HPU senior interior design major Savannah Stone (left) and HPU senior interior design major Katie Watts (center) prepare for the upcoming High Point Market in the Lillian August for Hickory White showroom.
HIGH POINT, N.C., April 5, 2019 – High Point University students were busy today helping prepare for thousands of visitors expected to attend High Point Market April 6-10. The event attracts industry leaders from all over the world, providing students with experiential learning opportunities.
Gaining experience at High Point Market is one of many opportunities provided to students at HPU. Located in downtown High Point, just minutes from HPU’s campus, furniture market offers students the opportunity to hone their professional skills through experiential learning.
Sue McGrew, strategic account manager with MT Company, enjoys working furniture market with HPU student Katie White, a senior interior design major.
“Katie is a tremendous help. She is always cheerful, willing to complete tasks, watches the customers and eagerly helps them,” said McGrew.
This is White’s sixth furniture market with the company. She enjoys coming back because of the relationships she has built.
“MT Company has been great to work with because they have helped me network and find additional internships through the summer,” said White.
MT Company relies on HPU students’ motivation to help their clients through the showroom.
“It is important to arrive on time and be willing to stay late if they’re needed. That’s what we appreciate about HPU students,” said Kathy Schaal, customer service representative with MT Company. “When it’s busy, we need so much help in the showroom. Sometimes I’m working with three or four clients at a time, and Katie will pull fabrics for me.”
Savannah Stone, an HPU senior interior design major, works with Lillian August for Hickory White. She says working furniture market complements her classroom experience.
“I’ve met many designers that I’ve been in contact with for potential job opportunities, and I’ve also learned about what’s trending in the industry,” said Stone. “I think a lot of learning is experiential learning and being out in the field. A lot of interior design programs across the country don’t have this opportunity to interact with designers face-to-face.”
Al Melchiano, a representative with Lillian August for Hickory White, has worked with Stone, Katie Watts, an HPU senior interior design major, and many other HPU students.
“There have been several students from the university who have worked here and got fantastic jobs after,” said Melchiano. “I enjoy working with the students because they learn really quick.”
The spring High Point Market continues through April 10, providing students with continual access to professional development opportunities.