With Commencement just around the corner, High Point University seniors 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 2016:
Name: Hillary Wilson
Hometown: Henderson, North Carolina
Major: Wilson graduated with a B.S. in Biology on May 7.
Post-graduation plans: Wilson will attend graduate school for Medical and Biological Illustration at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. After she receives her degree, Wilson plans to pursue a career as a medical illustrator.
How HPU helped you get there: “It was really my professors here at HPU I have to thank. They’ve all been some of the friendliest, most helpful and quirky professionals I’ve come in contact with, and they’ve been an integral part of me staying interested in science and medicine, and then later taking the leap of adding art to the mix. They’ve also been great about helping me make connections, find people to talk to, get research opportunities, and more. Everyone was extremely encouraging when I changed my career plans my junior year, and they did their best to help me get everything I needed to apply.
The staff in Career & Professional Development were really helpful when I was first making the decision to apply to medical illustration programs. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get all of the requirements in such a short time, so they helped by talking through some other options if I would have to wait a year and apply earlier, and they helped me with getting my resume updated.“
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “Dr. Vernon Coffield in the Biology department has been my advisor since freshman year, and I’ve had him for two classes and also did research with him. He’s seen me change a lot since freshman year and has always been there to help me plan and figure out my life and career goals. Dr. Meghan Blackledge has also made a big impact. I had her for the hardest class I’ve ever taken in my entire academic career, and I still go to her office to get life advice or just talk.“
Most impactful moment at HPU: “When I applied to become an ambassador my freshman year but wasn’t picked for the job. I got some great feedback, and it was essentially the spark that made me decide to face life head on, come out of my shell, and stop watching college life and opportunities pass me by because I was too quiet and reserved.”
Advice for underclassmen: “Don’t be afraid to go after something even if you think you’re not qualified or you won’t get it. The worst thing that can happen is you’ll have to regroup and try again. I almost didn’t apply to grad school at all this year because hadn’t taken all of of the required classes, didn’t have a portfolio together, and knew the programs only accepted a few people. Once I got over my fear of failure and worked really hard my first semester of senior year, I ended up getting into my first choice.“