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 2016:
Name: Candace Tucker
Hometown: Troutman, North Carolina
Post-graduation plans: Tucker will continue to serve as Operations Manager at Action Greensboro in North Carolina, a nonprofit organization that focuses on enhancing quality of life in Greensboro and attracting and retaining young professionals.
“My most current project is Made in Greensboro, an initiative that profiles individuals in Greensboro who make things or who make things happen. The project launched in December 2015 and each week we feature a maker. Makers range from entrepreneurs to a guitar maker to a community organizer to a nanoscientist and even a penguin whisper from the Greensboro Science Center.”
How HPU helped you get there: “My courses at HPU have helped me think and write critically, and improve on my presentation skills. I also graduated with a portfolio of proposals, infographics and campaign materials that I created on my own in various classes. I was also able to make connections with community leaders and organizations through classmates and different projects.
When I first begin studying at HPU, I met with Eric Melniczek in Career and Professional Development. He helped me redesign my resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile. With the connection I made with Eric, I recommended him for a speaking engagement at work through at the synerG Young Professionals Lead Your City Summit this past fall.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “Two professors in the strategic communication program – Dr. Shannon Campbell and Dr. Linda Gretton. It was in both of their classes when I realized my passion for public relations and building relationships. They both always shared their real-life experiences in the PR field.
In Dr. Gretton’s class, we assessed real-time crises and worked with a client to develop a crisis communication plan. Each week, we reviewed crises that occurred and gave a PR perspective on how we would have handled it. When reviewing our work and presentations, Dr. Gretton would ask specific questions that would make us think outside of the box. We also had a guest speaker come in that was the handle the PR for Columbine High School shooting.
In Dr. Campbell’s class, she treated it like we were already working in a PR agency. She gave us deadlines in class and taught us how to write and think strategically. It was in Dr. Campbell’s class when I created a five year plan; it really helped me map out my future career and personal goals. It was also great to talk about different topics like millennials and women in the workplace, weekly debates on media, family values, politics and theories. I can always go to Dr. Campbell about class, but also just to talk about different careers, opportunities, experiences and life. She’s always so supportive and I greatly appreciate her for that! ”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “There are so many to choose from! Being acknowledged as a Mover and Shaker. Successfully completing the comprehensive exam in 72 hours, which included a proposal, crisis campaign and two production pieces. Having the pleasure of hearing from speakers such as Marc Randolph from Netflix, Biz Stone from Twitter, Stephanie George from Women’s Wear Daily and most recently, Stedman Graham.”
Advice for underclassmen: “1) Gain as much knowledge and experience as you can through internships and projects. You never know what opportunity may come from it. Take action – attend conferences to showcase and present your work or volunteer your time and talents.
2) Network, network, network! It’s very important to have an array of connections after you graduate; it could lead to a job or reference for the job you want.
3) Enjoy the moment, but have a good balance between work and play.”