HIGH POINT, N.C., April 5, 2018 – High Point University seniors have positive news to celebrate. Data collected by HPU in accordance with the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) standards shows 96 percent of the Class of 2017 were employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. This is an increase from the 95 percent placement rate that HPU has produced for the last two years.
Along with these impressive results, a recent NACE Job Outlook 2018 survey shows that the Class of 2018 enters a healthy job market as employers say they plan to hire 4 percent more new college graduates than last year.
Already, many members of the Class of 2018 are launching careers across the nation, while others have been accepted into graduate school programs thanks to their journey at HPU.
Intensely focused on life skills education, HPU graduates enter the workforce with the characteristics employers want. Top companies, such as Google, recognize that life skills are the most valuable traits of their workforce (Google’s Top Characteristics of Success – 2013).
“High Point University offers each of us the opportunity to learn in a unique environment full of resources you rarely find elsewhere,” says Mikaela Campbell, a senior who has already landed a job at NBA Headquarters in New York. “Whether it’s our expert professors who come to HPU after building careers as the best in their field, or our facilities that are intentionally modeled after some of the most innovative companies in the world, a university of this caliber is rare. HPU students are well-rounded and instilled with the knowledge and confidence we need to thrive in this fast-paced world as we pursue postgraduate opportunities.”
Student success is also fostered by HPU’s holistic learning environment.
“Our students consistently succeed in the job market because HPU prepares the whole person,” says Dr. Stephanie Crofton, HPU’s vice president for experiential learning and career development. “Opportunities for learning always surround the student, and they may engage professors in deep conversation or through hands-on research projects.
“Most importantly, HPU prepares its students to engage with the world. Through, for instance, our study abroad and in-residence programs, our students interact with thought leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs from the arts, technology and global business. In short, HPU prepares students for the world as it is going to be.”
HPU’s Career and Professional Development Department has been ranked in the Top 20 Best Career Services in the Nation by The Princeton Review. Below are ways that HPU is preparing its graduates to lead lives of significance, as well as tips from the Career and Professional Development team on how graduates can succeed in today’s workplace.
Examples of How HPU Prepares Graduates
— Niche career fairs. In collaboration with numerous academic schools and departments, HPU’s Career and Professional Development team hosts small career fairs that target specific populations and majors while giving students a smaller and more personal opportunity to interface with employers who want to meet them. This comes as an addition to a large-scale career and internship expo held in the fall.
— Assists students in landing impressive internships and full-time jobs with companies such as Amazon, PwC, General Electric, the NBA, Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, BB&T, ADP, Ashley Furniture, Walt Disney World, Madison Square Garden, MLB, Pottery Barn, Gartner, Lenovo, SAS and many other prestigious companies and organizations.
— Increased internship opportunities. HPU engages parents, alumni and friends of the university in the new “Find One, Form One, Fund One” program. Participants are invited to identify an existing internship at their place of employment, create a new internship or make a donation to support stipends for students who need assistance with housing expenses while interning away from home.
— Current successful students serve as Peer Career Advisors, helping students with resume reviews, LinkedIn profiles and tips for finding internships during office drop-in hours. Student visits to the career center during drop-in hours are up 40 percent over last year.
— Organizes the annual “HPU in the City” fall break trip that takes a group of students to New York City and Washington D.C. for two days of employer site visits, information sessions and networking.
— Career Advisors don’t wait for students to come to them, they go to the students. The Career Team delivered more than 150 presentations to a variety of classes across campus during 2017.
Tips from HPU’s Career Team
— Video interviews are becoming more popular with employers because they save both time and money during initial screening of candidates. These are one-way interviews where applicants record their responses to prompts and are screened based on their digital first impression. Preparation and practice are essential to success.
— Prove your worth. HPU students are advised to engage “early and often” in career-related experiences outside of the classroom, with a focus on internships.
— Tap into employer referral programs. Many companies offer financial incentives to their employees for successful referrals, so connecting with successful alumni is an effective strategy.
— Get active on LinkedIn and download the new student app. Students are reporting success finding full-time positions through LinkedIn’s job board feature. When offered, the “quick apply” option allows students to submit a LinkedIn profile in place of the traditional resume and cover letter, making complete and compelling LinkedIn profiles essential. LinkedIn just recently announced a new app specifically designed for college students.
— Research your audience. HPU students research employers thoroughly before and during the interview process. With all of the online access to news, employers expect job candidates to be current on their organizations – what they do, who their competitors are, plans for growth, etc. Read recent blog posts and news releases, even on the day of the interview, and ask intelligent questions during the interview to reflect their interest.
— Questions matter. Asking questions is an often overlooked element of a successful interview. Be prepared with thoughtful, relevant questions to ask during the interview.
— Differentiate yourself. Students must know how to articulate their unique skills and experiences on paper, online and especially in person in an authentic manner.
— Never stop networking. It’s always in the best interest of students to keep conversations going with industry professionals. Informational interviewing is a great way to stay abreast of industry trends as well as create meaningful connections for future opportunities.