EMBA Alumni Update: Cohort 7 - Bruce Belcher to Accept Promotion to Vice President of Human Resources for Circus Circus Las Vegas
“Transformational” is a word often used by alumni to describe their UNLV EMBA experience. For Cohort 7 member Bruce Belcher, the description literally became part of his job title. Belcher was the first person to hold the position of MGM Resorts International director of HR transformation. After only a year in this position, this December, Belcher will officially accept a promotion to vice president of human resources for Circus Circus Las Vegas.
Rising through the company’s ranks of human resource positions, Belcher made the jump from working for MGM Resorts’ individual resort-casino properties to the corporate office in December 2015. Currently, as director of HR transformation, he oversees the development and implementation of companywide HR initiatives that support a new human resource business model for the company.
Presently, MGM International’s individual properties operate independently in regard to human resources. The HR transformation will eventually further empower property-based human resource departments to focus more on the “talent-development” of employees, while the more administrative-focused functions will be conducted at the corporate level.
The creation of a new business model for a company the caliber and size of MGM Resorts International is an opportunity tailor-made for Belcher.
Belcher began his career with MGM Resorts International as an intern while pursuing his Hotel Management degree from UNLV. Since 1998, he served as slot operations manager, human resources manager and compensation manager for MGM Grand Hotel and Casino; human resources manager for The Signature at MGM Grand, and director of employee relations for Luxor and Excalibur. Shortly after completing the UNLV EMBA program, he moved to the position of director of human resources for ARIA Resort and Casino.
Belcher gives credit to his success in large part to the value of an EMBA education. “Human resources within the gaming industry is a highly competitive marketplace. There are limited layers at the higher positions. Obtaining an EMBA demonstrates commitment to learning and growing and a desire to bring that new knowledge and dedication to the benefit of your company,” said Belcher.
“My UNLV Executive MBA education prepared me to meet the challenges of my current position head-on,” said Belcher. “There’s no single route to take you to the top of your next opportunity, but work experience alone doesn’t always provide the needed skills, credibility or recognition.”
For Belcher, dedication and commitment doesn’t manifest itself in strictly job-related tasks. He considers it his responsibility to mentor younger or less experienced professionals. “I’ve been fortunate to have great mentors throughout my career,” he said. “It’s my honor to pay it forward.”
Belcher encourages those who are up for the challenge to pursue a UNLV EMBA. “It’s easy to become sheltered in your own industry. A good EMBA program will test existing conventions. A great EMBA program, like UNLV’s, will change the way you think about the world,” Belcher said.
As a graduate of one of UNLV’s earlier EMBA sessions, Belcher is inspired by what he sees as a continual evolution of the program. “I’m extremely proud of my UNLV Executive MBA degree, and I’m constantly impressed by not just the program but the accomplishments of fellow EMBA alumni. I want this program to be available to many, many generations to come,” added Belcher.
Belcher’s best advice for prospective UNLV EMBA candidates: “Do it for the right reasons. Do it because you value the education and the experience.”