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 graduate from the Class of 2015:
Name: Meaghan McRee
Hometown: High Point, North Carolina
Major: McRee graduated with a master’s degree in Strategic Communication, with a double concentration in Public Relations and Health Communication, on May 9. She previously received her B.A. in Strategic Communication, with a minor in Human Relations, from HPU in 2014.
Post-graduation plans: McRee accepted a position as the Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator at Smart Choice. In her position, McRee develops and manages content for all Smart Choice social media accounts. She also develops content for marketing communications, press releases and other Smart Choice publications, such as the Smart Choice Magazine.
How HPU helped you get there: “HPU brought a confidence out in me not only in my academic work, but also in everyday skills that I have taken into the workplace today. When you have professors that believe in you and are provided opportunities to learn, apply and demonstrate what you know, your confidence increases and you find that you are able to do things you never thought you could. Academically, HPU provided me with the ability to not only pursue an undergraduate degree, but to also work towards and complete a graduate degree. The fact that HPU has this B.A. to M.A. program really sets students apart in the job market.“
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “I have had countless mentors throughout my undergraduate and graduate time at HPU. Dr. Virginia McDermott is not only an amazing professor that cares about you (both academically and personally), but she truly wants her students to succeed outside of the classroom. She is tough and honest, but that is what prepares you for the real world. You know at the end of the day that if she gives you her stamp of approval, you can be confident in the fact that you worked hard and did a good job.
Another important person at HPU that has certainly shaped my time at HPU and thereafter would be Hillary Kokajko. While I was an undergrad, I worked in the Office of Communications and just being able to watch and learn from those within that office was quite a blessing. Hillary would make me aware of opportunities that she thought I would be interested in, and actually was the one who helped me find the internship that turned into my current job!“
Most impactful moment at HPU: “During my undergraduate studies, I cannot say I had just one impactful moment. I was involved in Greek life, choir, committees, Honor Societies, and other various groups around campus that all provided skills and experiences that I will never take for granted. By being around people with different backgrounds, majors, and perspectives and being able to travel with the choir, volunteer at philanthropy events, and make recommendations on committees, I can safely say that my four years at HPU was one big impactful moment that shaped me into the person I am today.
During my graduate studies at HPU, I, along with fellow graduate students, were able to assist in the development and execution of a health campaign, “Share Thrills, Not Pills,” for the Davidson County Department of Health regarding the use of prescription pills among younger youth (specifically middle school students). I had no idea how much thought and work went into a campaign from posters, to brochures, to videos and the logistics of it all. That summer was the most tiring, but the most rewarding as I was able to see this project come to fruition from just an idea on a white board to a full campaign.“
Advice for underclassmen: “Be kind to everyone you meet. Reach out. Make connections. Foster relationships. Work hard. And never think you are too good for any task or job. Because I was able to work in the Office of Communication throughout my undergraduate career, from being a member of the Student Marketing Committee, to organizing photos, to blogging, I was fortunate enough to meet Hillary Kokajko who helped me find an amazing internship at Smart Choice that turned into my first full-time job! You never know who you will meet!“