Name: Michael Rossi
Hometown: Pennington, New Jersey
Post-graduation plans: Rossi will fulfill his childhood dream of working in NASCAR and join Richard Childress Racing as the Merchandise Services Coordinator. In his role, Rossi’s primary responsibility will be managing all team apparel for RCR and Earnhardt Childress Racing, including firesuits, crew shirts, corporate apparel and more. However, he will also wear a variety of hats, performing marketing and promotion for the RCR showcar division, museum and team retail store, while also archiving the team’s past and present history. Rossi will also assist in any corporate events held on the RCR campus, along with other licensing activities.
How HPU helped you get there: “HPU helped me by simply giving me the confidence to achieve my goals from day one. All the resources were here for me to take advantage of, and when utilized, it’s amazing how well they set me up for my career. From the start, I was told of the importance of getting involved outside of the classroom, and the importance of obtaining experience that would set me apart from my competition. HPU’s fierce dedication to their students and unparalleled resources deserve a lot of the credit for where I am today.
I was exposed to Career and Professional Development Services very early on in my HPU career. Akir Khan, my success coach, pointed me to an opportunity with the club hockey team that set in motion a chain of events that led to me landing this job. Career services gave me the tools I needed at every turn, and no matter what challenge was presented to me, I felt that I had a team of people in my corner to give me advice and the courage to keep going.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “By far, my most impactful mentor at HPU was Bridget Holcomb. I worked with her from my freshman year all the way up to graduation, and I give a lot of credit for my success to her advice and encouragement. I was told “no” multiple times by multiple organizations before I finally broke through, but she believed in me and kept me going. Her complete empathy for her students and her genuine desire for us to succeed was evident throughout my journey at HPU. I can’t thank her enough.”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “My most impactful moment was the first time I was told no by the very same organization that I work for now in a full time role. It lit a fire under me that carried me through the next two years, having something to prove and mistakes to fix. Other people may say their most impactful moment is a moment of breakthrough or success, but for me it was failure that impacted me the most.”
Advice for underclassmen: “Do whatever you can to gain experience outside the classroom. Find what you are passionate about, and immerse yourself in it. I completed three internships off campus and two on campus. That experience set me apart from anyone else. You have all the tools to get that experience at HPU, so take advantage of the people in your corner and chase your dream. And also, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy it. You aren’t defined by your grades, but by the company you keep and the path you make for yourself. You have limitless opportunity right now. Embrace it, work harder than anyone else, and you’ll surprise yourself.”
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It may be early in the semester, but Commencement will be here before we know it. Many 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. View more extraordinary seniors from the Class of 2017 here.