From Home Furnishing Business
High Point University Students Volunteer at Fall Market, Gain Hands-on Experience
During this week’s High Point Market, High Point University students had the opportunity to help exhibitors prepare for Market. By supporting an international tradeshow with more than 75,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors, 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,” said 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, made the most of the 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.”