October 28, 2013
For quite a while now, Elise Carenbauer has loved the B&E. The Wheeling, W.Va., native received her bachelor’s degree in management in spring 2013. She was an Honors College student heavily involved with business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, the WVU Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and the Phi Sigma Theta Honor Society. Prior to her graduation, she was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society, which is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive at a school accredited by AACSB International.
But this story isn’t just about where she’s been. It’s about where she is now, and where she’s going.
After graduation, Elise traveled all throughout Europe with friend and fellow B&E alumna Maria Browning (accounting, ’12). But upon her return, she came right back to B&E where she began her master’s program in industrial relations in August.
“It’s great. So far, so good. I’ve been learning a lot,” Carenbauer said of her first few months in the exceptional program.
Although her cohort is still in its beginning stages of the program, her search for an internship is well underway. Students in the program are required to have an internship between years 1 and 2 of the program.
“We are supposed to start hearing back about offers from some companies soon. It’s a waiting process. I’ve applied for everyone who has come so far. I’ve had interviews with Eaton, PepsiCo and Marathon Oil for HR internships,” she explained. “I’m open to any opportunity I can get and I’m happy to learn more.”
Carenbauer is most interested in being a talent acquisition specialist for a large company. While she’s keeping her industry options open for now, she enjoys working with people and finding and interviewing talent, an interest that began in an undergraduate staffing and selection class.
“I would feel proud to hire good people that could really contribute to a company,” she said.
Carenbauer said that as an MSIR student, she has had to make some adjustments from undergrad.
“It’s a lot different than undergrad. You have to figure out if you can manage your time well enough to get all the work done and put in that extra effort. The job application process, networking events and internship search all take up a good bit of time while in grad school,” she explained. She said the professional development aspect required for success throughout the graduate program is like a job- on top of her school work and her actual job working as a graduate assistant for professors Frank DeMarco and Dr. Ajay Aluri.
“I’m helping with the Hospitality and Tourism Management program,” she said. “I research for (DeMarco and Aluri), help keep them organized, grade papers – whatever they need. With the recent switch from area of emphasis to a major course of study, it’s busy and exciting. It’s so fun to see (the program) developing.”
But despite the inherent business in her schedule, Carenbauer is truly enjoying her graduate schooling.
“The teamwork we do, the class bonding, it’s all great. The fact that companies come here specifically to recruit us, I think that really sets us apart from other programs,” she said. “I wanted to stay here (for graduate school) because I already knew and liked several of the staff and faculty, and I knew the program was great. It felt right to stay.”
Carenbauer feels that her combination of educational experience, work experience, participation in student organizations and international experience will be lucrative to prospective employers.
“I hope employers are impressed with my international experience, especially since the business world is so global now. I enjoy traveling and am willing to move, and I think that will be helpful in my career,” she said. “I’ve traveled through the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. We interacted with the native people there and were introduced to new cultures. Adapting is a great skill that I learned over there. It was a challenge, but fun,” she said.
Carenbauer, who said she loves talking with people and solving problems, feels that the MSIR program is adequately preparing her for future success.
“It’s been excellent for networking and learning what (companies) are looking for (in new hires). They’re trying to help us succeed,” she said. “I love the B&E. I like coming in and knowing so many people. All the teachers are so nice. It feels like a family here. I love how a lot of the alumni come back to recruit for MSIR. It’s awesome how many prestigious companies they’re at, and they want to come back and help us, which is great.”