Welcome to the ILSHRM College Relations Newsletter for HR students, Student Chapter Advisors, and local SHRM chapters engaged in supporting students from college to career. Each month we will send valuable information about student chapter activity, SHRM information and deadlines, Director’s Q & A, and more.


Introducing the Saint Xavier University (SXU) HR Society

We would like to welcome the newest student SHRM chapter, The HR Society at Saint Xavier University (SXU). The SXU HR Society will help students interested in a Human Resources (HR) or related career field to network, develop and polish the skills they are gaining in the classroom, and give back to the community. Our mission is to connect students with professionals currently working in HR - while providing the students experience in the workforce and a friendly environment to share ideas.

Pictured from left to right: Roseann Bautista (Treasurer), Slawomir Klus (Vice President), Melissa Janicki (President), Maka Marzena (Member). Not pictured: Rebecca Shalack (Secretary).

The HR Society is sponsored by the South Suburban Cook Human Resources Association SHRM chapter and guided by two Faculty Advisors: Dr. Dayo Akinlade and Dr. Monica Gavino.

Hospitality Goes a Long Way at UIS SHRM

As many may know, Career Fairs can be exhausting for students as they make contact with several employers and try to make a great first impression. However, few realize how much recruiters put into marketing themselves and their entire company during these events. That is why the UIS student chapter of SHRM, alongside the UIS Career Development Center, hosted a hospitality room for employers during the Spring Career Fair held on February 16, 2016. The chapter wanted the employers to be as comfortable as possible so they provided a secluded space for recruiters to relax and grab a bite to eat, while also keeping the area private enough as to not disturb their down time.

This experience was so rewarding for many of the student SHRM members, as they were able to have one-on-one time with many of the recruiters and were able to start building professional relationships. They were also able to say they volunteered for a service that was much appreciated by both the recruiters and the Career Development Center. That’s not to say they weren’t able to indulge themselves as well by enjoying the catered food.

This event was also a great marketing opportunity for the chapter; many students were inquiring about the group on campus and what type of opportunities an organization like this could provide for them. The Career Fair and other events have helped market the UIS Student SHRM Chapter and increase student membership. The Career Fair hospitality room was an overall success for everyone involved, and the group hopes to be included again for events such as these in the future.

Editor’s Note: Author is Mackenzie Westlake, UIS Chapter Treasurer and Director of Community Relations and Development. The University of Illinois – Springfield (UIS) student chapter is sponsored by CIC – SHRM and guided by Faculty Advisor, Professor Donna Rogers Skowronski.

ONU-SHRM to Showcase Their Talent at SHRM Student Competition

The Olivet Nazarene University (ONU-SHRM) student chapter will represent Illinois at the SHRM Student Case Competition and Case Conference on April 1 – 2. The chapter is making their second appearance at the annual conference. The team placed second out of 22 teams in the undergraduate division last year. This was an amazing achievement because the event was held only two weeks after the chapter received its official charter.

Case Competitions are about a lot more than recognition and having fun. They help you learn, sharpen your skills, show off your talents, and build your resume – all while providing understanding of our profession.

Follow @ONUSHRM to keep up with conference activities. Tweet your support and don’t forget to #SHRMstudent. Good luck ONU-SHRM! We are rooting for you.

ONU-SHRM is sponsored by the Kankakee Area HRMA Chapter and guided by Faculty Advisor, Professor Andy Corbus.


Get recognized!

Did your chapter achieve its goals this year? The Student Merit Award Program is a way to share what you’ve learned and evaluate your chapter’s progress toward its goals. All chapters must complete the Merit Award application regardless of award eligibility. The application is due on April 15th.

Fresh Perspectives. Learning. Networking #SHRM16

Ready to learn and expand your network. Register for the 2016 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition program held in the exciting city of Washington D.C. on June 19 – 22. Offering 200 concurrent sessions, based on the SHRM Competency Model, and inspiring stories from keynote speakers, you’ll get the tools you need to advance your career.


Q: There’s been a bit of a stall out with the new leadership team, and the chapter has not been able to maintain momentum as planned. Do you have recommendations on doing things differently moving forward?

One of the hardest things for an advisor to deal with is watching the chapter face leadership, membership, and organizational problems. Student participation is usually high around the beginning of the school year then dies down for a variety of reasons; not managing classes and deadlines, involvement in other organizations, loss of enthusiasm and interest, or failing to live up to commitments. Your leadership team term in office is ending, and it is time for a fresh start. New officers and volunteers will accept leadership roles to turn the chapter around, but before you start making plans, here are a few suggestions to move your chapter in a new direction.

Step 1: Hold an officer transition meeting

Before new officers’ takeover, you should meet with the old officers to transition documents, project plans, financial and logistic information, and review the strategic plan and goals for the previous year. Discuss the major accomplishments and challenges, and evaluate the goals to determine which to continue, change or remove from the plan. Make this a fun activity to evaluate what your group did. Write the goals and the programs/activities planned on a large post-it note. Leave enough room for each member to vote on which programs and activities aligned to the goals, and to measure its effectiveness.

Step 2: Evaluate chapter operations

Participation is key for chapter success. Share metrics on membership commitment data – number of new members, program participation, and meeting effectiveness. The data should tell you a few things: 1) whether your recruitment efforts were successful; 2) were there enough opportunities for members to get involved; and 3) did the structure and frequency of your meetings work. Remember Board members also impact your membership, and it is necessary to evaluate communication between officers and the team dynamic.

Step 3: Chapter Presence

People follow organizations with a strong presence. SHRM has millions of followers on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook establishing its strong presence and a recognition as a leader serving the needs of the HR profession. As a student chapter, you should model that image, and establish a presence on campus for people to follow. What’s the old saying? You cannot know where you are going until you know where you have been. Knowing how your members view the chapter, and how other groups perceive you, will help enhance your image.

Step 4: New Board takeover

Now that you have the previous year information, what is next? Before the planning process begins, the board should focus on teambuilding. You should share your goals, expectations, strengths, and areas you want to develop while holding the position, and state how you can contribute to the group. Describe it in terms of your superpower that “it factor” that makes you unique. Knowing each Board member’s superpower will help establish accountability in the group. In addition, establish a process for working through problems. If a team member is unable to commit to a project, the process will help you work through the issue together.

Now, you are ready to move forward and start planning for the year. Good luck!

We would love your help spreading the message about what is happening in the chapters. To submit a story for consideration or ask a question, email
Letter from the Editor...

Hello and welcome to Illinois SHRM (ILSHRM) College Relations newsletter. My name is Nikki Bolden, and I currently serve as the College Relations Director for ILSHRM State Council. Over the next year, we will focus on providing students with resources and tools to gain insight about their path of interest, as they develop into future HR Professionals.

I am looking forward to helping you and your chapter. If you have questions concerning College Relations, please feel free to reach out to me at

Nikki Bolden, PHR, SHRM-CP - ILSHRM College Relations Director
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