With another Commencement behind us, High Point University graduates will be 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 2021:
Name: Melissa Exner
Hometown: Westport, Connecticut
Post-graduation plans: Exner joins PricewaterhouseCoopers as a core assurance associate to perform financial statement audits for public and non-public clients across all industries.
How HPU helped you get there: “The vigorous accounting curriculum certainly helped me prepare myself for entering the workforce. HPU’s accounting program is certainly lengthy and difficult, but I walked away with better in-depth knowledge and understanding than what I may have gotten at another institution. Additionally, when working to meet the credit requirements to sit for the CPA exams, the vast amount of classes that HPU offers allowed me to do that in four years. Therefore, I am now preparing to sit for my first of four CPA exams to get my license. However, it was the caring staff of the accounting department that allowed me to achieve my goals. The level of concern they had for my success throughout my time at HPU was extraordinary. They gave the tough love and push when needed, but rewards always shortly followed. Professor Davis personally saw me through the accounting program and I always felt as if I had a guiding hand with the best intention behind it. The Office of Career and Professional Development also assisted me in building my resume and editing it as well and monitoring my summer internship.”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “When we were sent home due to COVID, it was so hard. I was living with one of my now good friends, and I was sad we had to leave early for the year. I struggled a lot, and I realized that it was time to start advocating for myself and asking for extra help. By the end of the year, I had brought all of my grades up by a full letter grade because I had worked hard and that’s when I learned that speaking up and asking questions is extremely valuable. In all honesty, I was so glad to be back in person for my senior year and to walk in person at graduation.”
Advice for underclassmen: “Never be afraid to put yourself out there and start your search early when looking for jobs. Networking is really important too. Make sure that you keep in contact with your advisor in school because they can be a great asset after graduation. Also, work hard, ask a lot of questions and don’t be afraid of failure. Employers would rather see you ask a question when you don’t know than fail because you didn’t ask. Regardless, failure is a part of the learning process and they understand that. They want to see you learn and grow. ”
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