This story is featured in the Fall 2017 edition of the HPU Magazine. Discover below how HPU’s Office of Career and Professional Development help students find successful internships.
This past summer, Cassandra Diaz completed an internship with The Madison Square Garden Company where she developed integrated media plans for MSG brands, including Radio City Music Hall and the WNBA’s New York Liberty.
Diaz, a junior sport management major, adds this experience to her resume alongside a list of past internships, including a summer spent with the Greensboro Swarm, an affiliate of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.
After only two years at HPU, Diaz says that she’s found success in her internship hunt thanks to the Office of Career and Professional Development.
“I’ve visited the Office of Career and Professional Development since my first year at HPU,” she says. “During my freshman year, they helped me discover my strengths through the Strengths Finder Assessment and fine-tuned my resume and LinkedIn profile.”
During Diaz’s sophomore year, she sought advice from the office after she applied for an internship that requested a phone interview with her.
“I had one day to prepare for my phone interview, and I immediately ran to the Office of Career and Professional Development,” says Diaz. “April Cosner was there to help me, even on such short notice, and she came up with a list of potential questions for the phone interview. We practiced and she referred me to an online system that provided additional interview preparation.”
Ever since, Diaz has gone to Cosner and other members of the career team for guidance and support. And Diaz is not alone.
HPU students are invited and encouraged to connect with the Office of Career and Professional Development during their first moments on HPU’s campus.
And while all are invited, no two students are the same. Some come to HPU with their career path charted in detail. Others enter their college career with plenty of questions.
Regardless of where they stand, the Office of Career and Professional Development is there to guide and assist students as they travel the road to graduation.
They prepare students for the workforce, connect them with a network of professionals and offer support beyond graduation and a student’s first job.
Customized Career Development
For years, the Office of Career and Professional Development has organized and hosted biannual career and internship expos, inviting students of all majors to meet with potential employers.
But, just as the job market is forever evolving, the HPU career team adjusts to meet demand.
They’ve welcomed the addition of Focus Fairs, small career fairs that focus on specific industries.
In the last year, the career team hosted Focus Fairs in the areas of communication, life sciences, education and law school with plans to include a non-profit and interior design fair this year.
Employers report that the fairs are highly efficient for potential employers, too. In two hours, they can meet with as many as 15–20 students, and every one of those students is looking for something that their individual company offers.
“Focus Fairs are a win-win opportunity for both students and employers,” says Lindsay Kremer, HPU recruitment coordinator. “These events are targeted toward specific industries, so employers know that the students attending will be the major they are recruiting for, and students know that every employer at the fair is going to be relevant to what they are hoping to do.”
Affectionately dubbed the “career fair of the future” by members of the career team, Focus Fairs are just one of the ways that the office prepares students for the workforce.
The Power of Connection
Tyler Yusko graduated from HPU in 2014 and began his career as a sales associate for Yelp Inc. in New York City. Aiming to give back to his alma mater, he contacted the Office of Career and Professional Development to inquire about recruitment opportunities.
Just one week later, Yusko was on a plane to North Carolina to attend an HPU Focus Fair as a representative of Yelp.
Why did he want to come back? As an HPU alum, he knew the quality of potential employees that he would encounter. He knew the students would be prepared for a career. He knew he was getting the best. Yusko is one example of a strong network of alumni representing many di
fferent companies who make the journey to HPU to find their next great hire.
“Our students can benefit greatly from connecting with our alumni,” says Doug Hall, assistant director of Career and Professional Development. “HPU graduates have the opportunity to give back to their alma mater by serving as a mentor and a valuable resource to our current students. HPU alums, especially our recent graduates, identify with our current students and understand their desire to acquire internships and full-time employment upon graduation. Having an inside connection to an employer to gain insight on company culture, skills needed within the organization, and how to prepare for the ‘world of work,’ can be realized by reaching out to our successful alums.”
The career team is able to easily connect students with alumni in part due to their continued connection to students even beyond graduation.
They coach students during their years at HPU, but their advice and guidance doesn’t end there.
The ties between the Career and Professional Development staff and HPU graduates are strong. So strong, that if alumni need help with a career transition or are in the search for a new job, the team is just a phone call away.
“We are available for our alumni,” says Hall. “If they’re transitioning or looking for work elsewhere, we are ready to support our graduates years beyond their time at HPU.”
View this story and more in the Fall 2017 edition of the HPU Magazine: