With another successful commencement behind us, recent High Point University graduates are preparing to commence prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the Class of 2015:
Name: Cassie Williams
Hometown: Mason, Michigan
Major: Williams graduated with a B.S.B.A. in International Business on May 9.
Post-graduation plans: Williams accepted a position as an Inbound Annuities Representative at Lincoln Financial in Greensboro, North Carolina. In her position, Williams will be responsible for taking care of all broker requests, providing hypothetical illustrations as well as presenting information on annuity performance and features.
How HPU helped you get there: “High Point University has provided me with an outstanding liberal arts education that has given me a well-rounded foundation for future success, along with unlimited resources and opportunities. Bridget Holcombe, the director of Career and Internship Services, helped me prepare everything from my resume to cover letters and taught me how to utilize resources such as The Gallup Strengths Finders test and the Myers-Briggs which helped me capitalize on my strengths and minimize my weaknesses. High Point University also constantly surrounded me with professors who truly cared about my success while motivating and encouraging me to succeed.
I began utilizing Career Services my freshman year at HPU and continued to do so throughout the entirety of my four years. I went to Career Services when I needed advice on determining the right major and career path for me, finding the right internships, and ultimately landing my dream job; Career and Internship Services was there for me every step of the way. I worked with Bridget Holcombe quite extensively during my four years. Bridget helped me with everything from finding business professionals in the area to job shadow, creating a proposal for my dream internship at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and fine tuning my resume and interviewing skills.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “I have had so many extraordinary mentors at HPU that it is hard to choose only one. However, Shannon LeFever, the manager of chapel programs at The Hayworth Chapel, has had an immense impact on my life since my first year at HPU. As a freshman, I decided to apply to join the Board of Stewards at the Hayworth chapel, which is how I first met Shannon. After joining the board, which Shannon facilitated, I began to get know her extremely well. For the next two years, I worked with Shannon as an office assistant in the chapel office, where her positive attitude and love for life shone even brighter. Shannon always sincerely cared for each student she came into contact with and loved nothing more than doing service for others – this I always admired about her. Her dedication to the chapel and to the Board of Stewards was truly unwavering. Not only was Shannon always there for me through good and bad, but she never thought twice about putting everyone else before herself.
One day as I was telling her of my interest in finance, she told me her daughter, Caroline, worked in the finance industry. After this conversation, Shannon connected me with Caroline and I job shadowed her several times. After job shadowing in Caroline’s office and talking with her manager at Lincoln Financial, they informed me of an open positon in their department, which I applied for and later was offered! If it were not for Shannon taking the time to care and help me gain experience, I would have never been connected with my future employer. This is just one example of a time that Shannon went out of her way to help and mentor me. I am sure that she has not only been my most impactful mentor, but also an amazing mentor to many others across High Point University’s campus.”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “As my graduation from HPU grew closer and closer, I was constantly trying to gain as much job-related experience as possible through informational interviews, job shadowing and internships. After working with Career Services to find successful professionals in the area of international business, I was connected with Lauren McGraw, a High Point University alumnae who worked at Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation in the International Department. Interested in her position, I reached out to Lauren to set up an informational interview. Several weeks later I met with Lauren, learned about her career path, and about her current position as Senior International Operations Services Specialist at Krispy Kreme. Following our meeting, I asked her if Krispy Kreme currently had any internships available in their International Department. Lauren explained to me that they did not currently have an internship program but challenged me to create an internship program of my own for the department, and if approved said that I could pilot the program as the very first intern. With an unbelievable opportunity before me, I wanted to do my best to create a program that I knew could succeed. High Point University and Career services gave me the knowledge and resources to create a successful internship program. Bridget in Career Services worked with me to create a program that combined best practices from other internships and gave me advice on how to write a program that could succeed. I began working with Lauren to create the program in the Fall of 2014, and after approval, I started as the very first International Department intern at Krispy Kreme in January 2015. My internship experience with Krispy Kreme was the most beneficial learning experience I have ever had and I could not have created the program without the help and resources at High Point University.”
Advice for underclassmen: “Take full advantage of every opportunity offered to you. High Point University is such an incredible institution with unparalleled resources that you shouldn’t leave on the table. Never be afraid to put yourself out there and try something new, because you never know where new experiences could lead you.
Also, work experience is vital in any career. Start early in searching for opportunities to gain work-related experience and add to your resume. Internships and job shadowing not only provide you with learning experiences but they also help you to narrow down what you really want to do with your career. Always take time to learn from and about professionals in your desired fields. You may be surprised about the path that they took to get to where they are and many times they can provide you will valuable advice that will help you in your journey.”
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