With another successful Commencement behind us, future High Point University graduates are commencing 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 2020:
Name: Emmi Palenbaum
Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina
Post-graduation plans: Palenbaum will be attending the College of Charleston for their Master of Science in Environmental and Sustainability Studies program.
How HPU helped you get there: “Throughout my four years at HPU, I was able to explore so many different interests inside and outside of the classroom. In my classes and through campus involvement I found my passions and cultivated really meaningful relationships. I especially felt that the faculty in the English Department were devoted to helping me find my way and were always there to guide me in both academic and personal matters. I grew so much at HPU and found independence far past what I anticipated. Equipped with skills I learned at HPU, I achieved a lot in four years – including an internship with Clearwater Marine Aquarium last summer – and will now continue on to graduate school at the College of Charleston! Through the Office of Career and Professional Development, I was given advice on how to go about finding opportunities that matched my interests and how to present myself as an appealing candidate. During my sophomore year, I also participated in HPU in the City, where I visited and networked with companies such as HBO and Ralph Lauren in New York City.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “Dr. Matthew Carlson has been so much more than his title of associate professor of English during my four years at HPU. With Dr. Carlson, I’ve had the opportunity to travel abroad twice on Maymesters through the English department, present at an academic conference in St. Louis and feel confident in my graduate school applications because of his mentorship. He has never turned down a request to help me further my academic endeavors, no matter how many letters of recommendation or edits to a paper I ask him for. I really cannot say enough about the value that Dr. Carlson has added to my education at HPU. Dr. Sandra Cooke also significantly helped me through my journey and exploration of environmental science. She has such a passion for what she teaches and I thoroughly enjoyed the two courses I took with her. This last semester, I also helped Dr. Cooke with research, which was such a great experience, and helped support me in the graduate school application process.”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “It is really difficult to choose just one moment that stands out from the rest at HPU because there are so many that combined have made my experience so special. I think that looking back now at all I was able to accomplish in four years and the personal growth I found as a student at HPU is my favorite part. Some of my proudest moments included presenting at an academic conference in St. Louis, studying abroad twice with the English department, helping run Panhellenic sorority recruitment and a philanthropy week, and getting accepted into graduate school.”
Advice for underclassmen: “Be proactive in seeking out opportunities that align with your goals! Take different types of classes and do your research. Your goals might change along the way as you figure out what you are passionate about, but don’t be afraid to explore every option available to you. Also, find a mentor who is equally as passionate about helping you achieve your goals; they will make all the difference!”