Name: Peyton Carrington
Hometown: Wake Forest, North Carolina
Year: Class of 2021
Internship: Carrington joined the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX), which is a fellowship funded by the German Bundestag and U.S. Department of State that annually provides 75 American and 75 German young professionals, between the ages of 18½–24, the opportunity to spend one year in each other’s countries, studying, interning and living with hosts on a cultural immersion program.
How HPU helped you get there: “There were two faculty members who played a significant role in my being selected for this program. Dr. Arthur-Montagne worked diligently with me to help ensure that my application was thoroughly completed and polished. Also, my advisor, Dr. Wiitala, helped me prepare for my in-person interview by working with me on investigating the event management field in Germany as well as giving me advice on what resources to follow to keep up with German current events. Amidst the global pandemic, I retained on-campus employment as a Campus Concierge, which gave me insight on how to navigate a workspace in this climate. Although I was never trained in crisis management, being a Concierge team member offered a practicum in resiliency and professionalism. I learned to field questions and concerns. Concierge taught me how to remain calm in the most stressful of times. In an internship setting where the hospitality sector is in recovery mode, working as a Concierge has prepared me to act under pressure while maintaining open and honest communication with all who are involved. Throughout my years at HPU, I have learned how to manage my time and prioritize my tasks through my involvement in the honors program, a sorority, and a sport. Managing my time was crucial in working on my application and preparing for my interview because I was dedicated to the application the way I am dedicated to succeeding in my classes. Career services taught me new ways to engage with others to create networking contacts, which prepared me to use my resources when gathering insight on the German culture. My communication classes have helped me communicate my thoughts and ideas through improving my writing skills, which helped me write my essays for my application. Most importantly, Dr. Qubein has taught me the value in thankfulness. Dr. Qubein says, ‘Complaining is the opposite of Thanksgiving,’ and I have adopted a grateful heart in my day-to-day life. This mindset prepared me for the news of the program moving completely online this previous year. In the hardships of Covid, I have learned to preserve. The Office of Career and Professional Development has helped give me the tools to look for jobs and internships through helping with my resume, sharing information on job sites and applications with me, and the StrengthsFinder career test. These tools have taught me how to sell myself to future employers.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “My advisor, Dr. Wiitala, has invested a lot of time helping me not only prepare for the CBYX program, but also for my future career. Both her personal and professional advice has shed new light on the events industry for me and made me more confident in obtaining a career in the events sector. She has inspired me to work hard and pursue my dreams, and she has helped me lay out a path to accomplish them.”
What has your internship experience been like, and how is it preparing you for your future?: “As I write from Germany on a diplomatic exchange, I am studying the German language, taking hospitality courses, and I hope to pursue an internship in vinitourism. Studying and working in Germany will teach me about hospitality, creating cultural experiences, and unifying people through shared experiences. This international context will help me hone my skills in event planning not only on a local scale but also on a worldwide scale.”