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Graduate Programs Blog

Graduate Programs Blog

Ralf Silva

Ralf Silva Headshot
MILR, '21
Ithaca, New York
Human Resources & Organizations

Why did you choose the MILR program?

I chose the MILR program because it is the pinnacle of all things concerning the workplace. Whether you are interested in labor or corporate HR, the wealth of knowledge at your disposal is distinct from any other program in the country. The MILR brand is unparalleled within the world of work as demonstrated by the litany of executives you will have access to and the copious Fortune 500 companies that recruit here. As a Human Resources and Organization concentration, there is no other place in the world better equipped and more committed to the study of work and it is evident when you realize the pipeline of talent that has emerged from this program.

What is your favorite part about the MILR program?

Without question, the MILR Community. Everyone I have met has been so genuine and has gone out of their way to welcome one another. Even though we are small in number we more than make up for it, in our depth and variety of experience. I have already learned so much from my peers and have been the beneficiary of their valuable insights both inside and outside of the classroom. Even though I have been here for a relatively short amount of time, I can tell the friendships I have cultivated will last a lifetime. The network of former and current MILRs I have developed will be a significant driver of my professional and social success going forward.

What has been your favorite class so far?

It is difficult to narrow it down to one class. For me, it’s a tie between HR Leadership: Views from the Top and Business Strategy and HR Finance. Each course has been paramount in my development as a HR professional and has vastly expanded my knowledge of human resource management. Furthermore, they are taught by two of the most experienced and knowledgeable faculty members in the MILR program.

Business Strategy and HR Finance provides you with a strong foundation in two of the areas necessary to be an effective business partner. As future HR leaders, this course equips students with the tools they need to be valued contributors in financial and strategic decision-making conversations. It is taught by John Haggerty who brings over 25 years of corporate HR experience, most recently as a VP of HR at GE.

Views from the Top destroys the notion that HR is simply the payroll person and displays the pivotal role good HR has on organizational success and leadership development. Prior to each class, you are given a case based on a scenario a former MILR has faced in their career. The topics consistently generate vibrant discussions and Professor Collins encourages us to play out these nuanced, high stakes conversations. These exercises, while challenging enable you to find your voice as an HR Leader.

What is your favorite part of Ithaca?

As an aspiring foodie, Ithaca is an ideal place to go to graduate school. Fun Fact: the town of Ithaca offers more restaurants per capita than New York City. From local breweries and famous wine trails to authentic Tapas dining and MexiCali food truck options, Ithaca checks off any craving you could have. It won’t be long before you are frequenting your favorites!! If you value traditional fast food options, Wegmans, Chipotle, Five Guys, Moe’s, Panera Bread, and many others are a short 5 minute drive from campus.

What advice would you give a prospective student?

The fall semester can be a stressful period of time as you're trying to land a summer internship. Everyone’s recruitment is unique and the stress can be amplified if you compare yourself to others. If things are not going as you envisioned, have a moment of introspection and remind yourself that you are at the best program in the world for what you want to do and that it is only a matter of time before you have that offer. Additionally, the companies that recruit from the MILR program value HR and want the best talent in their organizations--that is why they come here. Thus, there is no bad place to begin your career, what matters most is finding the best fit.

Where is your summer internship company/location?

This summer I will be working at Procter & Gamble’s global headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio as a Human Resources Management Intern within Employee Relations.

More about Ralf

Undergrad Degree: Business Administration and Applied Psychology at Ithaca College