uah shrm students 1st place winners 1

Samantha Mash, a senior management major with a concentration in human resources, and Elizabeth Espitia-Douglas, a junior human resources major, recently won first place in the “HR Games” competition at the Alabama Society for Human Resource Management (ALSHRM) Student Leadership Conference. 

According to both Samantha and Elizabeth, they never planned to even compete. “Dr. Mullins and I received an unexpected email from a state-level SHRM leader about the conference. A small group of us ended up attending last minute,” Samantha said. 

“We were encouraged to join the games as they were starting, so we walked into it not knowing what to expect,” Elizabeth said. Thankfully, they already had everything they needed to succeed. Both Elizabeth and Samantha cited their MGT 363 class, HR & Labor Relations Management taught by Dr. Mullins, as the reason they had so much knowledge for the game’s questions. 

The competition is set up similarly to a game of Jeopardy; students were allowed to choose their categories and topics for themselves. “I was surprised at the number of things I knew! Most of the questions are like ones you would find on the SHRM exam, so it really boosted my confidence about how I’ll perform on that in the future,” said Samantha. 

Elizabeth was also greatly impacted by their experience at the conference. “I got to meet a lot of people who are moving toward HR careers as well as others who have already established and are continuously growing their careers. After the conference, I switched my major from Management to HR!” 

Elizabeth and Samantha said the two biggest things that enabled them to win the games were teamwork and their education. “Teamwork was essential for us. Everyone was able to fill each other’s knowledge gaps,” said Elizabeth. “The College of Business prepared us to beat other schools. We have some phenomenal instructors there, and the games proved that my studying has paid off,” said Samantha. 

Elizabeth and Samantha offered some great advice for all College of Business students: “Join SHRM, or whatever club and organization best suits your interests! Speak up and be active, and get out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to try, and always find the fun.” 

In the future, Samantha plans to move to Huntsville and start her HR career. Elizabeth is interested in pursuing a Master’s degree and climbing the ladder to reach an executive HR position. 

Congratulations to Samantha and Elizabeth, and all the best for your future plans!