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EMHRM program, "elevated my entire mindset as a business leader"

Laura Salvatore '20 VP of Human Capital at Centurion, shares how the program has changed her perspective.

Why did you apply to Cornell’s EMHRM program? 

While I had studied the fundamentals of human resources throughout my undergraduate program and spent close to a decade performing all aspects of the profession, I felt that I had reached the point in my career where I needed more tools to fully leverage my experience and better drive organizational change. A lot of the other HR master’s programs that I researched offered more of a summary or refresher of the general HR courses that I previously completed. Cornell’s EMHRM program was different in that it focused on the bigger picture, connecting the dots between the traditional function of HR to the broader company or business objectives, really enabling us to contribute to the organization’s success in a more meaningful way.

What are some highlights of the program?

All of the faculty at Cornell were outstanding. The past work experiences that the lecturers referenced and the invaluable research studies the professors shared – it made for an unparalleled educational experience. Additionally, Cornell’s vast network of alumni and executives from global organizations gave us insights and knowledge that we wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. Further, the unique perspectives and experiences that my fellow cohort members brought to our discussions provided for an incredible diversity of thought. Together, all of these program elements fostered a holistic and exceptionally valuable learning experience.

What was it like taking classes virtually? 

The online format is something that I appreciated and found to work very well. It was important for me to continue in my role at Centurion while also pursuing my studies, so this program really allowed me to have the best of both worlds. While there were deadlines in place to help guide our time, the learning was very much self-paced and enabled me to work according to my own schedule. Everything was well thought out, from the flow of the courses to the delivery of the actual course content. There was a good mix of assigned readings, videos, group discussions, and written assignments which helped to accommodate the unique learning needs and preferences of each cohort member.

How has the EMHRM program helped you in your current role? 

The program elevated my entire mindset as a business leader. Now, I always consider how the actions I take or the initiatives I want to implement can better help the company achieve its overall business objectives. The program provided me with the tools and resources required to effectively present my business case to management and secure their buy-in. But most importantly, it enabled me to earn a seat at the table and showcase the immense value that HR can add to the organization if given the opportunity.

What advice do you have for someone considering Cornell’s EMHRM program? 

If you are thinking about enrolling in the program, do not wait!  While I had contemplated pursuing my master’s in human resources for a number of years, I hesitated because I was incredibly intimidated by the thought of it. Once I actually began my studies I was sorry that I had not done it sooner.  The material is so relevant that you’ll easily be able to apply it at work, in real-time. There wasn’t a single course that I did not learn something from or see value in, and the same can be said of the people I was fortunate enough to meet and learn from along the way.