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: Abby Ray
Hometown: High Point, North Carolina
Post-graduation plans: Ray joins World Relief Triad as a communications and advocacy coordinator. She creates and manages all of the digital, print and social media produced. Ray’s position also involves a large amount of civic and church engagement, including arranging individualized meetings to discuss legislation and support they can get involved with, with the purpose of advocating on behalf of certain vulnerable populations.
How HPU helped you get there: “HPU prepared me for this next phase of life through not only teaching me skills and knowledge about the field I will be entering but primarily through fostering my intellectual curiosity, professional development and preparedness, and cultivating individual relationships with mentors, both academically and professionally. I attribute the majority of this maturity in all areas to the Honors Scholar Program, and the structure of its curriculum. The Office of Career and Professional Development helped me to solidify my decision in creating a major and minor plan that worked best for the skills I wanted to acquire as well as attaining certain internships. I gained both of the most influential internships in my time at HPU after meeting with the director at the time, Dr. Doug Hall, who is now the assistant vice president of diversity and inclusion. He continued to check in on me and send me job and internship opportunities as well, one of which I chose to pursue and accepted.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “It’s difficult to choose just one mentor who was most impactful during my time, but Dr. Nathan Hedman was definitely influential in the majority of my academic, professional and personal development. Throughout all of my time at HPU, Dr. Hedman served as an intellectual stimulator in the classroom, a confidant outside of it and most importantly, he was always interested in and worked to create the best possible strategy for my graduation and professional plan. He respected, and encouraged, my choice to major in a subject in the humanities while also gaining the hard skills necessary for a job in the communications field by minoring in it. Perhaps his best quality, however, was his love and willingness to discuss any number of quirky and nerdy topics for the simple sake and love of learning. ”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “While my time at HPU was full of many teaching moments, within the classroom and outside of it, I will never forget all of the times that the subjects learned in the classroom were carried into other courses or the professional field. One that comes to mind that was most impactful was when I was able to take the skills I had learned in a strategic communications class in public relations writing directly to my internship. I felt immensely more prepared, which gave me ease and comfort in supporting my supervisor’s needs and expectations. In terms of what I did not know until entering the job field, I also realized that the critical thinking skills and ability to ask questions would assist me in learning what I had not yet learned in the classroom. ”
Advice for underclassmen: “Always ask lots of questions. It is never wrong to continue asking yourself, your supervisors, coworkers, mentors, friends, and families clarifying questions. Secondly, don’t assume that the answer you have arrived at if you have arrived at one, is correct. Maintain strong values, passions, and goals that you have pre-determined, but never stay in such a fixed position that you are unable to grow, learn, and open your mind to new ideas, philosophies, possibilities, and most importantly, people.”
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