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: Anthony Vita
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
Post-graduation plans: Vita accepted a position as an Assistant Account Executive at ASTRSK PR, a public relations agency in New York City. In his position, Vita focuses on fashion/tech/business accounts varying from smaller startups to well-established brands, including MVMT, ALOHA and Cole Haan.
How HPU helped you get there: “During my four years at High Point I learned a great deal, what’s funny though is that probably 95% of that took place outside of the classroom. HPU does a fantastic job instilling the idea that to make it in this world, you need to truly seize every moment that is throw your way. I think people take for the granted the free time they have in college and let so many opportunities pass them by when, in fact, we have this incredible window of time in our lives to explore, get lost, question everything and really discover our truest passions.
One of the biggest things I also have to thank HPU for is the people. I would not be where I am today without that community and the sense of cooperative competition yet willingness to help each other all the time.
Career and Professional Development helped me with internships. Your degree is great but everyone has one. Having a background in your industry, knowing people, and being able to speak from actual experiences before its time to graduate and apply for your first job is key – a major key. It will save you so much time, effort, headaches, late-nights and worry if you are constantly working to better yourself in your line of work and build a diverse/unique toolkit of experiences to take everywhere with you.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “There are two people I have to credit:
Don Scarborough. This is probably the nicest man on this planet. If you don’t know him, his office is on the third floor of Roberts Hall. You should walk up there and introduce yourself as soon as possible. This man is probably one of the most important people to the HPU community and ensuring we have the opportunities we do. Quite simply the way he lives his life, the people he helps and the attitude he always carries around campus is really infections. He’s a great model on how to live life.
Professor Phil Watson. This man just gets it. and his no BS attitude and the crass nature in which he taught his classes always captivated me. Communications classes are difficult because the industry is continuously evolving at such a quick pace that you can’t learn from a book. Professor Watson teaches from experience and makes you think critically. He immerses his students into fabricated scenarios that they will later encounter in their career and helps them find effective ways to handle them.“
Most impactful moment at HPU: “I have two impactful moments. The first is move in. People rarely stay friends with the guys they first meet freshman year, but I’m fortunate enough to still call those four roommates my best friends. We privately referred to ourselves as ‘The Blessing 5’ (myself, Nick Palmer, Jeff Berwager, Connor Eline and James Perry Willis III). What I love about us is how drastically different our personalities are and the areas we are each succeeding in. We come from such different backgrounds that it taught us tolerance of opposing ideals, patience, helped us push each other to be better versions of our current self every day and to have to always have a good time.
My second impactful moment was getting a bid to Kappa Sigma. Being Greek taught me networking in a entirely different light. It taught me tolerance, patience, leadership skills, hyper-organization, how to have an incredible time all the time and just generally assisted in shaping me into who I am today in just about every way.”
Advice for underclassmen: “One of my favorite quotes is from Sir Richard Branson: ‘If someone offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.’ To break it down, fake it till you make it. Every opportunity I’ve had has come from me nailing down the role/company it is that I want about 5 months in advance and then networking my way into that role. Applications are great, but they are often overlooked and when you can have someone already on the other side who can (and wants to) take that piece of paper and walk it into the office of the person running the show with even the smallest recommendation – you’re in.
Also, ‘Say yes to everything.’ This was from my youth leader in high school, but I always loved it. The work will always get done, but you’re not going to remember a single assignment you ever turned in during college a year after you graduate. Take these four years as an opportunity to do anything and everything because that’s what you will remember.“