Class of 2016 Outcomes: Deanna Smith Designs for Architecture Firm

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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: Deanna Smith

Hometown: Whitehouse Station, New Jersey

Major: Smith graduated with a B.A. in Interior Design on May 7.

Post-graduation plans: Smith accepted a position as an Interior Designer at Mind’s Eye Architecture in Charlotte, North Carolina. In her position, Smith will select fixtures, furniture and equipment, create construction drawings, and work with allied professionals at the job sites.

How HPU helped you get there: “High Point University provides a holistic education. This means that your education and time at HPU does not only shape your mind, but also your body and spirit. Everything that HPU provides to its students is meant to better them in a professional and business mindset. I cannot give enough credit to this mentality and the experiential learning that each student must take part in. Not just in interior design, but every major at HPU, we are placed in situations that we would experience in our post-grad career. I’ve worked at the High Point Furniture Market, completed projects that worked with local businesses or buildings in downtown High Point, and created designs for faculty and staff on campus. Being seen and treated as mature and professional young adults by our professors and the administration gives us all more confidence in achieving our dream.

Career and Professional Development helped me build and cater my resume toward the industry and company I was sending it to, while still keeping it professional and true to who I am and what I have done. Career and Professional Development was great in editing my word choices and job descriptions in order to show the impact I had made in these positions, and give me the best chance on being chosen for future positions.

Most impactful mentor at HPU: “It is not easy to choose just one person who has impacted me most at HPU; so many people have become mentors to me throughout my four years here. I first met Mr. Joe Cristy when applying for the University Ambassador program at HPU. He is one of those people you meet for the first time, and feel like you have known them for years. He truly gets to know anyone he meets or interacts with. Every time I talk to him, he does not cease to mention something important to me or an accomplishment I’ve had, that I didn’t tell him about; he just knew. I didn’t get in when first applying for the Ambassador program my freshman year, but Joe made sure I didn’t give up there. He pushed me to apply again my sophomore year. I did get the position my sophomore year, and it was all because of his faith in me. Joe stands behind the students 100% and never lets them forget the impact they can have and all they can accomplish. He always wants to make sure students are making the most of their time at HPU, and will do whatever he can to help them get there!”

Most impactful moment at HPU: “Being an interior design major at High Point University has one specific advantage to it compared to many other design schools: the High Point Furniture Market. Coming in as a freshman, I didn’t quite understand what the Furniture Market was, but I soon learned how much of an impact it would have on my journey toward becoming a professional interior designer. HPU gives its students, especially interior design students, the opportunity to take off from class, and work with well-known design companies. The High Point Furniture Market gave me the chance to meet not only different companies, but also designers who would come in and buy the product for their clients. This was a huge networking opportunity. Each person I interacted with gave me some wise advice about pursuing my design career, from up-and-coming design locations, to not being afraid to open my own firm soon after graduation. I’ve worked for Leftbank Art, Designmaster Furniture and West Bros Furniture, all which have appreciated not only my help during the hectic markets, but also my input and knowledge on their designs and products. Going to HPU and working the High Point Furniture Market has allowed me to make connections with allied professionals that I would have never had the chance to meet going to another college.”

Advice for underclassmen: “I know you hear it from everyone, but get involved! It took me a little while to find my place at HPU, but getting involved allows you to meet so many different people from so many different backgrounds. Joining a club, organization, team or on-campus job of something you are passionate about will introduce you to others who are also passionate about the same thing. These people you meet will become some of your closest connections, and will always be there to help if needed. Joining Alpha Phi Omega (the service fraternity), the University Ambassador Program and studying abroad have all given me the chance to meet people I never would have otherwise. These friends are people I know I can count on and can count on me. There is nothing more humbling and heartwarming than this type of connection. Along with meeting these new people, it gives you the chance to make connections with people. You never know how someone can impact your life or how you can impact theirs, so meet as many new people as you can!”

 

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