The Human and Organizational Performance (HOP) session featured Professor Tim Gardner and John Hamilton from the Career Management Center speaking to a group of just over a dozen of us.
Tim began by emphasizing how Owen is unique in its offer of HOP as an MBA concentration. HOP students learn to manage human assets versus the dollars and decimals of the more (perhaps) typical concentrations, to which other schools often restrict their curriculums. Owen’s own Allison May, Class of 2012, summed up the importance of and the place for HOP quite nicely in a previous blog post:
“[HOP involves] attracting, motivating and retaining top talent, and as the US shifts increasingly into a service-based economy (and, arguably, a brain-based economy), this is increasingly important.”
Back in Room 216, Tim painted a picture of how the HOP program is more than just the sum of its courses, of which Strategic Alignment of Human Capital and Leading Change are required and the electives—including such favorites as Negotiation and Innovation Strategy—number a total of fourteen. Instead of the usual classroom shuffle, HOPers consistently work in teams, conduct both in-and-out of class negotiations, and participate in live case studies, often allowing for independent study. This is not to mention the Human Capital Case Competition, an annual national case competition founded at Owen and sponsored by Deloitte, wherein industry executives judge teams’ abilities to solve real human challenges.
“Not just spreadsheets, homework, weekly quizzes, and a final exam,” said Tim.
To reiterate this point, he provided examples of real-world projects that his students had participated in and produced real change. Of these was a case where HOP concentrators had improved a well-known organization: Coca-Cola. This particular Owen team had evaluated and subsequently proposed a re-engineering of the soft drink giant’s worldwide employee referral program.
When John Hamilton took the floor he explained how both Owen’s HOP alumni network and its HOP club, the Human and Organizational Performance Association (HOPA), can offer support and guidance for students—especially to those new to HOP and HR.
In the audience sat Mitch, an admitted applicant who had traveled from Pennsylvania for the weekend. He sounded pleased with the presentation and the possibility of concentrating next year in HOP, particularly the flexibility and direction of the program.
“I like the fact that there are only two required courses,” said Mitch, “[and] it’s evident that there’s a huge emphasis talent management.”
If you have any questions or would like any more information on HOP at Owen, please click one of the links below: