Alex Nelson, a rising junior at High Point University, is fueling up for a potential future at Caterpillar Inc., a machinery and engine manufacturer in his hometown of Clayton.
Nelson, a communications major with a minor in management, is the lead communications and human resources intern. He oversees 30 other interns across four U.S. Caterpillar plants. Nelson is responsible for coordinating and scheduling events, meetings and logistics for all of the interns, and he manages the biweekly intern teleconferences. He has also had the opportunity to work on confidential company information with his manager, along with other projects such as succession planning and diversity and leadership summits.
“This internship has already taught me to operate in a professional, corporate environment,” he said. “I’ve been told several times that this is essentially a three-month interview. I bring 110 percent each day and encourage other interns to do the same.
“I could easily see myself working at Caterpillar someday,” Nelson added. “The experience and exposure I am gaining are remarkable, and their Vision 2020 strategy is promising for continued global success.”
Nelson said his experiences inside and outside of the classroom at High Point University have cultivated his attitudes about the corporate world and shaped his approach to his responsibilities at Caterpillar.
“On campus, we are immersed in a culture and environment of excellence,” he said. “I’m applying and implementing this same positive mentality at CAT. For example, HPU recognizes extraordinary leaders each month. I’m implementing this same principle with interns at Caterpillar by recognizing interns each week. HPU has set an incredible example for me. I’ve watched and been part of it, and now I’m spreading the notion in the corporate world that everyone can be extraordinary and live a life filled with success and, more importantly, significance.”
High Point University is a liberal arts institution with more than 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students. U.S. News and World Report ranks it No. 1 among Regional Colleges in the South and No. 1 among Up and Coming Regional Colleges in the South. Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation.
The university offers 44 undergraduate majors, 43 undergraduate minors and 11 graduate-degree programs.