Share Your ILR Stories
Laura - I've only known you for three short years, but it feels like a lifetime. You are one of the most compassionate, kind-hearted people I have had the pleasure of knowing, and you have been an AWESOME boss! Thank you for the opportunity to become a part of the OSS family and the ILR School.
It's funny because when I first came to Cornell, everyone told me ILR would change how I viewed the world. Little did I know, ILR would also help me change the world!
The ILR School has allowed me to understand and appreciate the power of differing perspectives in the classroom, workplace and beyond. It is a major that truly brings students' varied interests together, cultivating leadership and dialogue, and promoting endless possibilities.
"Though the ILR legacy runs strong in my family, with both my father and brother being ILRies (and my mom has basically become one), I was able to choose to continue that legacy. Being given the freedom to choose ILR without feeling pressure from my family made me love every part of the school because I am here due to my own free will, yet I have unconditional support in my journey here. I know I can rely on anyone in ILR for support and that they want to see me follow in footsteps of success, just like the rest of my family.
ILR students have a unique Cornell experience since the school is relatively small and all students start out with similar classes. It's incredible and exciting to watch my classmates grow and find their interests through diverse courses. I've found myself in a group project where my team members were interested in social justice, law, HR and finance, but we worked cohesively to accomplish a stand-out project that considered unique approaches. As ILR students, we have an internal drive to do well, in academics and within the community or world around us.
I never thought I would meet my best friends on my first day of classes. The student body of ILR is filled with intellectually curious, creative, and sensitive students. It's comforting to know that if I am faced with a dilemma of any kind, an ILRie will be there to have my back.
The classrooms and offices were in wooden barracks-like buildings across from Sage Hall parking lot. Very noisy -- every footstep echoed. One good thing -- each student had a mailbox which made returning papers, exams, etcetera very convenient.
I run my own manufacturing / etail company, standsteady.com. We are one of the leading sellers of standing desks on Amazon.com. At ILR I was exposed to classes in so many things. Having a broad educational and work background allows me to say that even if I don't know how to solve the problem, I've got an idea of where to look for the answer. My husband also attended Cornell, but was in a narrow field of study. He was never exposed to the basics of Economics, Statistics, Business Law, HR, business computing etc. that I refer to so frequently in my work.
A promising message was instilled in me upon arrival at Cornell University -- "Look around at your classmates. You will do business together. You will become friends, colleagues and board members as you progress in your career." It wasn’t hard to see how ILR's MPS/NYC curriculum encouraged that agenda among a diverse group of dynamic professionals. I met every class with anticipation as I joined my classmates and faculty in the Cornellian tradition to come together at a local venue after the first and last day of classes.
“I saw our class not only as the Centennial Class, but as the Transitional Class. In our time, the campus changed, reflecting the growth and turmoil of the '60s, from one which was relatively placid and conservative to one sensitive to concerns of civil rights, peace and gender equality.”
It's funny. Nearly two decades after graduation (yikes!), I am about a million miles away from a proper career in ILR. Sure, I started out that way. I worked in HR at CapitalOne after getting my degree. I soon realized, though, that my passions and interest involved technology more than administration. Oh yeah, I wasn't very good at traditional HR work. These were real problems. What to do? After a consulting career in enterprise systems, I moved to writing and public speaking. In the last six years, I've penned a bunch of books about technology, data, management, and communications.
The ILR School has shaped my intellectual interests in conflict resolution and permitted me to see it in action across the world. My research at the Scheinman Institute has propelled me to explore and promote best practices in dispute resolution. I have seen this interest in action through my travels – all not possible without the ILR School's support. Without ILR, I would not be Cornell's first Mitchell Scholar. Thank you.
9 years ago, I met some of my closest friends in class at the ILR School. This year, we were able to visit ILR during our five year reunion having achieved some of the goals we made during our time in college. We return as lawyers, an MBA and a Start Up / Tech veteran.
The possibilities in ILR are endless. During my time on the Hill, the ILR School has taught me to be a better leader and those lessons made me better in my role as Editor in Chief of The Daily Sun.
Professors McKelvie, Neufeld, Konvitz, Mc Connell and others were leading figures at the ILR School during the years I attended. I was fortunate enough to benefit greatly from their knowledge, experience and judgment. Since then, Law has become my profession, but what I gained from ILR remains with me, and always will.
Throughout my undergraduate career at ILR, I've learned that being different is a blessing. I transferred in from another institution as a Sophomore, and after the very Sophomore year I declared a leave of absence, during which I had to fight a strenuous financial challenge that faced my family. What I thought was going to be a halpless path to a life unexceptional, the three years of leave of absence actually taught me the value of failure and its indispensability to my growth.
"ILR is a place where there are so many people with so many great ideas and there are so many people wanting to do good, that's what makes ILR so special."
“Milton Konvitz inspired me to go into human rights. I then went on to become the Executive Director of Amnesty International, USA, and headed the Cambodia Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. All of my work has been related to what I learned in the ILR School over 50 years ago."
The ILR School was a high level introduction to learning what was known and what yet needed to be learned to create a world of universal prosperity through balanced power relationships. Because of ILR's strong personality, the challenges and the passions to meet them, converged.
"If I can contribute in any small way to student learning through my participation [ILR Advisory Council and Cornell University Council], I believe the endeavor to be priceless."