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Matt Sumrack, EMHRM Class of 2020

Matt Sumrack

Nashville, Tennessee
Executive Master of Human Resource Management

Where do you work?

I work for Bridgestone Americas and serve as the Director, Enterprise Talent Acquisition.

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

I’ve spent most of my professional career in Talent Acquisition and was seeking a program which could deepen my holistic understanding of HR while complimenting the knowledge gained through my MBA. Cornell’s prestigious reputation, their intimate approach and the EMHRM curriculum were the main drivers in my decisions to choose Cornell for the EMHRM program.             

What are some highlights of the program?

The curriculum was specific and thought-provoking. While classes are condensed, there’s a vast amount of information that could be quickly implemented into my current day-to day operations. I also appreciated the on-campus classes and engagement with my cohort and faculty. The onsite visits provided the opportunity to develop deeper personal relationships while being able to actively engage in current issues and bring true thought leadership to these challenges. Lastly, the online discussion boards provided a platform for our cohort to expand upon information presented in classes; while providing a multitude of different examples for these topics across an array of industries. This was especially relevant for our cohort given the challenges COVID-19 presented to HR professionals. 

Describe your experience of working online.

The online experience provided me with the freedom to complete course requirements within my demanding schedule. I was able to participate in class discussions before work and complete assignments after putting my son to bed. The learning platform was easy to navigate, and the videos/content were rich with information. Additionally, the discussion boards enhanced the learning experience through sharing insights and perspectives with my peers.

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

If you are truly looking to deepen your expertise in HR, this is the right program for you. The knowledge gained from both the Cornell faculty and your respective cohort is invaluable and can be quickly applied to current situations you may be facing. The program is intense with the amount of information and content provided within 15 months but well-worth the time and commitment. I’d highly recommend applying to the EMHRM but ensure you have a disciplined mindset to balance work, school, and family priorities. 

How has the program helped you in your current role?

The program has helped me in my current role by becoming a more consultative business partner to enterprise leadership. I have a sounder approach to strategy and frameworks that better align to our organizational outcomes, which in turn enables my talent acquisition team to better identify talent that will enhance these objectives. Through these actions, we continue to enhance the brand of not only talent acquisition but the overall HR function.