Student Experiences

Kristin Kearns

“Prior to graduating with a BA in Political Science in August 2008, I was unsure of what career path I would pursue. I discovered my current career when one of my professors notified me of a career fair and suggested I attend to get an idea of career options. I took his advice and explored many different companies in many different industries at the fair. I discovered the financial services industry there and researched the possibilities. Today, I have a successful career in the financial services industry as a Financial Services Professional for New York Life.

My education at HPU has a lot to do with my current success. I learned from professors who had decades of real world experience in various industries and provided one on one attention in class. They were more than willing to give me advice, both as a student, and now as a graduate. The quality of the education I received, both in and out of the classroom at Hawai‘i Pacific University, has given me a tremendous advantage.”

Kristen Kearns
BA Political Science
Tustin, CA
Financial Services Professional
New York Life

“The best thing about Hawai‘i Pacific University are the professors. All of my MBA professors have had real world experience in the subjects they teach, so it’s almost as if you’re interacting with a qualified professional every day you come to class. I’ve had a lot of hands-on learning, which definitely strengthens your understanding of how businesses works, but it also builds up your confidence. There’s nothing that compares to going to an interview, meeting with your prospective employer, and saying “Yes, I know how to do that” every time they ask you a question.

Today, I’m a Marketing Coordinator at PDC Systems, a small but respected IT firm here in Hawaii. I probably never would have heard of them if they hadn’t requested some help from my marketing professor. I first started working for them as an intern, which was arranged through the Career Services Center. Once that internship was complete, PDC needed someone to help them revamp their look and how they did business. With all the skills I had learned while at HPU, I knew I was the perfect match- and they did, too.”

I’amafana Tuimalealiifano
MBA, Marketing Concentration
Tafuna, American Samoa
Marketing Coordinator
PDC Systems

I’amafana Tuimalealiifano

Ellaine Fellipe

“Without HPU, 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.”

Ellaine Fellipe
BS Computer Science
Honolulu, HI
Application Developer
Maui Varieties Limited

The time I spent at HPU was one of the greatest times in my life. I learned many important skills that enabled me to do well in the competitive Japanese job market.

I graduated with a BSBA in International Business in January 2009. My experience with the diverse student population of HPU greatly enhanced my communication skills. I used these communication skills to clearly explain how my knowledge and experience would add value during my job interview with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. As a result, I was offered a job at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and now work in the purchasing department at the General Machinery & Special Vehicle Headquarters. Due to the skills I acquired at HPU, I was recruited by my first- choice company.”

Tetsuro Hirose
BS International Business
Zama-city, Japan
Purchasing Department

Tetsuro Hirose

McKenzie Satimer

“HPU gave me the knowledge and solid foundation to pursue my dream of having my own jewelry company.  Those dreams became a reality when I founded MCKmetal in 2006. It hasn't always been easy and glamorous, but I can say I am working hard for ME and making MY dream a reality. I am thankful to HPU for the great start in the business world and for believing in me.”

McKenzie Satimer
BA Entrepreneurial Studies
Kailua-Kona, HI

"HPU has given me incredible opportunities and enabled me to achieve my academic and professional goals. HPU provided me with a cheerleading scholarship and the staff and faculty supported me throughout my educational endeavors, even after graduation.

When I neared the end of my junior year, I was not quite sure how I wanted to use my degree. I visited the Career Services Center (CSC) and they were very helpful in directing me towards opportunities that coincided with my personal goals. CSC helped place me in an internship that summer at the federal building. This allowed me to get a lot of experience, to network, and to build up my resume before graduation.

After graduation, I visited the CSC once more for their assistance in job placement.  I was able to find a job in a law firm downtown working as a Paralegal while I continued my legal education. The amount of knowledge I have gained from these experiences has helped me to better determine my career path and encouraged me to set new goals for the future."

Ashley Morgan
BA Justice Administration
Honolulu, HI
Badger Arakaki LLC

Ashley Morgan

Philipp DeBeisac

“Studying at HPU was a great experience that prepared me to work in business. I was taught by professors with professional experience in their respective fields, not just book knowledge. I like that we did case studies on real companies and the class projects were relevant.

HPU’s Career Services Center keeps a close link to the corporate world. They invite corporate representatives on campus to talk about openings and ways to apply. The preparation they provided enabled me to attain a finance internship with Marriott Ko‘olina. After graduation, I was hired as a Business Analyst for Shell and now I work in International Purchasing and Logistics for Trimpot, an electronic component manufacturer.”

Philipp DeBeisac
BS Finance
Wiesbaden, Germany
International Purchasing & Logistics

"Professors with years of field experience. Flexible class schedules that allowed me to gain hands-on experience through internships and a part-time job. Relevant courses that gave me the tools and the skills to succeed. Networking opportunities with peers and professionals alike. A global experience through cultural diversity. These are the reasons I chose to attend Hawai‘i Pacific University for both my undergraduate and graduate degree.

I always knew that I would go to college after high school, but I did not know what career I would pursue after earning my Bachelor's degree. With the assistance and guidance from the Career Services Center, I was able to figure out the major that best fit my personality and skill set, as well as arrange multiple internships that showed me how to apply the technical knowledge learned in class.
Through the professors and my peers at HPU, I have expanded my network and work experience. HPU has given me opportunities and experiences that have influenced who I am today."

Taryn Lau
Marketing Major
Kapolei, HI

Taryn Lau

Liberty Peralta

While at HPU, I enjoyed learning from the professors who had many years of work and teaching experience, knew how to make their areas of focus relevant to us, and encouraged us to push ourselves beyond our creative and strategic limits. The latter is a value I continue to carry with me today.

As an advertising student at Hawai‘i Pacific University, I took on opportunities to develop my leadership skills, whether it was through collaborating with classmates for group projects, or managing HPU's Akamai Advertising Club. With the Akamai Advertising Club, I traveled to San Francisco and represented HPU in a national advertising competition for the American Advertising Federation. The preparation for that competition, as well as the competition itself, gave me valuable experience and insight into the time, dedication, skills, and talent it takes to create an outstanding advertising campaign."

Liberty Peralta
BA Advertising
Waianae, HI
Director of Web Development
Makaha Studios

“I am very proud to say that Hawai‘i Pacific University has prepared me educationally and professionally to pursue my corporate goals.

Not only did HPU provide a top-notch education, they gave me business tools to succeed in an international business environment. I have literally applied all of my education to my current position with Microsoft as an Executive Account Manager. HPU’s hands-on learning, current case studies, and applied academic concepts gave me an incredible foundation to launch my career. All of my professors had real-world experience and taught how to apply strategies and concepts.

My educational experience included interaction with working professionals. In my capstone course, I was given the opportunity to present my case-studies to business leaders. This was an essential bridge into today’s ever-changing business environments. 

In addition, HPU’s Career Services Center provided a direct link and network relationship to internships and employment which afforded the opportunity to launch such an exciting career. I owe allot to HPU for providing me the great tools to succeed. Thank you HPU!”       

Bryan Mulholland
BS Management
Alexandria, VA
Executive Account Manager

Bryan Mulholland

Olena Heu

“Hawai‘i Pacific University gave me the tools to fulfill my career goals. I received a strong foundation to excel in journalism when I graduated with a BA in communication. HPU provided internships, well-rounded instruction, and a variety of extracurricular activities to assist my transition into the real world. One of the many advantages of attending HPU are the relationships built with fellow students and professors. HPU is an excellent choice for workforce preparation and networking.

As part of my HPU practicum requirements, I interned  with a local news station. Because of the hands on experiences I gained through that internship, I found my calling as a journalist. I am now a Morning News Anchor for one of the top TV stations in Hawaii. HPU prepared me well for the fast-paced, research-oriented and innovative job that I love.” 

Olena Heu
BA Communication
Honolulu, HI
Morning Show Anchor

“The knowledge I gained as well as my personal growth at Hawai‘i Pacific University has proven valuable in my professional career. The diverse student body gave me the opportunity to improve and refine my communication skills. Working on projects and presentations with fellow students from all over the world helped me to convey my thoughts and ideas, as well as understand others, on an entirely new level. The professors at HPU were even more vital to my growth and development. As accomplished professionals in their respective fields, they shared their expertise in classroom instruction and discussions.

I graduated with a B.A. in Communication and today I am an analyst in the Alternative Investments Division at The Northern Trust Company. The time I spent at HPU helped me build and enhance the business skills that have provided me success since graduation.“

Robert Lopez
BA Communication
Chicago, IL
Business Analyst
Northern Trust Company

Robert Lopez