Inside the HGTV Home Collection showroom at the High Point Market, Victoria Valentinas set the stage.
She started by creating colorful floor plans on special software, and she wasn’t finished until she had put the last pillow in its place. She spent the week of market keeping the showroom fresh for buyers who crowded around the highly sought after line.
Valentines landed her career in the home furnishings industry because she has an eye for design – one that High Point University helped her develop.
Valentinas graduated in May from HPU with a successful college career under her belt. She received a bachelor’s degree in interior design and minored in studio art. Thanks to her education and internship experience, Valentinas was hired in May as the visual merchandising coordinator for Bassett Industries and HGTV Home Furniture.
As merchandising coordinator for HGTV by Bassett, Valentinas’ desk is located in the corporate office in Bassett, Va. However, Valentinas is only there a few times a week. The rest of her time is spent doing on-site visits to stores that sell Bassett’s products, creating their floor plans and preparing for new designs. She also works with the High Point and Las Vegas Furniture Markets by planning and installing the floor for presentations. Currently, Valentinas is designing a Bassett store in Smith Mountain Lake, Va. from the ground up, selecting products to sell, the look of the store and coordinating tasks.
During her time at HPU, Valentinas took advantage of her convenient proximity to the High Point Market and interned with four different showrooms. Her jobs ranged from showroom design to sales.
“My internships gave me credibility as a designer by gaining knowledge and experience in both commercial, residential and furniture design as well as sales,” says Valentinas. “Without all of these incredible internships, I would not have the network that I do today.”
Valentinas spent time in the Office of Career and Internship Services at HPU as an undergrad, working on her resume and learning how to find internships and jobs.
Before her senior year, Valentinas’ professors selected her to be a WithIT Scholar (Women in the Home Industry Today), which led to an internship with HGTV HOME and opened up networking opportunities that led her to the position she now holds.
Valentinas feels confident in her new career and knows she has the knowledge to succeed thanks to the opportunities she found at HPU.
“From day one with the President’s Seminar I have been pushed to be the best that I can be and to never give up the ability to achieve my dreams,” says Valentinas.
Her professors helped her learn how to build endurance to get through long, intensive projects and presentations, making her a stronger designer and giving her the strength to sell her ideas.
“I am beyond grateful for my professors and their support and connections which have linked me to the opportunities that have served as the steps to where I am today.”
She says her time at HPU – building friendships, staying up all night to finish projects in Norton Hall – and more – will stay with her as she continues to craft her career.
“I’ll always keep a piece of HPU with me.”