Human Resources in Technology students to spend spring break in Silicon Valley

February 27, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Fourteen students in Penn State's School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER) will travel to Silicon Valley during spring break as part of a special topics course, LER 497 Human Resources in Technology. This four-day trip will provide students an opportunity to engage directly with engineers and human resource leaders in tech to gain a unique insight into a dynamic and growing industry. 

The class was first provided in the spring of 2017 by Sumita Raghuram, associate professor of LER.

“Human resource management has to be contextualized,” said Raghuram. “Manufacturing is different than software. A major role of HR has been to build employee commitment and reduce turnover; however, the average time an employee stays with a tech company is three years and organizations have to work with this reality.” 

Raghuram and Kim Plummer, LER career counselor, will accompany the students to provide additional insights and work directly with recruiters while the students tour HP, Google, Reddit, Uber, Box and Intel. Students will hear from company representatives about what keeps employees motivated and draws them to these companies.  

“There is a lot of potential for HR-trained students to work for the tech companies or start-ups who are not always HR-savvy,” said Raghuram. “The tech industry is maturing.”

Students undergo eight weeks of instruction as part of the course before they visit Silicon Valley. The course prepares them in understanding the type of unique issues confronting this industry.

For more information, please contact Kelly Foster, communications coordinator at LER, at or 814-865-5425.

Last Updated February 28, 2019