President Turned Professor

-By Meaghan McRee, senior and strategic communication major

Few people get to say that their university president is also one of their professors. But at High Point University, President Nido Qubein turns into “Professor Qubein” each week through the President’s Seminar.

For several years, freshmen at HPU have taken his seminar during the fall semester where they learn college transitional skills, financial literacy skills and the importance of giving back. Last year, however, Dr. Qubein extended his seminar to seniors, providing another type of seminar for those transitioning out of college and into the real world.

There is a definite buzz about the seminar among seniors. Students like senior Catherine Drury, who took Dr. Qubein’s freshman seminar and is now enrolled in his senior seminar, say the experiences were beneficial and unique – not typical by any means.

“Both seminars were great experiences and gave amazing insight and perspective,” says Drury. “The freshman seminar gave perspective in how to look at and tackle the next four years of college. The senior seminar is giving me a great appreciation for HPU and how to transition into the working world after graduation. I am looking forward to becoming a proud HPU graduate.”

Every Thursday at 9:45 a.m., energized seniors (including myself!) enter Phillips Room 120 anticipating what President Qubein is going to speak about. Topics thus far have included understanding life after college, positioning yourself for success, and communicating as well as managing relationships.

“Learning about how to position myself for success in terms of etiquette, workplace culture, and how to be the best person I can be based on my skill set has been the most insightful so far,” says senior Ashel Whitely. “The overall atmosphere here is laidback and incredibly intriguing. You are never bored when President Qubein is talking to you.”

For myself, President Qubein’s advice has been priceless, and I believe it is a class that seniors will remember and cherish for years to come. Advice that has stuck in my mind and that I am implementing into my own life is to always go into an interview with confidence and the ability to sell oneself in a positive light. You need to illuminate what you can bring to the table. Instead of just using terms such as “team player” have a situation that exemplifies that. Instead of saying you are good at dealing with conflict, highlight a situation that illustrates those traits. Most importantly, employers want someone with “character, brains and drive.” Being able to not only use those terms, but demonstrate them throughout the interview will guarantee a successful conversation and a promising job offer.

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