Subscribe to the HRD Blog!
Connect With Us On Our Social Networking Sites!
Live from Twitter

VU SHRM: Spring Wrap Up Event

On Tuesday, April 14, VU SHRM held its last event of the semester at Azie Restaurant in Villanova.  

We are looking forward to a great fall 2015 semester of VU SHRM programming, offering students a number of professional development events, webinars, happy hours and social events.

If you have any speaker recommendations or event suggestions, please email



Aronamink Country Club


This year the human resource development program at

villanova university is celebrating 35 years as the premiere

graduate studies program in the human resource profession.  We

are proud of our alumni, their contributions to the community,

and the continuing evolution of this dynamic program.


All donations from this event will fund an endowed

graduate fellowship for selected HRD students.  This

fellowship will be awarded to the students in our program who have

demonstrated strong academic abilities, community involvement

and excellence in their pursuit of a master of science degree in

human resource development from Villanova university.

Click to read more ...


Wired Wednesday: The Guide to Password Safety (And why you should care).

By Sharon Profis 

All too often, passwords are exposed. Instagram, Pinterest, Yahoo, and even Google accounts were compromised, rendering millions of online accounts vulnerable to third-party hacks. And that was only the most recent security breach.

Passwords -- especially those not supported by  two-step verification -- are your last lines of defense against prying eyes. This guide will help you understand how those passwords are exposed, and what you can do to keep them locked down.

How are passwords exposed?

Before we dive into the how-tos of creating secure passwords, it's important to understand why you need a supersecure password to begin with. After all, you might be thinking, "Who would want to hack little old me?"

There are a few ways your account passwords can be compromised.

  1. Someone's out to get you. Enemies you've created, exes from your past, a nosy mother, an intrusive spouse -- there are many people who might want to take a peek into your personal life. If these people know you well, they might be able to guess your e-mail password and use password recovery options to access your other accounts. (Can you tell I'm speaking from experience?) 
  2. You become the victim of a brute-force attack. Whether a hacker attempts to access a group of user accounts or just yours, brute-force attacks are the go-to strategy for cracking passwords. These attacks work by systematically checking all possible passphrases until the correct one is found. If the hacker already has an idea of the guidelines used to create the password, this process becomes easier to execute. 
  3. There's a data breach. Every few months it seems another huge companyreports a hacking resulting in millions of people's account information being compromised. And with the recent Heartbleed bug, many popular websiteswere affected directly.

What makes a good password?


Click to read more ...


Professional Spotlight: Mike McCarthy

Mike is the CEO of Life Sciences Executive Search & Talent Advisors LLC, a boutique talent and career advisory firm he founded four years ago. The firm provides executive search and recruitment strategy services to the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, and also offers career coaching to new graduates seeking their first role and executives seeking their next role.

Mike’s prior corporate leadership roles included Head of Global Talent Acquisition for Becton Dickinson, Director Global Staffing for Schering-Plough Pharmaceutical, and Director Human Resources for Lincoln Financial Group and Fidelity Investments. Mike began his HR career at Unisys Corp after receiving an MS in Human Resource Development from Villanova University. He also possesses a BS in Criminal Justice from West Chester University.  He resides with his family in Doylestown, PA and Cape Cod, MA.

Q: What is a typical day at work like for you (e.g. activities, people you encounter, travel, etc.)?

A: Up at 5:15am, quick workout, check websites of 1-2 local and 3-4 major newspapers and key biotech/pharma sites, get kids off to school, grab a Dunkin Donuts coffee, speak with or travel to meet and network with a little life sciences CEO, CFO or CHRO, assess life sciences industry talent I may also meet, and actively manage the executive searches I’m performing.

Click to read more ...


May 2015 Graduation Weekend

As May 2015 Commencement rapidly approaches, we want to make sure you have all the information you need regarding the weekend events. Listed below are a description and timeline of Commencement Events.  In addition, there are a few items that require action from you (academic regalia and RSVPs for the HRD Pre-Graduation Reception).

Click to read more ...


Alumni Spotlight: Lucy Ohle

Lucy Ohle graduated from Villanova with her MS in Human Resource Development in 2014. She was a Graduate Assistant for two years and recipient of the Rohm & Hass Fellowship in 2013. In addition to being a GA, Lucy held two internships during her time in the program: first, as a Talent Acquisition Intern at ParenteBeard, LLC, and next as an HR Generalist Intern at Yoh, a Day & Zimmermann Company, both in Philadelphia. Currently, Lucy works as a Training Specialist at Aramark, where she works with the rotational Leadership Development Program.

Q:       When did you graduate from the Human Resource Development Program at Villanova and were you a student of the campus or online program?

A:             May 2014 

Q:       Why did you choose Villanova’s HRD Program?

A:             I was new to the area and the program was recommended by a few people. I checked it out and got to talk with Gina on the phone, and she was the first person in Philly who really felt genuinely nice to me, and that was the beginning of me being sold on the program!

Q:       What is your current career role? Could you explain some of your responsibilities?   

A:             Currently, I’m a Training Specialist at Aramark. I work specifically with the company’s new college-hire initiative, Accelerate to Leadership. We have over 400 participants in the program, and I get to help design the program elements, create and facilitate virtual trainings, and coach the participants on professional development. I love it! 

Q:       What is your professional background and how did that lead you to your current position?

A:             I actually have a background in the non-profit sector: I completed a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA after graduating from my undergrad, and then worked for a small community church. After moving to Philadelphia, I worked for an organization in the city that gives microloans to low-income women in the city to start their own businesses. Through these jobs at small organizations, I got to see functional and dysfunctional work environments, and the psychology of organizational structures really started to fascinate me. A mentor pointed me in the direction of HR, and I’ve never looked back! I hope to one day return to the non-profit sector, as despite the challenges I faced, I found the work deeply meaningful and fulfilling.


Click to read more ...


VU SHRM: Intermediate Excel Course

On Tuesday, April 7, VU SHRM hosted a free excel course for interested students.  Microsoft Excel is used in almost every industry in one way, shape, or form. Knowing how to use Excel and it’s formulas will give you an advantage over your co-workers, make you valuable to your company, and it’ll make your life easier. 

Instructor Michael Cunningham taught students a variety of intermediate functions and how they could be applied to the HR workspace using a sample employee database.  Some of the topics we covered were: fixing messy data (which is more common that you may think), removing duplicates, using the filter feature, pivot tables, and analyzing pivot tables and charts, COUNTIF function, and V-lookup. 

Students also learned about additional training available through Villanova, Microsoft Online or through Skillsoft.  If you are interested in obtaining an account to learn these things on your own, please email


Business Book Review: The Four Hour Workweek

This is our second month introducing this feature - Business Book Reviews.  Have a book suggestion that you want to read about?  Email us at

For the second book, we choose The 4-Hour Work Week, by Timothy Ferriss

There is so much to learn from The 4-Hour Work Week!  One of the first things you’ll learn is that the author, Tim Ferriss, is a pompous ass.  Fortunately for him, he’s also a very smart pompous ass.  If you can get past the conceited nature of his prose, you’ll notice that his intelligence, his courage, his vision, and his thirst to live a fulfilling life have driven him to find dozens of best practices that allow him to generate high disposable income while enjoying life to the fullest. 

            This is a great read if you’re trying to earn more for your hour worked, save time at work, and have more say on when, how, and where you earn your money.  The ultimate goal of absolute efficiency is to have the time (and income) to do what you really want to do for fun. 

The book is a quick read, but I would certainly take some notes while reading, because great advice and references are made throughout.  In one sitting, you could easily come about five great concepts and eight irrelevant concepts, and then forget to follow through with those great ones.

            Here are some of the most useful lessons to me that I learned from the book (in no particular order).

  1. What’s your biggest dream
  2. Don’t read your email first thing in the morning
  3. Remember the 80/20 rule
  4. Eliminate
  5. Stop multitasking

If you can handle his insufferable personality, a couple of other great resources are the blog and the podcasts.  You can find those here:

The blog of Tim Ferriss – Experiments in Lifestyle Designs and The Tim Ferriss show

Click to read more ...


Women's Day in Mozambique

Today is a celebration of women in Mozambique. According to the, "the yearly celebration of National Women’s Day of the Mozambicans was intended to honor one of the most significant women of Mozambique, Josina Machel. It is also a day for the people to pay tribute to the women and their contribution to the country through their campaign for human rights and fair treatment between the men and women." Throughout the country there will be events and celebrations dedicated to the equal rights and respect for women. 


Happy Easter Weekend!



Poll: Which Team Do You Predict Will Win The March Madness Tournament?


Recent Study Reveals Simple Solutions To Many Complex HR Challenges

A new study released this week outlines various simple, yet effective, solutions to address many common, but often complex, Human Resource challenges.

Click to read more ...


Country Spotlight: Brazil

As we' moving to a global marketplace, we have added a NEW monthly blog feature, COUNTRY SPOTLIGHT! 

This is our SECOND month and we chose to focus on Brazil, where we will share some of the employment and HR related information from the country of choice.  If you have experience in a country outside the US that you would like the share on the HRD blog, please email:

Brazil is the 7th largest economny in the world and has one of the highest inflation rates in the world. Workdays in Brazil cannot exceed 8 hours per day or 44 hours per week.  With 41 days of paid time off, Brazil is ranked the best country as far as vacation time!

Other Facts about Employment in Brazil:

  • Maternity Leave in Brazil is 120 days, which is equivalent to 24 weeks. We know that in the US, women get 12 weeks unpaid leave.
  • Brazilian employers are obliged to cover its employees’ transportation costs to and from work. 
  • All of the tax contributions amount to a total tax burden of almost 40% of the payroll for the employer 
  • Every employee is entitled to paid weekly rest of continuous 24 hours, preferably on Sundays.
  • A unique compensation practice to Brazil is the 13th Salary, which is a federal law that all employers must pay one extra month of salary per year as long as the employee has worked the previous 12 months, those who haven’t worked the whole year will receive proportional amounts.


Click to read more ...


We All Need A Backup 


Interview with Program Director, Dr. Bush

Q: Dr. Bush, what is your favorite memory of the program?

A: “Do I have to pick just one?!  I think overall, my favorite memory has been the students over the past 35 years.  There are so many amazing people that I get to work with.  It’s very interesting because I have been able to watch students grow up and become very successful professionals.  I can still remember the first day I met some of my students that have left indelible impressions on me, and I know where they are now, 20-30 years later!”

Q: What you are most Excited about for the 35th Anniversary Gala on May 1?

A: “For the 35th Gala, I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of our great alumni and student leaders come back – it’s the HRD Homecoming!  I feel like I have a bunch of kids who have done great stuff and I’m very proud of them, so I’m excited to see them and hear about their lives.  In addition, it’s a small group of people we have pulling off this amazing event, so it really is a testimony to how capabe these people are and the wonderful people we have attached to the program!” 

Q: What has been your proudest moment for the program?  

A:  “There have been a lot! It’s hard to pick just one.  I think one thing that I always am very proud of is when our HRD students win competitive scholarships.  The ceremonies are always very proud moments because other entitles are recognizing the caliber of people that we’ve had come through Villanova HRD.  In addition to the scholarships, it’s always great to learn about all of the internships that students receive, I’m very proud of them as well!”

Click to read more ...


VU SHRM Participates in the Northeast Regional SHRM Case Competition!

This past weekend, five VU SHRM members participated in the Northeast Regional SHRM Student Case Competition in Baltimore, Maryland. Pictured from left to right: Evan Guerdon, Raymond Ross, Courtney Kimbrough, Rebeca ParejaHecimovich, and Samantha Khan.

At this event, there were SHRM student chapters from schools ranging as far west as Kansas State University to as far south as Florida International University. In total there were 26 teams in all that competed against each other in the Annual Case competition. The competition included both undergraduate and graduate students who acted as consultants to solve an organizational problem for the fictional Central Columbia Hospital. Unlike previous years where the case was disclosed at the actual competition this year the case was given to the teams a few weeks ahead of time where they had only a few days to construct a paper and PowerPoint. On Friday the team presented to the “board of directors” and were judged based on the quality of their recommendations. After each team presented they awaited their results, which were to be revealed on Saturday morning. At 10 o’clock   next morning it was announced that Villanova was a finalist and that we would have the honor of presenting in a few short hours in front of all the students and a final “board of directors.” These final four judges were a panel of experienced HR professionals posing as the clients. In the end the winning graduate team was from New York University with Villanova coming in second place out of the 12 graduate program teams present. This year saw some great participation from different graduate programs across the country so walking away with a 2nd place finish is really an impressive showing from this dedicated team of ours.  We look forward to more success in the years to come at this amazing SHRM Case event.


VU SHRM Volunteers with Cradles to Crayons

This Wednesday VU SHRM members had the opportunity to volunteer with Cradles to Crayons in Conshohocken, PA.  This organizations collects all sorts of items that children might need. Their mission is to provide children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school and at play. They supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need. They are able to do this with the help of volunteers like us working together to collect, organize, and deliver the items they recieve in the warehouses in Boston and Conshocken. We spent the afternoon working together to sort hundreds of bags of donations from the local product drives. While sorting we also found out that Cradles to Crayons works closely with another local non-profit, Impact! Thrift Stores, where we volunteered this past September for Villanova's St. Thomas Day of Service. It was a great to work with friendly and organized staff at the Conshohocken warehouse! To find out more information about this great cause and find out how you might get involved click HERE to get their website. 


VUSHRM Lunchtime Webinar

This past Wednesday during lunchtime we were lucky enough to have Mike McCarthy come and speak to us on the topic of talent acquisition. Mr. McCarthy is currently Managing Partner of Life Sciences Executive Search & Talent Advisors and has had over 20 years of experience in talent acquisition and HR leadership. This is the second lunchtime webinar that VUSHRM has put on this year and we have received a lot of positive feedback. In total we had around 12 people log into this past weeks discussion and we look forward to having more exciting discussions about the world of HR in the future. If you missed the webinar click on THIS link to watch the recording.


March Madness

It is officially March Madness! Your Villanova Wildcats have had an impressive season to date that has seen them earn a number 1 seed in the East Region with an overall record of 32-2. Coming fresh off a Big East tournament championship these cats look ready to make some noise in this tournament. Last year the team earned a 2 seed only to lose their second game against UCONN. The fact that Nova hasn’t had much success recently in the tournament might scare some people off, but this team is tough, balanced and poised to make a run. My two big reasons for being so optimistic is that this team is far more balanced scoring  than years past and they finally have a big man in Daniel Ochefu. On the offensive end Nova has six different guys that average over 9 points a game, which means that even if some guys aren’t shooting well there are others on this team that can pick up the slack. Some critics will say that you really need a star player to carry your team in March like the way Kemba Walker and Anthony Davis have in years past, but having a number of options when things aren’t going your way is better than forcing that one guy to carry the load on an off night. Unlike past Nova teams that have been undersized and all guard play this team has a true big man in 6’11 Daniel Ochefu. The reason having a guy like this is so important is that not only can he rebound the ball well and guard the rim on the defensive end, but on offense he can pick up some offensive rebounds and give them a presence down low.

Click to read more ...


Happy St. Patrick's Day!