8 April 2021

Lauren Maher, MSc in International Human Resource Management, shares her experince and thoughts on her recently attended, virtual Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Scotland Student Conference 2021.
Women sitting at a table using a laptop

The CIPD Student Conference is an annual event put on for students and aspiring HR professionals. This year, the event took place on Saturday, 20 March and was the CIPD’s first time hosting an entirely virtual experience. As an MSc International Human Resource Management student, it was great to have the opportunity to attend it!

This year was focussed on the themes of self-care, mindfulness, and personal development. I’m passionate about all thers topics, so it was exciting to learn about them in relation to the HR profession.

9:30 Mindfulness

The day started out with me making myself a coffee and heading over to my laptop to catch the introductory session led by Ashleigh Halpin, HR and Mindfulness Consultant of Imperium Mindfulness.

The session covered the many benefits of mindfulness and was followed by a guided meditation. As a yogi and meditation enthusiast, I enjoyed learning about how transferable mindfulness is to the business world. It is a great skill to have, both in the workplace and outside of it!

09:55–11:10 Keynote Session

The topic of the keynote session was “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. It was hosted by Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of CIPD, and Eugenio Pirri, Chief People and Culture Officer of Dorchester Collection.

This session was very insightful and provided me with an excellent overview of what is currently happening in the field, and how we as HR professionals can positively impact others.

11:30–14:35 Breakout Sessions

After the keynote session, we chose which sessions we would like to attend for the afternoon. I ended up selecting:

  • "How self-care can help you achieve your goals" — hosted by Sabrina Ellis, Director of Operations and Wellbeing at Gethynellis.
  • "Developing your credibility and influence" — hosted by Barry Hayes, Transforming Talent and Employer Branding Strategies at LinkedIn.
  • "Keeping you future-fit- continuous professional development" — hosted by Ciprian Arhire, the Senior Consultant Future of HR at Capgemini.
  • "What next? Your HR career path" — an inspiring panel discussion from the perspectives of other working HR professionals.

I gained many insights from these valuable sessions, hosted by some incredibly knowledgeable speakers! One of the perks of the event being virtual is that we have access to the session recordings for up to 90 days, so we have the opportunity to watch the sessions that we were not able to attend live.

14:40–16:15 Closing Keynote and Networking Event: Happiness

The event came to a close with a highly motivational and engaging session on happiness hosted by Stephanie Davies, the Head of Happiness and Founder at Laughology.

This was followed by a Zoom networking event, where Pippa Blessett, the Founder of ExceptionalZebra.com, taught us some valuable networking tips and tricks that we were able to practice in small breakout rooms.

Thank you to CIPD Scotland for putting on the event and to all of the fantastic speakers. It was a great way to spend my Saturday and I ended the day feeling very inspired and motivated for my future career endeavours!

Lauren Maher

Lauren Maher is from Chicago, IL (USA) and is currently working towards an MSc in International Human Resource Management.