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Aloha from President Wright
with Chatt G. Wright

Numerous studies reveal that most successful people had a mentor who helped them in their career. A mentor is someone with experience, knowledge, and connections who can make you aware of opportunities, help you network into an internship or job, and offer support and advice. A mentor’s reward is watching a protégé become successful.

HPU has several ways to help you find a mentor, if you want one. In many larger institutions, graduate teaching assistants teach most freshmen and sophomore courses. Those that are taught by faculty are large lecture courses, often with 200 or more students. With so many, a professor would find it difficult to establish any mentoring relationship. At HPU, faculty members, rather than graduate students, teach all classes, so you can meet the faculty early in your academic coursework. And HPU’s small classes offer an opportunity to build a relationship with your teachers.

HPU faculty also provide various mentoring activities. Dr. Eric Vetter of HPU’s marine biology department, has taken students to the ocean depths off Lo‘ihi, a volcani sea mount east of Hawai‘i. TIM faculty arrange job shadowing at major resorts. Faculty take students to professional conferences.

Mentors write letters of reference for jobs, law school, or graduate study and HPU faculty members are respected enough to open many doors. Many are internationally recognized in their field. Dr. Mary Sheridan, for example, was recently honored as “Social Worker of the Year in Education” by the National Association of Social Work, Hawai‘i chapter. Dr. Jerome Feldman, was one of five distinguished speakers selected to address an art symposium at Stanford University earlier this month. Linda Beechinor was named the newest member of the Board of Directors for the American Nurses’ Association, a professional organization that represents 2.6 million nurses. Jacqueline Langley was a producer at CBS in New York. Her expertise helped HPU student videos earn national and international awards last year.

How can you get a mentor? You must earn respect and trust by being diligent in class and by showing initiative and dedication to your studies. If offered an opportunity, take advantage of it, and be sure to express your appreciation. Volunteer for extracurricular activities and develop your leadership skills in student chapters of professional organizations. Do more than what is assigned, and you will rise to the top. Find an HPU mentor and succeed!

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