HIGH POINT, N.C., April 26, 2017 – High Point University seniors have positive news to celebrate. In addition to their graduation approaching on May 6, data collected by HPU in accordance with the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) standards shows 95 percent of the Class of 2015 and the Class of 2016 were employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation.
Along with these impressive results, a recent NACE survey shows that the Class of 2017 enters a healthy job market as employers say they plan to hire 5.8 percent more college graduates than last year.
Already, many members of the Class of 2017 are launching careers at Fortune 500 Companies, financial firms, leading tech companies and businesses across the nation, while others have been accepted into prestigious law, medical and graduate school programs thanks to their journey at HPU.
Their success is fostered by HPU’s holistic learning environment. Below are ways that HPU is preparing its graduates to lead lives of significance, as well as tips from HPU’s Career and Professional Development team on how graduates can succeed in today’s workplace.
— Niche career fairs. In collaboration with numerous academic schools and departments, HPU’s Career and Professional Development team hosts small career fairs that target specific populations and majors. This comes as an addition to a large-scale career and internship expo held in the fall.
— Assists students in landing impressive internships and full-time jobs with companies such as Amazon, PwC, Smucker’s, Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, Furnitureland South, BB&T, ADP, Ashley Furniture, Walt Disney World, Madison Square Garden, MLB, Pottery Barn, Gartner, Lenovo, SAS and many other prestigious companies and organizations.
— Increased internship opportunities. HPU engages parents, alumni and friends of the university in the new “Find One, Form One, Fund One” program. Participants are invited to identify an existing internship at their place of employment, create a new internship or make a donation to support stipends for students who need assistance with housing expenses while interning away from home.
— Current successful students serve as Peer Career Advisors, helping students with resume reviews, LinkedIn profiles and tips for finding internships during office drop-in hours. Student visits to the career center during drop-in hours are up 40 percent over last year.
— Organizes the annual “HPU in the City” fall break trip that takes a group of students to NYC for two days of employer site visits, information sessions and networking.
— Career Advisors don’t wait for students to come to them, they go to the students. The Career Team delivered over 150 presentations to a variety of classes across campus during the 2016-2017 school year.
— Video interviews are becoming more popular with employers because they save both time and money during initial screening of candidates. These are one-way interviews where applicants record their responses to prompts and are screened based on their digital first impression. Preparation and practice are essential to success.
— Prove your worth. HPU students are advised to engage “early and often” in career-related experiences outside of the classroom, with a focus on internships.
— Tap into employer referral programs. Many companies offer financial incentives to their employees for successful referrals, so connecting with successful alumni is an effective strategy.
— Get active on LinkedIn and download the new student app. Students are reporting success finding full-time positions through LinkedIn’s job board feature. When offered, the “quick apply” option allows students to submit a LinkedIn profile in place of the traditional resume and cover letter, making complete and compelling LinkedIn profiles essential. LinkedIn just recently announced a new app specifically designed for college students.
— Research your audience. HPU students research employers thoroughly before and during the interview process. With all of the online access to news, employers expect job candidates to be current on their organizations – what they do, who their competitors are, plans for growth, etc. Read recent blog posts and news releases, even on the day of the interview, and ask intelligent questions during the interview to reflect their interest.
— Questions matter. Asking questions is an often overlooked element of a successful interview. Be prepared with thoughtful, relevant questions to ask during the interview.
— Differentiate yourself. Students must know how to articulate their unique skills and experiences on paper, online and especially in person in an authentic manner.