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Holly Harmon Headshot

Holly Harmon

MILR '23

Ithaca, NY

Human Resources and Organizations


Why did you choose the MILR program?

I chose the MILR program due to its reputation as the top program in the field of industrial and labor relations. As a passionate human resource professional, I wanted to gain my master’s degree at a program that would push me to be the best version of myself and provide me with the skills and knowledge needed to impact the organizations I joined in the future. This program is well known for developing exceptional labor and human resource leaders that set the standard of excellence in their fields. I was drawn to the vast potential provided to the individuals who choose this program and the real sense of pride and community MILR students exude.


What is your favorite part of the MILR program?

My favorite part of the MILR program is that you can elevate your life in just two short years. In two years, you are able to dive into a curriculum that supports your growth into the most impactful labor or HR professional you wish to be. Your peers push you and support you, and their diverse experiences allow for engaging discussions on the most pressing issues in our field. The program is led by faculty who are leaders in their areas of expertise and who teach, mentor, and support the MILR students in this program. There are so many unique paths students can take to align their experience with their goals such as taking courses in other colleges, joining student groups, or even completing research. The environment that has been developed at this program is one that supports your evolution into being an impactful changemaker and this is due to the peers, faculty, and opportunities available at this program that are not available anywhere else.


What is your favorite class?

It is difficult to choose just one course that has been my favorite. I have completed courses ranging from design thinking to strategy and finance, all of which have provided me with a greater level of knowledge that I could equip in various business situations. Professors such as Professor John Haggerty and Professor Chris Collins have taught some of my most impactful classes that challenged my understanding of various concepts and pushed me to be more strategic, impact oriented, and intentional with my actions.


What is your favorite part of Ithaca?

My favorite part of Ithaca would be the Ithaca Commons, a long lively walkway with stores and restaurants on either side. Whether you wish to get food from the unique and celebrated restaurants and bakeries in the area or step into whimsical and fun stores, that part of Ithaca is a must see!


What advice would you give a prospective student?

My advice for a student coming into this program would be to dive right in and become comfortable with being out of your comfort zone. Two years goes by very fast in this program, and to get the most out of it you will want to arrive at this program with an open mind, ready to step into your MILR community, and focused on achieving your unique career goals. With any major change or new chapter there will be feelings of being uncomfortable, but this is normal and expected. We grow more when we are taken out of our comfort zone, and to be the best you you can be it is necessary for you to embrace this experience fully, try new things, and push your comfort level.


Summer Internship Company/Location?

I completed my summer internship at PepsiCo in a dynamic corporate and field role. I lived in Hoboken, New Jersey right across the river from Manhattan and split my time supporting a corporate HR for HR team from Hoboken as well as driving into Kearny, New Jersey to help as a HR Business Partner in the Field.


Highlight from Summer Internship?

My highlight from my internship happened outside of the working hours of my position. I was sitting at Pier A, a park on the river overlooking the Manhattan skyline in Hoboken, on a Friday night as the sun set. When I looked around the park where various families were gathering and enjoying the beautiful view, I could see various PepsiCo products being consumed across the park. It was exciting to see people at this extraordinary space on my day off gaining joy from the items my employer created. It takes a lot of work to get a PepsiCo product to a consumer, and it was exciting to be a part of the team during my internship that directly supported the PepsiCo workforce so it could carry out this process. Finally, it was just an impactful moment to be sitting across from New York City, enjoying an opportunity that I was able to experience due to my internship and my choice to join the MILR Program.


Do You Have A Full-Time Offer That You Are Accepting? 

I do have a full time offer and I am currently deciding what the next steps of my career will look like!


More about You

Prior Education?

My undergraduate degree was in Human Resource Management and Business Analytics at Western Michigan University.


Prior Work Experience/Internships?

Before coming to the MILR Program I was working in a learning and development role for the sales team at XPO Logistics. This was in addition to running an Etsy business, being a professional development consultant, as well as completing contract work for the Berkeley Research Group. Before these roles I had been an undergraduate student where I had completed an internship in human resource management and civil engineering while working on campus as a resident assistant.