Name: Harold Velasquez
Hometown: Pfafftown, North Carolina
Year: Class of 2022
Internship: Velasquez spent the summer with NASCAR and CSM Sport & Entertainment for business development. Through the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program (NDIP), he worked in business development for a partner company, CSM Sport & Entertainment. In this department, he was tasked to participate in unique brainstorming sessions, help build pitches, capabilities deck and build business development proposals. Velasquez also conducted extensive brand research to support creative delivery of pitches and proposals, attend meetings and provide additional support across CSM Production departments.
How HPU helped you get there: “HPU’s growth mindset, competitive programs, and clubs are what helped me prepare and achieve this longed-for goal that I’ve had since sophomore year. All the wonderful people throughout this university have equipped me with invaluable skills and life skills that I will carry beyond my college career. Being INVOLVED has tremendously developed my leadership, communication, creativity, problem-solving, public speaking, and critical thinking skills to an extent I would never have foreseen when I came here as a freshman. Whether those entails participating in competitions, asking questions in the classroom, and taking more responsibility in clubs and on-campus jobs. Today, it still baffles me to see the growth I’ve had as a student, as a leader, and as a person. Now, I push myself to encounter challenges, I’m driven to go beyond comfort zones, I’m constantly curious to find opportunities, and every day I am grateful for where I am and where I am going. I’m beyond excited and prepared for what the future has in store. I visited the Office of Career and Professional Development multiple times throughout my college career to get advice on how I can present myself most professionally. I’ve gotten help on my resumes and cover letters so I can create one that really highlights who I am and what I have accomplished. On top of that, I have gone to the office to get advice on my LinkedIn profile and I utilized the professional LinkedIn photo day they do regularly to ensure that it exceeds standards or expectations. Both aspects working together is what ultimately got me the interview for my internship.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “Professor Larry Quinn has been my most impactful mentor. He never failed to believe the potential that he saw in me. Professor Quinn has pushed me to get out of my comfort zones and pushed me to believe in the skills that I’ve learned over the years. His joy and energy bring smiles to anyone that he encounters. The way he teaches his classes, using primarily involved and group activities is something that is valuable to his students. His commitment to mentorship is a huge factor in his ability to influence others. I still remember the times where he would stay at HPU even on a Sunday night mentoring me and my peers who were going to compete at the National Shores Selling Competition. I’ve never known anyone else who does this for you, someone who is so committed to your success that he is willing to spend his nights with students rather than being at home. Another mentor that I’ve had who has contributed to my skills is Dr. Cynthia Hanson. She never fails to bring excitement and clarity to her classes. Her support is unwavering, she will help you find the tools to find your path, and she has pointed me in the right direction in many aspects especially when I’ve asked her to spend time with me when I was questioning if I really wanted to go into a marketing career. A lot of my marketing knowledge and experience I’ve gained over the years is due to Dr. Hanson. She really reinforced my passion for marketing in which I am grateful for. Both people are just awesome human beings who will encourage and support you no matter where you are in life who would say, I believe in you.”
What has your internship experience been like, and how is it preparing you for your future?: “My internship experience at NASCAR and CSM has been phenomenal. This internship sparked the flames of passion I have now for the sports and motorsports industries. This industry used to be unfamiliar to me and thought that I am never going in this direction but clearly, I was wrong. I’ve really enjoyed this ever-changing fast-paced environment where I was able to acquire extensive experience by going to the races, learning about the inner-workings of the company, designing logos, creating proposals and decks, conducting market research, and building relationships with a ton of awesome people that some will last a lifetime. I’m extremely lucky to be in this position having a reach in two different organizations and the experience I’ve had with them is really a priceless moment never to forget.”