David Barber

David Barber

EMHRM '18, Employee Degree Program

Executive Master of Human Resource Management

Ithaca, NY

David's EMHRM Experience

Where are you from?

Kodiak, Alaska

How or why did you decide to come to Cornell for the EMHRM program?

I wanted to enhance my personal development and position myself for future career growth.  I saw having an education and degree from Cornell and its ILR school as a critical component to both those goals. As a military leader, my everyday functions are human capital management. I may not call myself a ‘human resource professional,’ but many of the aspects and processes within the field are very similar to what I have done for the past ~20 years. As I researched the course, it inspired me to learn more and to build my skills and capabilities.         

What are some highlights of the program?

1) Working and learning from a group of students (professionals) who have been doing this for years has allowed me to grow and develop how I view particular problems and situations. My professional experience is in the military, so getting an “industry” perspective is important because there are best practices that can be shared across our boundaries. Additionally, it is important to me as I transition from a military to civilian HR professional.

2) The world-class faculty and instruction. Their insights, challenging questions, and dedication to our development as HR leaders and professionals is incredible.

3) On-campus session. To date, we have only had one meeting on campus, but I am sure the rest will be similar. This session enabled us to interact/bond as a class and make our relationships more personable; we weren’t some unknown person on the other end of the internet. 

Describe your experience of working online.

My job requirements often take me away from areas where I can traditionally get on the internet or attend a scheduled class. Not being tied to a particular time or even a building is essential. I truly enjoy the online experience and flexibility that the format offers. There were times where I was out in the woods writing and proofreading a paper at , iPhone in hand, typing with my thumbs on the MS Word application.  

What is some advice for someone who is looking to do the EMHRM program?

A majority of the class requirements are based on writing, so ensure that you are prepared and comfortable with writing papers. Also, I don’t think that my family was fully ready for my commitment to the class. Having to balance full-time work, life, and the EMHRM program is demanding, but manageable. In the long-term, I definitely think that EMHRM is worth the investment if you want to strengthen your knowledge, skills, and abilities within the field, or to gain the credibility that comes with an Ivy League education.

Where do you work?

I am in the US Army and currently work on Cornell’s Ithaca Campus as the Department Head and Courtesy Professor for the Army ROTC program.

How has the program helped you in your current role?

Most importantly I am responsible for recruiting future Army Officers, so the required project is helping me to refine and strengthen our recruiting and retention practices. Additionally, several of the classes had me analyzing other aspects of our internal business practices, so I am incorporating procedures learned from the instruction.