ILR students sat down with Laurel Marshall, Cornell ILR alum, to learn about her experience pioneering a career in International Human Resources.

Laurel has spent the last fifteen years working in various HR roles in the US and around the world, from Sydney, Australia, to Taipei, Taiwan. Most recently she was Vice President of HR; Global Commercial Operations and Domestic/International Field HR Operations for Invitrogen Corporation. As she walked the students through her career with animated stories of adventures abroad and lessons learned along the way, the graduate student’s eyes grew brighter and brighter. First year MILR student, Kate Edwards, is very interested in a career focusing on International HR. Having spent the last year teaching in Costa Rica and some time previously studying abroad, Kate was eager to hear about the opportunities for HR professionals working at multinational companies in today’s business world. “It is such a unique experience to learn face to face how an ILR graduate really made things happen in international HR, and what is truly exceptional about Ms. Marshall’s experience is that she had never even traveled abroad before she graduated from college! Her drive, determination and personal goals, coupled with her ILR degree, are what got her there – That she is now an accomplished practitioner in the field of international HR is an inspiration to any and all of us who hope to do the same!”

Laurel Marshall with StudentsThroughout her career Laurel stressed the importance of having a network of mentors and colleagues to learn and share experiences with. In a previous interview, Laurel articulates how powerful she thinks it would be to have a network of Cornell ILR Alumni that she could tap into when venturing into new cultures and territories. She writes, “A network where you could identify contacts with specific expertise in desired countries and cities; reach out through the Internet and chat with a local colleague before landing on the ground. I was thrilled to hear that the ILR International department is in the process of linking up ILR alumni world wide… we have a tremendous network to tap into, to enable each of our learning, experiences & successes.” This informal gathering between current ILR students and an alumnus is one way to foster that network and begin the sharing of knowledge. 

— Dina Gabriel