The benefits of having a mentor are limitless – career advice, insight, friendship, teachings, connections and more. High Point University understands the power of mentorship. That’s why HPU surrounds students with caring heroes, models and mentors who connect with students as they prepare them to become future leaders. In celebration of National Mentorship Month, here are five ways students benefit from a network of mentorship at HPU year-round:
1. Student Success Coach
Every HPU freshman benefits from their Success Coach during their first year of college. Located in Cottrell Hall, home of the Flanagan Center for Student Success, Success Coaches serve as an academic advisor, life coach, university liaison and activities coordinator. They help students register for classes as a freshman, guide the process of transitioning to college life, and connect students with clubs, intramural sports and other campus activities, as well as with other faculty and staff mentors. Students can meet with their success coaches anytime to find out what courses to take, get more involved on campus, connect with the community for acts of service, and find their “niche.” Success coaches are also there to guide students who enter their freshman year undecided on their major through the Project Discovery process, a step-by-step program that helps students uncover their academic passions.
The role of professors at HPU goes beyond teaching in the classroom. By getting to know their professors, students can gain so much more than subject knowledge. A faculty mentor – especially one in the field a student hopes to pursue after graduating – can help connect students with other industry professionals, which greatly increases job prospects and opportunities. They can lend a listening ear and offer honest and positive feedback based on the student’s needs. However, a faculty mentor can also provide valuable “real world” insights, tips and tricks to stand out from the competition, and helpful recommendation letters for jobs and grad school applications.
3. Career advisors
Each student has a career advisor in Career and Professional Development who wants to get to know the student and assist them in their journey toward a fulfilling career path. The result is a 97% job or graduate school placement within six months of crossing the commencement stage. That’s 11 points higher than the national average. The career advisor’s approach includes many resources, all anchored by the Four Year Plan: a roadmap of steps students can take in their career pursuits from freshman year through graduation.
Career advisor can help students identify and understand their personality type; create, update and polish their resume; create an effective cover letter; establish a LinkedIn profile; find an internship; help them practice for interviews and more. Additionally, Career Peer Advisors, or CPAs, are successful upperclassmen. They have valuable advice and, as students themselves, can relate to their peers.
Students can begin their Four Year Plan by scheduling an appointment with a career advisor.
4. Peer development
Becoming part of the Greek community at HPU provides unparalleled opportunities for lifelong friendships and connections. When a student joins a fraternity or sorority, he or she is assigned a “big” – someone who mentors the new member and helps him or her acclimate to Greek Life. Their big is there to ensure they feel welcome and accommodated, answering any questions they may have about initiation or life at HPU in general. A big also journeys alongside their little throughout their time at HPU, providing friendship and fostering a positive environment for the student.
Greek Life at HPU serves as a springboard for philanthropy efforts and career preparation. Each sorority and fraternity supports a specific philanthropy on both the local and national levels. Because of this, Greek organizations like Kappa Delta and Alpha Kappa Psi complete thousands of service hours and raise tens of thousands of dollars for various charity foundations and relief efforts. Many employers want to see volunteer experience and a demonstration of teamwork in potential hires; going Greek helps HPU students stand out.
Like joining a fraternity or sorority, athletic opportunities at HPU offer friendship, teamwork and mentorship. Participation in club sports, for example, has surged since they were first launched in 2007. The club sports program now consists of 34 sports, including ultimate frisbee and equestrian, and attracts nearly 600 student-athletes a year – about one out of every eight students enrolled at HPU. Intramurals are also popular, with hundreds more student-athletes participating each semester.
No matter the sport – including HPU’s 16 NCAA Division I teams – the members on that team experience the same highs and lows as their teammates. Coaches push student-athletes to learn how to work on a team and become the best version of themselves. Teammates support each other and develop bonds that extend beyond the field. They mentor each other through hard times, and celebrate with each other with victories. It’s this cohesion that often gives students the willpower and mentorship they need to excel.