Balancing Act: At HPU, students combine academics and professional experiences

High Point University emphasizes the importance of experiential learning to students in every classroom and every corner of campus. From service learning courses to projects that place students in the professional world, HPU’s faculty and staff make sure students have hands-on, real-world experiences under their belt before they graduate. That example leads many students to take on even more challenges themselves, including junior Briayna Cuffie.

Cuffie isn’t afraid of being busy and her schedule shows it. This semester alone, Cuffie has three different internships in addition to her classes, service projects and work. She is working with the Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau in their marketing department, will provide marketing and public relations services to local businesses through Braathe Enterprises starting in March and is in charge of social media campaigns for a new travel website. Cuffie says her inspiration to accomplish it all came from the people she met at HPU.

“I had friends here at HPU who really inspired me. They have such drive for what they do. They are always busy, but they still managed to do it all.”

Cuffie, an international relations major, says she wants to work in the communications department of an international company when she graduates.

“My major allows me to use my language skills, and I really enjoy engaging with people,” says Cuffie. “These internships are giving me the additional hands-on experience I’ll need to be successful.”

Cuffie says she wouldn’t have been able to secure these opportunities if it weren’t for the experiences and support she received at HPU.

“My advisor, Dr. Mark Setzler, associate professor of political science, has really helped me explore my wide set of skills and set a direction for myself,” says Cuffie. “I’ve also gotten a lot out of working for the Campus Concierge. We communicate with a wide variety of people every day, and it has helped me hone my professional speaking skills.”

Cuffie graduates in May 2015. She plans to launch a career in public relations and communications after graduation.

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