High Point University Students Gain Hands-On Experience at High Point Furniture Market
High Point University senior interior design majors Tara Kelley (left) Amy Fleener (right) and Christina Carilli, a sophomore psychology major (center) arrange pillows in the Loloi showroom during High Point Market.
High Point University students helped High Point Market exhibitors prepare for the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world, taking place Oct. 19-23. With more than 75,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors, the biannual event attracts industry leaders from across the globe and provides students with experiential learning opportunities.
While supporting an international tradeshow in the heart of downtown High Point, HPU students gain hands-on experience that helps them hone their professional skills through experiential learning.
For Amy Fleener and Tara Kelley, senior interior design majors at HPU, this is the third year they have worked at Loloi during High Point Market.
“I love seeing the new trends and making connections with industry professionals,” says Fleener. “Through my education at HPU, I have gained the life skills necessary to be a well-rounded asset for exhibitors and make the most of every opportunity presented to me.”
Students also appreciate the real-world experience furniture market provides.
“Learning how to navigate a trade show is something many learn on the job,” said Kelley. “For HPU students, we have this opportunity twice a year. Understanding what goes into exhibiting at a major trade show and seeing first-hand how interior designers work is great exposure.”
Melissa Iczkowski and Zariyah Rhynehardt, both senior interior design majors at HPU working at Bernhardt, are making the most of this opportunity.
“The organic conversations and face time with professionals across the industry has proven invaluable,” said Iczkowski. “I have secured two internships through connections I’ve met while working market.”
Rhynehardt notes how this experience serves as an extension of her education.
“HPU is well-connected and has provided so many opportunities to network and grow, including High Point Market,” says Rhynehardt. “Learning from professors who are also interior designers has prepared me for this experience, and HPU has given me the confidence to serve as an asset to exhibitors.”
Terri James, director of marketing at La-Z-Boy Casegoods, employs HPU students each market.
“I enjoy keeping them on staff for a few years,” said James. “We are fortunate to have a talent pool like High Point University nearby, and our clients love working with the students.”
Emma Lynch, a sophomore majoring in interior design, works with La-Z-Boy Casegoods. She says working furniture market complements her classroom experience.
“In my design classes, some of the basic ideas HPU has taught apply to how the showrooms are designed,” said Lynch. “Seeing how those lessons are implemented here with the furniture layout and space helps me to understand at a deeper level.”
The fall High Point Market continues through Oct. 23, providing students with continual access to professional development opportunities.
About High Point University: At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.® HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 5,400 undergraduate and graduate students. It is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report for Best Regional Colleges in the South, No. 1 for Most Innovative Regional Colleges in the South and No. 1 for Best Undergraduate Teaching in the South. The Princeton Review named HPU in the 2020 edition of “The Best 385 Colleges” and on the Best Southeastern Colleges “2020 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list. HPU was recognized as a Great School for Business Majors and a Great School for Communication Majors. HPU was also recognized for Most Beautiful Campus (No. 18), Best College Dorms (No. 5) and Best Campus Food (No. 20). For nine years in a row, HPU has been named a College of Distinction with special recognition for business and education programs and career development, and The National Council on Teacher Quality ranks HPU’s elementary education program as one of the best in the nation. The university offers 60 undergraduate majors, 64 undergraduate minors and 13 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. For more information, visit highpoint.edu.
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