Career Success Stories
When reflecting on my decision to go to Hawaii Pacific University for graduate school, I am confident that it is one of the wisest moves I ever made. HPU nurtured my talents which allowed me to shine as a student-- and provided me with a solid, in-depth knowledge of doing business in the ever-changing international marketplace.
By utilizing the Career Services Center, I landed an internship with a Fortune 500 company a few short months after starting the MBA program. Beyond that, the Career Services Center provided me with resume services, interview training and access to career fairs where I met prospective employers and practiced my networking skills. Getting my MBA at HPU was a fantastic way to network in the local business community, which really helped me land an amazing job after graduation. I wouldn't be the success that I am today without my MBA from HPU, and I am happy to continue to utilize the Career services center in my current role when I am looking to hire new employees and interns. My partnership with HPU and appreciation for the Career Services Center will be with me as I achieve career goals throughout my lifetime.
Loryn M. Guiffre
My internship experience has been truly rewarding. I gained work experience in a human services setting involving education, health, and support to families within the community. I had the opportunity to meet many influential and dedicated people from different organizations. I learned more about the population and challenges of the community that I worked in and I was able to shadow the staff at my internship site, where I learned about each of their roles and how they work together to complete projects. What I loved most about my internship experience was working with the amazing staff at my internship site.
The internship course was the best way to finish my undergraduate education at Hawaii Pacific University. It helped me to connect to professionals in the community and opened up job opportunities for me. I am so thankful to the Career Services Center for helping me to set up my internship and supporting me through the whole process. The Career Services Center prepared me to succeed at my internship as well as for future endeavors. They helped me to improve my job interview skills, were available throughout my internship to answer any of my questions, set up meetings, and keep me on task. The Career Services Center is a great resource for any student determined to find the right career path and the steps to get there.
BS Health Science
In today’s increasingly competitive job market, internships and networking are two important aspects in addition to academic performance. During both my undergraduate and graduate degree, the Career Services Center has been extremely helpful in assisting me with not only finding internships and connecting with the local business community, but also with overcoming all work related compliance issues that I was faced with as an international student.
Overall, I landed great internships in the local political arena, working for both the Governor’s office and a local political research institute. Both of these internships provided me with the opportunity to network with leading government officials, which eventually provided me with the opportunity to start my career as a Budget Analyst for the State Legislature. I strongly encourage all students to work with the Career Services Center to get internships, whether they are paid or unpaid, it doesn’t matter in the long run the practical work experience and networking opportunities will pay off.
BA International Relations (2010) MBA (2012)
Budget Analyst, Hawaii State Legislature
Being an international student makes looking for internships or jobs very challenging in such a competitive economy. Personally, I was very lucky to have a counselor at the Career Services Center (CSC) help me with my first internship. She walked me through each step and helped me with the paper work. My internship at the Starwood Sheraton Princess Kaiulani (PK) took me to the right path by allowing me to meet a lot of people in the hospitality industry. Being offered a job when I was still in school was a moment of pride for me. I was lucky to get another chance to work at another Starwood property, the Sheraton Waikiki, and soon realized that the hotel industry is the right place for me to learn , to work, and to grow. In December 2011, after I graduated with a BSBA in Hotel Industry Management , I started working as a guest service agent at the PK with a great management team and awesome, hospitable co-workers. I am thankful that HPU made my life easier. So, I promised myself that I have to do well in this career so both the tourism industry and I can improve. Thank you again to HPU and the CSC team. I hope that one day when they look back, they can smile and know that they have done such a great job.
BSBA Travel Industry Management, 2011
I can't stress how important internships are. In my junior year I had two internships (Pacific Edge Magazine & KHON2 News) and the skills I have gained from these experiences are truly invaluable. It's addicting, I just want to keep learning and interning until I graduate. I feel that I am more prepared to join the workforce and I have more confidence, motivation and determination than I had prior to interning."
HPU provided me with the confidence I needed to enter the real world. Having graduated in December 2009 with my Bachelors in Nursing, I was comfortable calculating IV drips and creating care plans. What I wasn’t comfortable with were resumes, cover letters and interviews. Basically, all the essentials needed in order to land a job with any hospital. So I went to HPU’s Career Services Center.
My first visit with CSC was amazing. I met a counselor that walked me through the proper ways of formatting a resume. She provided me with examples to look at, as well as helped me create a professional looking resume all within minutes. I may have walked into my appointment empty handed, but I came out of there with an amazing resume waiting to be sent.
Shortly after, I moved to California and applied to Stanford Hospital. I was chosen to participate in a series of interviews. Not knowing how to prepare myself, I called CSC and asked for guidance. Once again, the counselors at CSC helped me in ways I could not imagine. Even with 2,000 miles between us and a three hour time difference, CSC managed to prepare me through mock interviews over the phone and emails on a daily basis. All the help and guidance provided by CSC gave me the confidence I needed to impress the staff at Stanford Hospital. I could never have become the newest CCU New Graduate Nurse at Stanford without the help of CSC. Thank you so much!
Charlene Chen (BS Nursing '09)
CCU New Graduate Nurse, Stanford Hospital
I remember my first encounter with the Career Service Center (CSC). I posted my resume on the HPU Connect website, and shortly afterwards, I received an email recommending that I make an appointment to get input on making my resume more employer friendly.
I felt my resume and cover letter was pretty good. At the time I was in the process of retiring from active duty military service and had received assistance through the services offered to service members as they transition from military service. My challenge was channeling all of the experience I had gained throughout my military career into a productive resume. It wasn’t until I posted my resume on HPU Connect that things started to happen for me.
Once I sat down with my Career Counselor at CSC, I was able to create a very professional resume and cover letter in no time. Presenting my new and improved resume led to several job opportunities. It ultimately resulted in an interview with Covance Research and Drug Development, Inc. Throughout the interview process with this company I received excellent guidance from my Career Counselor.
I highly recommend that all students take advantage of the many opportunities available from the CSC. In my opinion, taking the step to engage in the services provided by the CSC will pay off in the long run. My goal is to present my success story so that it may be an inspiration for all students who may face the same challenges I once had.
BS Health Science
Working with the Career Services Center has been amazingly helpful in paving my career path. I was lucky enough to not only get in contact with Creations in Catering for a job shadowing project for my TIM 2010 class, but also to obtain both an internship and part-time job with the company! Without the help from the staff, I would have never known about Creations in Catering or even achieved this great job in my field.
The staff from the Career Services Center has really taught me the correct steps in being professional and preparing myself for future employers. They also gave me more confidence so that when I did talk to my employer, I felt at ease and excited for my interview. I feel this is what got me my job since my employer really saw my enthusiasm. I am ever so grateful for their help in molding me into the person I dreamed of being. The office and staff is great at finding employers for students and putting them in contact with our students in hopes they also get an internship or job. I am really impressed how organized the office is and how responsive and timely the staff is. It really makes the whole experience easier when class work is heavy and time consuming. They really are on top of their game and they have every tool a student needs for preparation! I am very pleased with being set up with Creations in Catering and I hope this is where I plan to stay. I look forward to any other help I will receive from the Career Services Center regarding internships and jobs.
BSBA Travel Industry Management
My name is Joseph Kourieh, I am an HPU alum and currently work as a Business Development Associate with Enterprise Honolulu, the Oahu EconomicDevelopment Board.
Ever since I first heard about Enterprise Honolulu I knew I wanted to work there. It was during my second semester at Hawaii Pacific University that the organization came up during a meeting. I went straight to their office after that meeting to ask if they accepted interns, and they did.
My next stop was the Career Services Center. Since my very first encounter with the Career Services Center the staff has been incredibly helpful and supportive. In my first appointment they helped me fill out all the necessary paperwork and walked me through the internship process. But their support went beyond the straightforward administrative tasks. They called Enterprise Honolulu to endorse me as an intern, they perfected my resume and prepared me for my interview.
Things went better than expected and I joined the organization as an intern in 2008 and stayed for the duration of a year. During the fall semester of 2008, as my graduation day was approaching, I was offered a full-time position based on my performance as an intern.
The Career Services Center at Hawaii Pacific University has played an integral part in my career; I highly recommend the staff and their services. I could not have done it without them and I am extremely grateful for their support and service.Joseph Kourieh (MBA, 2009)
Business Development Associate, Enterprise Honolulu, Oahu Economic Development Board
Without HPU Career Services, I probably would not have landed the job I have now. I graduated with a BS in Computer Science in January 2007. In March 2007, I volunteered at a technology job fair held by HPU’s Career Services Center. At the job fair, two CSC staff members introduced me to an employer that was looking for an Application Developer. That same afternoon I was called in for a job interview and a few days later I was hired! After two and a half years, I’m still working for the same company, Maui Varieties Ltd.
In this position, I’ve been able to apply a lot of the technical and problem solving skills that I acquired at HPU. The professors at HPU enabled me to increase these skills through the projects they assigned. During my last semester I was able to be a part of a project that was for a real client. I experienced first hand what it meant to build something to address a client’s needs. The experiences that I acquired from that project alone are invaluable.
BS Computer Science '07
IS Manager, Maui Varieties Ltd.
I always thought I had a decent resume when applying for jobs. I tend to land interviews with the resume that I had been updating since high school. However, when I started applying for hospital positions I always got rejected. I was frustrated with all the rejections so I decided to see the Career Service Center.
During my visit with a counselor, I got a lot of information about how to improve on my resume. I never thought of listing my classes or clinical experience on my resume. Meeting with a career counselor has helped a lot. She also helped me to prepare for an upcoming Health & Social Services Career Fair. She was able to provide me with tips on what I should do when approaching an employer booth.
After applying online at Queen’s Medical Center, I got a phone call from a Nurse Manager after a week of submitting my resume. I got an interview and then I got hired as a Nurse Aide. I wouldn’t have received this position if I didn’t see the Career Service Center about writing a resume.
Julian Jose Hilario Jr
After my first year in Hawaii I have already completed one practical training internship coaching sailing for a high school league and diving for a commercial diving tour operation. These experiences have given me the opportunity to work in Hawaii as an international student, and to learn more about tourism in Hawaii. Recently, I had the opportunity to shadow various new successful companies in the industry as a part of an assignment for my tourism management class. In addition, volunteering for companies’ events such as the CMAA Fundraising Golf Tournament and the Current Affairs Walt Disney Resort site opening at Ko O’lina, were great experiences and an important step in my networking path and career development in the industry. I am grateful for these opportunities and the chance to gain exposure to other segments of the industry. I couldn’t have done all of this without the devoted help of the Career Services Center.
The professional guidance and knowledge I received from the CSC directed me every step of the way, from the moment I received my first job offer in the tourism area, up to my fifth position as a store manager. With the help of the Career Services staff, I successfully completed five internships and received three scholarships.
BSBA International Business
I came to HPU 3 years ago to pursue an education in Nursing. During the spring semester in my 2nd year, I realized that nursing was not for me. I knew that it was a field I did not want to get into, but I was undecided on what I should change my major to.
I went to see an academic advisor. He informed me of a survey at the Career Services Center (CSC) that would help me find a career that I will be happy and productive in. Thus he suggested that I see a career counselor and arranged an appointment for me.
Since then, I have been going to the CSC. It has been extremely helpful. The staff is very friendly, easy to talk to, and always willing to help. After an assessment test, my counselor walked me through my skills and interests. With my results as a confirmation, I decided to change my major to Travel Industry Management. I am happy with my new major; not only do I do well in my classes, but I also get to meet people from around the world and professionals in the industry. It has been a wonderful experience for me."
BSBA Travel Industry Management
My internship at Starwood Hotels & Resorts helped me gain the international experience I needed in order to get a good position within the hotel industry. Doing an internship as a part of your degree is incredibly valuable and it really makes a difference when applying for jobs in the future. I will always remember my two years as an MBA student at HPU. It was such an amazing experience both socially and professionally.
Ida Christina Killingberg
Client Manager Corporate, Scandic Hotels
Searching for jobs, preparing for interviews, worrying about how to impress your potential employers and making sure you are making the right career decisions can be very overwhelming and one can easily get discouraged after getting declined by employers. Finding RN jobs in Hawaii, it’s been known to be a very huge obstacle to overcome. But on the bright side, there is the Career Services Center that knows what you are going through. The Career Counselors are there to listen to how you are feeling and helping to you gain back that confidence and strength to tackle any obstacle that may be holding you back from getting the job you always dreamed of.
The help that I received from the Career Service Center was truly amazing. Today, I am happy to say that I got hired as a Registered Nurse (RN) at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. I will be working with the medical-surgical patients, something that I always wanted to do. Thanks to my Career Counselor, who helped me so much in such a short period of time. I had a week or so to prepare for 4 very important interviews back to back. She was there when I needed help the most with my mock interviews and discussing the results of my self assessment test. During the mock interviews, I got helpful tips on every single detail you could imagine and I got specific feedbacks on the areas for improvement. I did an initial mock interview and a follow-up interview with the same counselor; I feel was the most effective way to help me because it was on-going and consistent guidance. My counselor gave me the confidence and skills that I needed to land my dream job. I highly recommend meeting with the counselors at the Career Services Center because you gain so much. I will always use the skills that I learned about communicating more effectively and confidence in my upcoming role as an RN.
BS Nursing 2010
Registered Nurse, Kapiolani Medical Center
Being an international student in search of internships is a daunting task that requires ceaseless perseverance and a ton of determination. Personally, I felt that looking for a job in a struggling economy is like sailing against a huge current despite having my license as a registered nurse and being a graduate nursing student. After a month and a half of being told that I did not have enough clinical experience, I was ready to throw in the towel.
In the end I chanced upon an open position; and with the help of my HPU Career Counselor who walked me through all the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) requirements, I was offered a position at one of the top performing nursing facilities on the island.
In the nursing profession, every day is a day of learning where mistakes become our greatest teacher and experience builds skill and confidence. My internship has allowed me to fully embrace the science and the art of nursing. I know that I am a better person and a more competent professional because I was given this opportunity.
Hawaii Pacific University should pride itself in having a talented team of Career Counselors who are approachable and supportive in every way.
Dominique Isabel Zuluaga, BSN, RN
Master of Science in Nursing- Family Nurse Practitioner 2012