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 2015:
Name: Grace Brinkley
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Major: Brinkley graduated with a B.S. in Psychology on May 9.
Post-graduation plans: Brinkley accepted a position as an account coordinator at Endicott & Company Public Relations in downtown Dallas, Texas. In her position, Brinkley is responsible for managing social media, coordinating with local and national media to promote clients, and organizing event support for openings, socials and promotional parties. She works with many high-profile accounts, including the high-end restaurant group Del Frisco and award-winning chef Stephan Pyles.
How HPU helped you get there: “High Point University helped me achieve my career goals by providing me with an amazing support system of mentors and professors and allowing me to exercise my education and professional skills in real-world situations. I firmly believe that attending a smaller university accelerated my education and enabled me to make connections and experiences I would be lacking at a larger school. Throughout my four years, I fostered relationships and received one-on-one attention from my professors and various members of other departments, which helped me to identify a career path and create a foundation of networking contacts I plan to utilize far into the future.
Furthermore, High Point University’s excellent Career and Internship Services department helped me attain two internships that solidified my passion for public relations and expanded my knowledge of the field past the classroom. I would especially like to thank Kellie McCleod for helping me find and contact a paid internship during my last semester and for her words of encouragement throughout my post-graduate job search. I will forever be grateful for the time she spent reassuring me that my hard work would pay off and she was the first person I contacted when I received my current position.“
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “I was fortunate enough to meet many inspiring people throughout my time at High Point so it is difficult to identify one person, but I would have to say that Dr. Paul Ringel was probably most influential to me from an academic and personal standpoint. I first met Dr. Ringel as a freshman in his Racial Relations class. After being praised for my writing skills every school year until I reached college, I was shocked when he dissected every word in my papers and basically told me my flowery language wasn’t going to cut it. Throughout the next three years, he honed my writing skills and made sure that I was not only answering ‘what’ to his questions, but ‘why’ and ‘how’ as well. Not only did he advance my writing skills far past what I could have ever achieved alone, he met with me many times over the years to discuss my academic course and future career. He is a direct reflection of the type of individual attention you can receive as a student at High Point University.“
Most impactful moment at HPU: “The most impactful moments I experienced at High Point University were my travel opportunities. During my junior year, I spent the spring semester at Bond University in Australia. The Study Abroad department helped me choose a location, organize my academic coursework requirements, and prepared me for my three-month stay. Traveling alone to this beautiful country empowered me to reevaluate my future path and gain the confidence to seek out experiences that would contribute to my personal growth and development. The following year, I participated in the Alternative Spring Break opportunity and traveled to Cange, Haiti with a group of fellow students. This service trip changed my life by exposing me to the poverty, love, and hope that characterizes this third-world country. High Point University allowed me to have these life-altering experiences that I will forever cherish and remember.”
Advice for underclassmen: “Seek out every opportunity and never expect anything to be handed to you. During a journalism class my senior year, a guest speaker told us her best piece of advice was to always say ‘yes’ to any opportunity you are given. This resonated with me because there were many, many times where I was scared or nervous about taking a chance, beginning with my initial move to a university far from home. Throughout your four years in college, there will be numerous times where you will want to stay in your comfort zone or bypass an experience that could change your life for the better. Never allow yourself to be limited because of fear. Travel abroad, do things alone, seek out that amazing internship or job in another city. Those experiences will never be handed to you if you don’t actively seek them out and say yes when they are presented.“