Using university students for phone messages…brilliant!

Girl on phoneWhen I talk to my business audiences about how they can improve, I often suggest they go outside of their industry and study success stories and use what would work for their own company. One example is the amazing success of High Point University.  During the recent crisis in our economy where companies and universities had to downsize and restructure, HPU grew.  Their enrollment was up from 1400 students to 3700. The SAT scores of incoming freshmen were up, the average GPA of their students went up.  How?  There were several factors that went into the transformation of this small private school in North Carolina.  Some of the changes were small changes – details – that when you put them all together you have results.  For example, they measured how long students spent in the cafeteria at lunch.  They wanted to increase the time students spent with eachother, with faculty, and in their cafeteria.  One solution was to have live music everyday. Students enjoyed live performers – singers, guitar players, groups. The result? The average time students spent together at lunch went from 10 minutes to 37 minutes.  

Another example is when high school students come to visit the campus as a possible place to attend. Their name is on a parking place saying "Parking reserved for future graduate of HPU" personalized with their name of course.  Prospective students immediately are 'wowed' by their name and they quickly take their picture by it and post to all the social media outlets raising the awareness of HPU beyond regular channels.  

One detail that I noticed when I recently called the campus was the recorded voice on the other end inviting me to leave a message.  It was a young, enthusiastic woman introducing herself by name and stating that she was a proud communications major at HPU. She gave options on how to reach the person I was calling.  I thought that was such a good idea!  Isn't college all about preparing young people for their future outside of school?  I was inspired by this small detail of using a student for their voice mail.  

Love is in the details and right now, I'm loving HPU.

From your motivational speaker, Marilyn Sherman encouraging you to think outside the lines and study successful stories wherever you find them. 


Marilyn Sherman, CSP is a Front-Row Leadership Expert helping people get out of the balcony and get a front-row seat in life. For over 20 years she has inspired audiences with topics on Visioning, Goal Achievement and having a No More Excuses attitude! Check out her fun, dynamic style at

Marilyn Sherman, Owner UpFront Presentations - Helping people get a Front-Row seat in their life!
9030 W. Sahara Ave #444
Las Vegas, NV 89117

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  1. Wow! What a great example of innovative thinking! Living across the street from HPU, I have watched it blossom. It is an amazing thing to see. Those students are definitely getting a higher level education!

  2. That is so cool! And those are ALL examples of extremely creative ways to engage people, create a culture of positive energy and get more customers! In this case – students. What a fabulous model for other colleges and universities to follow.

  3. All of these ideas are so cool, so neat, so Nido!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Great changes ARE in the details, Marilyn.  That is a lesson we can all use to create great change!

  5. Love this!

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