Bringing the human side to business

Holly HarmonHolly Harmon

Senior Holly Harmon has had one goal since transferring to the Haworth College of Business: to positively impact as many people and communities as possible in her lifetime. As a human resource management major, she believes that starts with helping businesses invest in their most critical resources—their employees.

“Human resource management is the perfect blend of organizational psychology, political science, business and sociology—all areas I find extremely interesting,” Harmon says. “To have a successful business, one must be able to recruit, interview, hire, train, retain and sometimes terminate employees. Human resource management teaches you just that­—the human side of running a business.”


Harmon explored many different business schools, but ultimately chose the Haworth College of Business because of its endless opportunities and supportive environment. “After touring campus and hearing about the ways WMU continues to support its students, I knew it would be my next higher education destination,” she says.

Since making that decision, she has been able to take advantage of numerous opportunities to gain real-world skills while helping others. From participating in professional conferences, to leading student organizations, to volunteering and beyond, Harmon is having a “truly transformative” college experience—and learning about the human impact of human resource management along the way.


Harmon is drawn to the strategic role that human resource management plays in workplace culture and environment. She is also passionate about representation in business, an interest she hopes to pursue one day through a career in human capital consulting. “There are many voices not being heard in certain areas of business, and there is much work to be done in regards to this,” she says.

For these reasons and more, Harmon was selected as a Forbes Under 30 Scholar for 2019. As part of the honor, she will receive a scholarship to attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit, which takes place Oct. 27-30 in Detroit, Michigan.

As a summit attendee, Harmon will join the brightest young leaders and mentors for four days of accelerated networking, learning and community building. Scholars participate across a variety of content tracks and will have access to notable speakers including Athlete and CEO Serena Williams, Actress and Activist Olivia Munn, ThirdLove Co-Founder and Co-CEO Heidi Zak, NBA All-Star and Entrepreneur Kevin Durant, Google Tech Lead Gary Linscott, Freshly Chief Marketing Officer Mayur Gupta, Actress and Filmmaker Sahana Srinivasan and many others.

“By being chosen as a Forbes Under 30 Scholar, I have the opportunity to expand my understanding of the world around me through the stories and lessons of the countless astonishing leaders who plan to speak during the summit,” Harmon says. “I am incredibly grateful and excited to be able to represent my college in such a positive and exciting way.”


In addition to the Forbes scholarship, Harmon says she’s grateful to receive support from the Haworth College of Business Dean’s Discretionary Fund and Department of Management to help offset the cost of travel to the summit. Funded by gifts from donors, the Dean’s Discretionary Fund covers registration fees for conferences and seminars outside of WMU, professional development fees, travel to academic competitions and other opportunities for experiential learning. This additional support will allow Harmon to attend the summit at no out-of-pocket cost.

“The support I have received through the Haworth College of Business has been so impactful on my life,” Harmon says. “Words cannot express how grateful I am to the college, the Department of Management and the generous donors who have provided me with support for this opportunity. The Haworth College of Business truly cares for and looks to invest in its students and their personal and professional growth.”