Finding an open door: Jordan Chopp’s ambition towards education

Contact: Amy Coughenour

Jordan Chopp

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—With time, the perfect opportunity will show itself when least expected. Senior Jordan Chopp, from Lawton, Michigan, wasn’t always in human resource management. When Chopp originally began his college career, the time wasn’t right, and he made the decision to leave to work full-time. Years later, after meeting his wife who was a student at Western Michigan University, he decided to take a chance on education again and found what he was most passionate about.

“During my time at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, I started a new job that had a human resources department,” he says. “Going through orientation at my new employer really intrigued me into what human resource professionals did daily. I spoke frequently with the representatives in the department and learned more about what human resources does. It immediately captured my interest, and I knew that it was something I was going to want to do forever.”

Coming from a large family of ten people, working with people was a natural talent for Chopp.

"I feel like my background allows me to be a successful human resource professional because many of the job responsibilities include coaching, encouraging and helping to build a functional workforce—all of which are interpersonal skills that I am good at,” he says. “I thoroughly enjoy meeting other professionals in the same career field and networking with them to bounce ideas off one another. It truly is a unique profession and is often not understood or appreciated enough.”

Older than many of his fellow classmates, the decision to go back to school has allowed Chopp to see education from a different perspective. It is also a chance to learn from others and for others to learn from him.

“From a student perspective, I would consider myself a non-contemporary student as I am a little older, work full-time and have a family,” he mentions. “That said, I did a lot of group work with many wonderful people that were generally a little younger than me. I felt that this was a way to exert some leadership when it came to ensuring the academic work that the group completes is of the highest level while providing some life advice, as well.”

Wrapping up his final semester at Western, Chopp will be continuing his education at the University of Illinois in their Master of Human Resources and Labor Relations program in the spring of 2023. The decision to take his education a step further wouldn’t have happened without the endless support of faculty members at WMU Haworth.

The mentors that Chopp has credited to his excitement for graduate school and human resource management are Dr. Christina Stamper, professor of management, Dr. Chen Wang, assistant professor of management, and Dr. Jennifer Palthe, professor of management.

“Throughout my time at the college, I’ve had a few great mentors. Dr. Stamper was instrumental in helping me decide on where to attend graduate school and the type of degree I should pursue. Dr. Wang was also very supportive in helping me decide on where to attend graduate school, along with Dr. Palthe,” he says. “The support I received from them was truly fantastic and I will not forget it.”

So where does Chopp envision himself after completing his education? His career goals are set high.

“My future goal is to work as a vice president or director of human resources at a large organization, such as Amazon, Google or Nike, and help build or maintain a culture of excellence amongst their workforce.”

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