Human Resource Management, Operations, and General Management MajorsLara Weisbach-2016 Student Gallery Winner

"IUP truly has gone beyond my expectations. My experiences here, the people I have met, and the knowledge I have gathered have prepared me well for the future. But, I think the most important gift IUP has given me is the ability to take myself beyond my own expectations. I've done things I never would have dreamed of and have paved a path for myself that no one saw coming. I couldn't have done it without the support of the Eberly faculty, staff, and students. I will be forever proud to say that I am an alumna of this great school."

Coming from a town in Eastern Pennsylvania, Gilbertsville, IUP was not a common college to choose when I was about to graduate from high school. For my graduation project, I chose to job shadow my father, who is a district sales manager for a retail company. I had known I wanted to go into business from my experiences in DECA, I just didn't know what I wanted my major to be. After shadowing him for a few months, I realized that I really enjoyed the human resources functions of his job. So, once I knew my major would be human resources, I started looking into colleges that offered it and had good programs. I looked into and visited quite a few, but when I came to tour IUP I fell in love with the campus. I visited during the fall, and IUP was exactly how I had pictured college my whole life. It was an instant match.

Through being in the Business Honors Program, I was able to meet a lot of great students who have become my very close friends. I've also been lucky enoughthrough being in the Management Departmentto be taught by a lot of great professors who had a wealth of knowledge and real world experiences to share. I also visited Washington, D.C., had the opportunity to work with many foreign students, presented at the Undergraduate Scholars Forum, became a certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt, visited a Walmart Distribution Center, heard various speakers with human resources and operations management backgrounds, volunteered for many community service opportunities, and organized and attended a sexual harassment awareness training.

I've been an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for the past few years. I even served at the president for a semester, but had to step down due to an internship opportunity that would take up all of my time. Since then, I have continued to help guide the current officers and participate in as many activities as possible. The club has grown significantly since I joined, and I met a lot of people through it. Being a member of SHRM has presented me with a lot of opportunities and helped me grow professionally; it even helped me to get my first internship.

Looking back on my time at IUP, I have had so many great experiences that I'm grateful for. I strongly encourage all the high school students I speak to when I return to my hometown to consider IUP if they are electing a business major. I can't share enough about how IUP has contributed to the person I am today.

Lara is currently employed by Accolade, Inc. in Plymouth Meeting, Pa. as HR coordinator (as of May 2016).