Skip to main content

MHR Students Give Back and Get to Work

November  2014

View as a pdf

cannery workers

Last week 26 Huntsman School of Business Master of Human Resources students put away their text books and cell phones, gave back to the Utah community and learned what it takes to run an organization from the ground up by bottling, labeling, weighing and stacking more than 36,000 cans of beef chunks for the holiday season.

“These men and women are the future human resource leaders for top companies in the US and abroad,” Huntsman School of Business Management professor Tim Gardner said. “Instead of reading and talking about the stresses and challenges of factory work, I wanted these students to experience hard work first hand.”

The students volunteered for a full four-hour shift at the Ogden LDS Cannery. The cans they produced will be shipped across the state of Utah and around the world.

“No matter what these students end up doing for their profession, the lessons they learned today of giving back is the most important lesson they will ever learn,” Rick Payne, Ogden LDS Cannery foreman, said.

cannery workers

Professor Gardner got the idea for his Employee Relations class by reading a Wall Street Journal article on how country singer, Kenny Chesney, stays in touch with all of his fans by sitting in the upper bowl seats before every concert.

“When working in full-time human resource positions, these students will be asked to design programs to improve the engagement and quality-of-life for all the employees for which they are responsible,” Professor Gardner said. “I'm hoping this experience will help them design programs with the needs of the workers at the top of their minds.”

And although the class learned hands on about understanding all employees, Payne believes they also learned another important lesson.
“There is a true joy and satisfaction in working hard and giving to others, and I think these students learned that today,” Payne said.