Monday, November 2, 2015

Making the best of the HPU experience

 Avery Fukeda (second from right) with fellow
Campus Activities Board (CAB) member and performers
from Pa‘ina at the Pier, hosted by CAB in September.

For Avery Fukeda, college isn't only about going to class and earning a degree. He found that he could have fun outside of class, gain real world experience and help other students enjoy their time at Hawai‘i Pacific University.

Fukeda — a Saint Louis School graduate — decided to stay home for college. He graduated from HPU with a BSBA in Management in Spring 2015. He is now an MBA student and among the first set of residents at the Waterfront Lofts at Aloha Tower Marketplace.

His experience as an undergraduate made it an easy decision to continue with an MBA here. From learning with experienced professors to classwork that reflected real life business scenarios, "I got a lot out of it, doing my bachelor's here," he said. "These are the same kinds of professors that I have for my master's."

Add to that the experience of living on the waterfront and Fukeda said he has no regrets about staying in Hawai‘i.

"This is pretty cool. I wanted to experience university housing. I really like it. It lives up to expectations."

Most of all, Fukeda gets to continue working to make HPU fun for all students, as a member of the Campus Activities Board (CAB). He serves as CAB's vice chair and is deeply involved in event management, including concerts.

"CAB's mission is to make the HPU experience even better. By the time students graduate, they can say 'I had a great time' here," he said.

CAB put on the well-received welcome back concert, Pa‘ina at the Pier, at Aloha Tower Marketplace, with YouTube sensations Sam Tsui and Kurt Schneider. Later in November, CAB is planning to rent out a theater so 400 students can enjoy The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, when it comes out, for only $5, which includes transportation, food and the movie.

"This is for them to have fun," he said.

Fukeda adds that getting involved in clubs and organizations can also help students make the best of their time at college.

HPU offers a "unique group of student organizations," he said. "Get involved. I think that's one of the important things in college. Different things will come out of it, different experiences."

In his case, working with CAB has given him networking and event management experience, which he would not have received if he had not joined the group.

Fukeda has also served with HPU's Circle K International, a community service organization. There, he was able to help the club grow in membership, eventually serving as its president, while learning both leadership and teamwork.
Avery Fukeda received the 2014-15 Circle K International 
Distinguished President and Distinguished Secretary awards 
at the annual district convention held in Calif. in March. 
He was also awarded the William A. Dunlap Fellowship Award, 
which is only given to four members in the district.   

Fukeda and other club members were able to attend the organization's district convention in California in March. HPU had not attended the district convention in about a decade, Fukeda said.

"We ended up with nine awards," he said. Fukeda also received the William A. Dunlap Fellowship Award. He said the hard work was worth it.

He hopes that other students take advantage of clubs and organizations, like he has.

"You get to build experience. It can help a student broaden their horizon on something they may not know. Different opportunities come your way."

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