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 2016:
Name: Stephanie Ziolkowski
Hometown: Wyomissing, Pennsylvania
Post-graduation plans: Ziolkowski accepted a position as a Human Relations and Executive Assistant at SREE Hotels in Charlotte, North Carolina. In her position, Ziolkowski assists the company’s executive vice president of finance and works closely with the human resources director in SREE’s corporate office. Her responsibilities include completing audit reports for each of the 20 hotels SREE manages, running background checks, assisting with unemployment claims, incident reports, workers compensation, recruiting and assisting new hires in completing new employee documentation.
How HPU helped you get there: “HPU helped me to achieve my goals because being a student here taught me that no goal is too difficult to attain, and that as long as you are hard-working and self-motivated, nothing is impossible. Dr. Nido Qubein is a real-life representation of this philosophy, and having such an inspiring president and mentor on campus is a constant motivator to students to work harder, dream bigger and do more.
I first went to the Career & Professional Development office my sophomore year to inquire about internship opportunities in my hometown. Eric Melniczek helped me land an internship with Penske Truck Leasing in their corporate office in my hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania. I interned with Penske for the next two summers and visited the Career & Professional Development office again at the beginning of my senior year. Eric helped me decide what kind of jobs would be best suited for me and gave me tips and advice before interviews.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “The most impactful mentor for me at HPU is Dr. Claudia Femenias, my Spanish professor and academic advisor throughout my four years at High Point. She encouraged me to change my Spanish minor to a double major with International Business, and assured me that I could handle the extra work load when I was skeptical. She also helped convince me that studying abroad in Spain would make a world of difference in my Spanish pronunciation and fluency. She helped me choose the right classes to take while abroad to make the most of my experience, while also maintaining a rigorous course load. She often believed in my Spanish ability more than I did, and challenged me both inside and outside of the classroom. I couldn’t have graduated with a double major in International Business and Spanish without Dr. Femenias’ help and support.”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “It is difficult to choose a specific ‘moment’ that helped to shape me throughout my four years at HPU, but joining Alpha Phi Omega was probably the most impactful aspect of my college career. Having the opportunity to serve others with a group of like-minded people who love service as much as I do was an experience I can’t put into words. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to meet so many kind- hearted people who made my college experience unforgettable.”
Advice for underclassmen: “Make the most of the opportunities and resources given to you at HPU. Between Academic Services, Career & Professional Development, and the various career fairs and events High Point hosts throughout the year, it is never too early to start planning for your future. Also, get involved! I cannot stress this point enough. Get out of your comfort zone – there are hundreds of activities and clubs on campus, and sometimes doing something you are unsure about at first is the absolute best way to learn and grow. Find that perfect club or activity that makes you feel like you are right at home, and I promise you, you will have the best four years of your life.”