You wouldn’t know Alex Morhaim is a college student.
Sharply dressed with a real estate license and a firm handshake, he seems more like a seasoned broker ready to seal the deal.
But he is a college student – a High Point University senior, and he is a licensed realtor. He’s also an example of why students should be prepared to achieve success long before they cross the graduation stage.
The path from entering freshman to prepared senior isn’t easy – it’s a transformation. Like so many HPU students, Morhaim began his transformational journey as soon as he arrived.
Freshman First Steps
The President’s Seminar, taught to all freshman by HPU president Nido Qubein, offered some simple yet impactful advice that Morhaim took to heart: Have a roadmap for your life filled with short-term and long-term goals.
That got Morhaim thinking, mapping plans and making lists.
By the time he finished sophomore year, he had acquired business skills from several classes, as well as the confidence to take bolder, bigger steps. That summer, he cold-called realtors in New York and asked to shadow them on the job. One very successful realtor answered that call.
“I called a lot of agencies, but Mike Schumm, a top realtor in Long Island, called me back,” says Morhaim. “I was able to shadow him and experience the satisfaction he had in his career. It was my first introduction to the real estate industry and confirmed early on that it was an industry I wanted to be part of.”
Charting Career Paths
As a junior, he dove into his marketing classes with Dr. Cynthia Hanson, scheduled many career advising sessions with Eric Melniczek in the Office of Career and Internship services to create a strong resume, and begin collecting letters of recommendation from professors that would aid him in his next venture.
By the time summer 2014 arrived, he had landed a real estate internship in one of the country’s hottest markets – Miami, where the prices of homes have soared 9 percent in the last year and average rent is $2,200 a month.
He worked with South Pointe Drive Realty and real estate agent John Lennon (yes, John Lennon is his real name). And Morhaim had a special admiration for him beyond his famous name and real estate career.
“My cousin had worked at the agency but passed away unexpectedly the day I was supposed to begin the internship,” says Morhaim. “It was a very hard time for our family, but I stuck with the company in honor of his legacy and was even able to complete the work he once began.”
Morhaim learned a lot of lessons that summer – how to channel his grief into something positive, and how to be a professional in the workforce at the same time. He also aced the exam to gain his real estate license, which has a 50% first-time fail rate.
He honed in on his business marketing and selling techniques he had gained from class, and learned a valuable lesson from Lennon: “He taught me how to build relationships with clients and establish trust. Listen to what they want, and then deliver.”
Prepared for Life
All of those things, guided by the education he received from HPU and the personal initiative Morhaim took to achieve it all, have led him here.
The day he began his senior year, he already had an offer from South Pointe Drive Realty to join full-time after he graduates in May.
When he goes back to the shores of Miami, he’ll have ample opportunity to use his skills in consumer behavior, sales, business communication and more. But in reality, he already has. And in reality, he’s a soon-to-be-graduate prepared for the world of tomorrow.
“From gaining the soft skills people often overlook, to talking to my professors one-on-one and making presentations in their classes, everything at HPU has prepared me for the future.”