Todays guest post is from Robin Schooling. You can meet her at our State Conference this year. Otherwise a bit about her...
Robin Schooling, SPHR, is an HR Leader in Louisiana with 20 plus years of experience in a variety of industries and organizations. She writes at HR Schoolhouse and also contributes to the blog Women of HR. She’s an active volunteer with SHRM, ASTD and community organizations. A native of Wisconsin, she doesn’t miss the Midwest winters. At all. Well, OK - maybe at Christmas when there should be a lovely dusting of snow on the ground.
I’m so totally excited to be attending the Illinois SHRM State Conference in just a few short weeks. I’ve been asked to participate as a member of the Social Media Press Corps and am so looking forward to helping share content with a wider audience and spreading the word about great HR practices. But there are a few other reasons I’m excited to make the trip northward:
· I’m an HR nerd (wearing the badge proudly) and just LOVE sucking up all the knowledge and HR goodness I can. Yup; I’m one of those people who read HR/business books, articles and blogs on the weekend. And into the night. And highlight passages and make notes.
· I can’t wait to sample the smorgasbord of speakers and topics that are lined up for ILSHRM11. And I can sort-of speak as a conference veteran because I’ve gone to my fair share of SHRM state conferences in various states over the years (WI, FL, LA) plus a good number of national SHRM conferences. And yes, I can even admit that I work on the state conference planning committee for Louisiana (**)
· I’m so excited to hear what the keynote speakers will be unveiling for us in August. What’s up NOW in the fabulous brains of Ryan Estis, Joe Gerstandt/Jason Lauritsen and China Gorman? Not to mention the awesome concurrent session speakers.
· The last time I was at Drury Lane in Oakbrook was when I came to see my friend perform as a member of the chorus in “Oklahoma” (circa mid 90’s). Singing and dancing her heart out as a prairie girl during “Kansas City.”
And no - I didn’t drive 1,000 miles from Louisiana to attend a fabulous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical; rather, I drove down from Wisconsin. Therefore, reason #5…
· I get to come “homeward” and hang with some fabulous Midwest HR peeps. And sure, HR-is-HR-is-HR. We’re a global economy, we cross-borders, we zig-zag across the country, time-zones and social media channels to share knowledge, information and ideas. But….
There’s still a lot to be said for being back in the region where one, as the saying goes, ‘cut one’s teeth.” You know what I mean? We Wisconsin/Illinois HR peeps were always sort of simpatico. As much as we indulged in cross-border turf wars around the Packer vs. Bears, Chicago Hot Dogs vs. Brats, or Door County vs. Lake Geneva (oh wait… those were both chock-full-off Illinios peeps), we still had sort of this “we’re in this together vibe.” Am I right? chest bump. fist pump. bro hug.
Sigh. I’m getting totally nostalgic for our shared heritage. Cheap Trick. Gurnee Mills. Mars’ Cheese Castle.
But at the end of the day, all I know is this….I am going to get to hang with awesome HR professionals who are attending a conference because they want to learn, advance the HR profession, propel their careers and strengthen their professional influence. And at the end of a few short days crammed full of awesome HR content we will have made new connections and we will have expanded our individual and collective visions of what Human Resources is and can become.
And THAT – above all else – TRULY excites me!
(**) And if you have a desire to come sample the awesomeness that is New Orleans, April is the BEST time of the year. The 2012 Louisiana conference ends on the Friday of opening Jazz Fest weekend. If you can’t resist the thought of a little southern hospitality – please consider this your personal invitation to come check us out!