Four recent Elon grads earn credentials from world’s leading HR association

Lexi Thielemann ’23, Haden Cunningham ’23, Maddie Ohlweiler ’23, and Caitlin Busconi ’23 demonstrated their mastery of core competencies needed for today's human resource professionals by passing a springtime certification exam administered by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Four aspiring human resource professionals showcased an extensive knowledge of their chosen field before their May graduation when they passed a certification exam administered by the world’s largest HR membership association.

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Human resource management majors Lexi Thielemann ’23, Haden Cunningham ’23, Maddie Ohlweiler ’23, and Caitlin Busconi ’23 earned their Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional designation, described by the organization as the mark of a professional “prepared for the pivotal role an HR leader plays in transforming the workplace.”

The Society for Human Resource Management is the largest global professional association and network for HR professionals. Its certification program is based on the current HR landscape, focusing on the competencies and knowledge HR professionals need to lead in today’s business community.

Passing the SHRM-CP behavioral competency-based exam indicates a high level of human resources knowledge and understanding of how to apply that knowledge for any organization.

Ohlweiler said she is excited to begin her graduate studies this fall at Cornell University with a strong background in human resources and that she is aiming to become a leader in a field where “creating change increases equality for employees in the workplace.” She credited Associate Professor Brian Lyons and Associate Professor Brittany Mercado for helping to prepare her for the exam.

“Earning my SHRM-CP is an incredibly exciting opportunity because of the doors it opens professionally,” Ohlweiler said. “The certification will undoubtedly advance my career and give me an advantage in the job market.”

The Martha and Spencer Love School of Business’ human resource management major aligns with SHRM’s HR curriculum standards. Elon also hosts a SHRM student chapter that Lyons advises.

“These four students voluntarily chose to sit for the SHRM-CP exam, which assesses an aspiring human resource professional’s knowledge across six competencies,” Lyons said. “They passed this exam and earned their SHRM-CP, which signals to employers that they have knowledge, motivation, and dedication to succeed in their career.

“Research suggests that this certification matters, as employers continue to prefer or require it in HR-related job openings. I’m proud of them and their future employers are lucky to have them.”