The HPU Advantage

This story is featured in the Spring 2019 edition of the HPU Magazine. Discover below how HPU’s Phillips School of Business sets students up with real-world opportunities before graduation. 

She calls it her “first big business trip.”

Jessica Keys was a sophomore when Nestle USA paid for her flight to Arlington, Virginia. The Fortune 500 company wanted to interview her for one of three selective internship spots.

“I remember thinking, ‘I can’t believe this is happening,’” says Keys, a marketing major with a minor in sales. “But it was happening because everyone at HPU prepared me so well.”

Hundreds of applications had poured into Nestle for the internship spots. Keys stood out not only on paper, but in person, too.

So did Griff Caligiuri and Brandon Jusas.

It was December — months before HPU’s May 2019 graduation, when Caligiuri, an international business major, received a full-time offer from Accenture. The global company asked him to join their team as a consulting analyst as soon as he graduated from HPU.

And Jusas began his career on Wall Street after graduating a semester early.

These students are supported by an abundance of resources on campus — state-of-the-art facilities like the Tilley Trading Room, faculty with years of experience and partnerships that bring employers to campus.

These employers have seen how students in the Phillips School of Business value free enterprise, personal initiative and the entrepreneurial spirit. And they know how that benefits their organizations.

You’ll find these values celebrated everywhere on campus. They’re ingrained in HPU’s culture and in all 10 of HPU’s academic schools and 60 majors. The Phillips School of Business serves as the academic bedrock for these values.


Surrounded by Opportunity

The poster that hangs in Professor Larry Quinn’s office makes his students laugh. But they also know the meaning behind it.

In the picture, Quinn holds an umbrella under a downpour of rain. These words are printed at the top: It’s raining job offers.

Quinn is the chair of HPU’s Department of Sales and Marketing and advisor to the Professional Selling Club. The students who commit to his programs often receive job offers before graduation.

“We love showing students their potential,” says Quinn. “They have so much of it. They just need someone to help them understand that. And I tell students that if you work with our sales department — if you really stick to this program, you will find a great career.”

Caligiuri is proof of that. He secured full-time employment as a consulting analyst at Accenture months before graduation. As an international business major with a minor in sales, he points to Quinn as one of his top mentors.

“The support system I had at HPU contributed significantly to my professional development,” says Caligiuri, a Division I lacrosse player from Winter Park, Florida. “Balancing academics with lacrosse, volunteering and social life has provided me with exceptional interpersonal skills and disciplined time management that I couldn’t have developed elsewhere.”

Professors like Quinn coach students on what their career paths can look like. Not only do they have years of experience in the field, they also share industry connections with students through career events. At specialized career fairs for accounting, sales and more, major employers come to campus to interview students for job and internship opportunities.

Students compete nationally, too. Senior Mandy Engelman traveled the country with Quinn and her peers in HPU’s Professional Selling Club to compete and meet employers who serve as judges at the competitions.

Before Engelman graduated, the club traveled to New Jersey to compete. Engelman personally took home four awards — her arms are filled with them in a photo from the event. The HPU team also placed second out of 35 schools.

“Look at the sales labs and conference rooms where we practice in Cottrell Hall,” says Engelman, referring to the building where HPU houses its various professional development offices together inside an innovative facility. “These are resources the school provides so we feel comfortable going into a professional situation.”


Paving the Way for Their Peers

Jusas launched his career on Wall Street after receiving his finance degree from the Phillips School of Business in December 2018. Finance is the school’s newest major.

“We built it to respond to market demand,” says Dr. Steven Lifland, department chair. “Career opportunities range from the trading floor to real estate, wealth management and more.”

The summer before his senior year, Jusas interned at UBS Private Wealth Management in New York City.

On campus, he was a lead member of HPU’s Floyd T. Investment Club. Jusas and his peers met weekly to pitch how the club’s endowed funds should be invested. If the group agreed, trades were made, and students watched how the market affected the funds in real time.

They made decisions inside the Tilley Trading Room in the Wilson School of Commerce. A live stock ticker circles the room, and students use trading software throughout their courses. The total preparation he received at HPU took Jusas to New York to launch his career.

“HPU professors helped me prepare for interviews in this field,” said Jusas. “The most meaningful mentors I had at HPU would be Dr. Steven Lifland, Professor Tom James, and Dr. Jo Lacy. All three took a keen interest in my career pursuits and took time out of their schedules to help me prepare for interviews whenever I asked them to. I will always be thankful for their time and support along my journey.”

And it’s not only their personal success they’re creating. It paves the way for their peers, too.

When Keys arrived at the Nestle office for her interview, she met other candidates from big schools — Penn State, Ohio State and more. The selection team was impressed with her abilities and the way HPU students are immersed in professional development.

This summer, Keys, who hails from Herndon, Virginia, is working for the Nestle Walmart team in Rogers, Arkansas. She’ll assist the team with how Nestle products are marketed and sold in Walmart stores across the country.

She knows she’ll return with career-boosting experience. And she knows that in the future, Nestle will be likely to consider other HPU students, too.

“I feel like I helped break the mold,” says Keys. “It’s such a great platform for my first major internship.”

It’s not surprising. When they graduate, standing out becomes the norm for students in the Phillips School of Business.

“Talking to a CEO comfortably was a skill I developed at HPU, and this put my nerves at ease when going into selling competitions,” says Engelman. “We also bring in top sales professionals from major companies to teach us sales techniques and to get to know our program. Talk about an advantage.”

Students graduate with career preparation. But they also graduate with something more than that, too — the experience of being coached by caring mentors.

“Professor Quinn never failed to support us in any situation,” says Engelman. “I couldn’t ask for a better coach, teammates or experience at HPU.”


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