With another successful Commencement behind us, 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: Courtney Kerr
Hometown: Avon, Indiana
Post-graduation plans: After graduating from High Point University’s Master’s in Strategic Communication program, Kerr joins Upper Hand as a communications specialist in Indianapolis, Indiana. In her role, she is responsible for amplifying Upper Hand’s voice through a variety of channels and audiences. Through highlighting customer stories, product features, and the Upper Hand brand, Kerr is joining a talented and growing marketing team to develop strong media and partnership relationships and create opportunities for Upper Hand.
How HPU helped you get there: “HPU really challenged me to challenge myself. As an introverted person and a homebody, I was really nervous about making friends and excelling as a student. HPU encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone, and I met lifelong friends and found my passion. While the look and feel of the campus is unlike anything else I’ve seen, what really makes the HPU experience so great is the people. From campus enhancement, and the dining team, to my success coach, advisors, and Dr. Qubein, everyone here makes you feel like you belong. My professors knew me by name and encouraged me to build on my strengths and work on my weaknesses, pushing me to explore new opportunities. Starting my freshman year, the Office of Career and Professional Development helped me develop my professionalism and plan for my future. Whether it was learning how to write an effective cover letter and develop a resume with limited experiences as a freshman, to walking through the full-time job search process as a graduate student, they were always there to offer advice and support.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “It’s hard to narrow down the list of impactful mentors, because my life was touched by so many people, but I would like to recognize my master’s thesis committee of Dr. Florian Hemme, Dr. Curtis Matthews and Dr. Vern Biaett. Without Dr. Biaett as my undergraduate advisor, I probably wouldn’t have considered pursuing my master’s, which ended up being my favorite year of school. The projects and information I learned in many of my classes with Dr. Matthews has given me the opportunity to take ownership of some projects in my new role and in past internships. Dr. Hemme challenged me to think beyond my comfort zone, giving me the confidence to take ownership of big ideas. I can’t thank these three enough for all of their support and mentorship.”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “My favorite moment at HPU comes from my year as a graduate student. In the summer of 2019, following my undergraduate graduation, I continued to summer classes. The BA to MA program includes a summer semester, and over those eight weeks, I got really close with my cohort. We spent a lot of time together in classes, as the summer courses were more rigorous, but we also got to know each other outside of class. We shared a lot of memorable moments, and I didn’t just gain friends, but also mentors and a very impressive professional network.”
Advice for underclassmen: “My main piece of advice is to challenge yourself and try new things. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, because you never know what passion you may uncover. Whether it be pushing yourself in your classes, joining a new club, or seeking out internships, try to soak in all of the opportunities you have at HPU. You may be surprised at what you find out about yourself!”