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Meet Dr. Lisa Burke-Smalley – Management, Human Resources

Lisa Burke-Smalley is Guerry Professor Management.  She earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior/Human Resources and a BS in Public Sector Management (Minor inBusiness) from Indiana University.  Career highlights include former students contributing at all levels in the private sector, U.S. military and in state government; a recurring National SHRM Scholarship established in her name by a former student; being inducted to the UTC Council of Scholars early on; and receiving the Guerry Professorship.

When asked what qualities make someone particularly successful in Human Resources and the challenges they will face, Dr. Burke-Smalley says to be successful one should communicate effectively to different audiences, create stretch goals, problem-solve and possess a strategic understanding of the business (see J. Zenger, “What Separates Great HR Leaders from the Rest”). Notable challenges for HR professionals include efficiently sourcing and integrating technology in meaningful ways, along with regulatory compliance.

Dr. Burke-Smalley says one of the best parts of teaching is staying in touch with students she taught decades ago, whether it be to learn of the family they’ve started, the career they’ve pursued or the differences in this world they’ve made.  The best advice she ever received was to epouse a healthy indifference to this world.  The best advice she can give to students is that a return on your education doesn’t come without investing in it and don’t be afraid to start at entry-level – that’s where you’ll learn the business and gain credibility as you progress.

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