Industry Exposé: Students Work at High Point Market

Students Deanna Smith (left) and Michelle Palombi interned at the Designmaster Furniture showroom.

Students Deanna Smith (left) and Michelle Palombi interned at the Designmaster Furniture showroom.

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 23, 2014 – Located in the furniture capital of the world, the High Point Market provides valuable experiential learning opportunities for High Point University students to work side-by-side renowned interior designers without ever leaving the city. As the fall market wraps up this year, so too do the priceless networking, career training and industry experiences for HPU interior design students.

At Designmaster Furniture, juniors Deanna Smith and Michelle Palombi walked buyers through showrooms, pointing out new fabrics and designs available this season. Both natives of New Jersey, they found the opportunity to work market one that should not be passed up.

“Not only does adding this experience to your résumé make you stand out from the competition, but the networking opportunities are great as well,” says Smith. “If a buyer is from the New Jersey area, I like to ask them about summer work opportunities I can pursue when I’m home for the summer.”

Senior Jaylan Oakes interned with the HGTV HOME Furniture Collection showroom.

Senior Jaylan Oakes interned with the HGTV HOME Furniture Collection showroom.

“You learn so much about interior design by working at market and talking to industry professionals who are already so well-established,” says Palombi. “This is such a valuable resource, and I wouldn’t be able to be a part of it had I not gone to HPU.”

Victoria Valentinas and Virginia Ellis, two recent HPU alumna, found employment with HGTV HOME/Bassett Furniture by interning with the company at market while a student. Valentinas is a sales and merchandising manager for the HGTV HOME Furniture Collection, while Ellis works in visual merchandising at Bassett Furniture. During this market, the graduates and other HPU student interns – like seniors Jaylan Oakes and Simone DeSantis – have been working alongside Nancy Fire, HGTV HOME’s famed design director.

Junior Rachel Townsend from Germantown, Maryland, interned with Lillian August for Hickory White. She says that interior design majors are not the only ones who can benefit from interning with a company during market.

“This experience is great for marketing majors as well because you talk to clients, you sell them a product and you sell yourself,” says Townsend.

“You’re meeting people and making connections,” adds junior Leanne Morrison, who interned with Rizzy Home. “Whether you’re studying marketing, business or human relations – even if you’re not an interior design major – you can still take something away from it. Especially being so close to HPU, everyone should work market if they can.”

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