Dozens of students at High Point University recently worked 1,500 hours at the spring High Point Market, the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world that’s held twice per year in the city of High Point. For interior design and home furnishings majors, working at market provides invaluable career experience and connections. In fact, many graduates find job placement through these opportunities. Their work is so prevalent and significant at market that the Greensboro News & Record featured our students on its April 9th front page, showcasing their stellar efforts both inside and outside of the classroom.
Below are merely a few more examples of the ways students connected with market this year.
Real-world Experience: Several HPU students like Taylor Buckley and Laura Twomey served as sales representative assistants for renowned designer Lillian August and the Hickory White showroom. The Sherrill Furniture showroom put six HPU students to work, including, Tori Selfe, who spent her time answering clients’ questions on seasonal trends and product options. At the HGTV Home for Bassett showroom, junior Jaylan Oakes helped prepare and put finishing touches on each of the display areas. “Every year that I work is another year that I gain more knowledge and experience,” says Oakes. “I don’t take this opportunity for granted because I never know where it could take me.”
Meeting Industry Leaders: The High Point Market also gives students a chance to work with renowned company leaders in the furniture design industry. This year, students met with HGTV star Genevieve Gorder during a showroom presentation on April 7. Past industry leader appearances have included ABC’s Ty Pennington and HGTV hosts Candace Olsen and Joe Ruggiero.
Alumni Connections: HPU alumnus Victoria Valentinas, a 2012 graduate, interned with HGTV her senior year. She now works full time as the Sales and Merchandising Manager for the HGTV HOME Furniture Collection. She helped 2013 graduate Virginia Ellis land employment with the company, and the two graduates also helped two current HPU students find opportunities to work in the showroom at this market.“I admire how much both Bassett and HGTV give students a chance and hire recent graduates,” Valentinas says. “They gave me an opportunity to a career path I had never previously considered.”
In addition, HPU students worked at many notable companies such as Appalachian Hardwood; Stanley Furniture; Rizzy Homes; Capel Rugs; Miles Talbott Furniture; Christopher Guy; American Drew Hammery and Lea; J Douglas; Jatex International; Vanguard Furniture; Fourth Daughter; Designmaster Furniture; Hooker Furniture; Rowe Fine Furnishings; and more. While the market occurs twice per year, many of these companies have headquarters in High Point, presenting year-round opportunities for HPU students to gain knowledge and experience.