When Cara participated in the EMHRM program, she worked for General Mills as the HR Systems and Process Effectiveness Lead. Since receiving her master’s degree, she accepted a new role as the Director of Product Marketing and Employee Workflows at ServiceNow.
How did you decide to come to Cornell for the EMHRM program?
The challenge was balancing my need for flexibility – I didn’t want to interrupt my career momentum or move cross-country – with my desire for a high level of rigor. At the end of the day, I entrusted Cornell with my investment for two reasons: its top-tier academic reputation and my respect for colleagues and friends who are alumni. I still feel humbled to be a part of this community!
What are some highlights of the program?
The program content and instruction are excellent. While I was sometimes surprised by the topics I enjoyed the most (looking at you Financial Statements!), every course was compelling, and the overall program felt very cohesive and effectively phased. I was equally impressed by the professors, eCornell instructors, advisors and HR industry leaders involved in the program.
The other highlight was unquestionably the on-campus session in Ithaca. Seeing the beautiful campus, bonding with cohort members and faculty and interacting with industry leaders enriched and energized my experience of the program.
Describe your experience of working online.
Like many, I have a full life and two young kids, so being able to work online and set my own schedule was critical. Once I got calibrated to the rigor of the program, I settled into a routine that was often 1-2 hours of work each weeknight with longer stretches on the weekend. While it was intense, it never felt monotonous given the blend of readings, videos, discussion boards and projects. On the social front, although I sometimes wished we could have in-person study sessions and happy hours, our cohort gelled quickly and was incredibly close by the end.
What is some advice for someone who is looking to do the EMHRM program?
Run far, far away if you are looking simply to check a box and add a master’s degree to your resume because this program demands both passion and grit. Say goodbye to your Saturdays and assemble your village of support because you will not be able to do it alone. It’s also one of the most stimulating and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
How has the program helped you in your current role?
I didn’t enter this program to get a promotion or as a catalyst for a big career move, but the accomplishment is a constant reminder of my capacity, drive, and ability to compete on an elite level. It ended up being the exact “breath of fresh air” I was looking for, and I find myself drawing on learnings from the program daily. And! As or more important than that, I have a new community of life-long friends and colleagues.