Name: Harold Velasquez
Hometown: Pfafftown, North Carolina
Year: Class of 2022
Internship: Velasquez participated in a 10-week marketing internship program with 23XI Racing, a NASCAR Cup Series race team owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin. He worked on multiple projects making planning timelines for the 2022 race season, providing new business opportunities and ideas, scoping out the competition, assisting with the development of the team’s brand identity and helping with race day operations.
How HPU helped you get there: “I visited the Office of Career and Professional Development many times for advice on my resume, cover letters and LinkedIn profile. It is so helpful to have a department willing to support your path to success. The Office of Career and Professional Development is a key player in helping me land internships. Recruiters have said that I have an impressive resume, and part of that is because of the staff that helped me polish my resume to highlight my accomplishments. Receiving insight and advice on how to set up my LinkedIn profile was extremely beneficial. Recruiters reach out to me because they can see what I’ve done and who I am through my LinkedIn.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “One of my most impactful mentors is Professor Janis Dougherty. Professor Dougherty teaches graphic design. She challenges students to get out of their comfort zone and to work in a space of creativity, fun and collaboration. She helped me realize my passion for design and to grow my creative and critical thinking skills. Because of these skills, I can showcase and talk about my art during interviews and while networking. This shows another side of who I am and what I love to do. She is also one of the kindest professors and is always willing to support students.”
What has your internship experience been like, and how is it preparing you for your future? “Working for 23XI Racing gave me a different view within NASCAR and the motorsports industry. This internship gave me a deeper understanding of how marketing works in a fast-paced, ever-changing industry. It helped me realize the value of relationships and mentorship. I’ve developed my time management skills, balancing internship work and classwork, being a university ambassador, working on group projects, studying for exams, running a club on campus and more. I’ve realized that I want to pursue a career in the sports industry, and this internship prepared me by sharpening my critical thinking skills, collaborative skills and presentation skills and how to apply them in a real-world environment.”