With commencement just around the corner, recent High Point University graduates are already 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 2019:
Name: Melanie Fichialos
Hometown: Mocksville, North Carolina
Post-graduation plans: Fichialos will be in the global automotive finance rotation program as a financial analyst for the tech company TE Connectivity. She will have three, year-long assignments in various roles within the finance department. Fichiolas’ first rotation is in financial planning and analysis (FP&A), and her work will be focused on forecasting and analyzing trends. She will also be leveraging her statistics background by working with data visualization tools to make data more telling.
How HPU helped you get there: “High Point University has given me the tools to succeed in the workforce by teaching me the hard skills needed to land the job, but more importantly, by teaching me the life skills to be a confident, determined, articulate, young woman. I was blessed with so many mentors throughout college who helped me hone in on what job would be the perfect blend of my talents and passions, which made such a difference when answering the question “Why you?” during the interview process. I am convinced that my summer internship turned into a full-time job offer because of my work ethic and the life skills that High Point University taught me. There were times I went into the Office of Career & Professional Development to fine tune my resume, while other times I walked in with a face I’m sure screamed “help me I don’t know what I am doing”. No matter the reason, I always left feeling more confident with clear goals moving forward. The staff were always extremely helpful in getting me to see the big picture and giving me life advice that I use every day.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “My most impactful mentor would have to be Dr. Lamb, who served as my academic adviser. I ended up spending a lot of time working with Dr. Lamb considering I took six of my major classes with him and was always camped out in his office during office hours. The classes I took with him were by far the hardest classes I took in my college career, and the first class I took with him left me feeling defeated and frustrated. By the sixth class, I had completely changed the way I studied math and came to the realization that sometimes things that used to come easy to you in high school might require significantly more time in college. Dr. Lamb was patient and helpful every time I came to him with questions about homework and life. He always had my best interest at heart.”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “My most impactful moment was also with Dr. Lamb. During my junior year I had a meeting with him to discuss my last few semesters when out of the blue he said, “Melanie, I don’t really see you as an actuary”, which voiced my exact thoughts and concerns leading up to that meeting. The fact that Dr. Lamb wasn’t afraid to voice the truth helped me face my fears about changing my career path. I believed that changing something that felt so set in stone would be a much bigger deal than it actually was. Dr. Lamb helped me learn to sell myself and my actuarial science background when interviewing with someone who might not know what actuarial science is. In those moments, I learned that it’s okay to change your path. You couldn’t have possibly seen all of the paths that are out there to choose from.”
Advice for underclassmen: “My biggest advice is to prioritize your non-quantifiable development just as much as your GPA. When I reflect on the choices I made in college that allowed me to be in the position I am today, I think about the clubs I led, the jobs I had on campus and the challenging courses I took. Although I worked hard to graduate with a great GPA, I was very aware that if you had the right GPA but no life skills, you won’t be successful post-grad.”