HPU Students Build Professional Skills at High Point Market


Pictured L to R are interior design majors Juliana Maniscalco, Anastasia Avlonitis and a potential client. Part of their job is to interact with customers and direct them to the different designs at Primitive Collections.

High Point University students gained professional experience at the fall High Point Market, one of the largest home furnishing industry trade shows in the world, from Oct. 16-20.

The biannual event attracts industry leaders from across the globe who hire students, providing experiential learning opportunities to network with professionals during the furniture market.

“High Point University has opened so many doors for networking, and the location is great for students to work the High Point Market,” says Anna Hankins, a sophomore from Lynchburg, Virginia. “I’ve loved meeting people from all over the world through working at the market.”

Hankins worked with fellow HPU students Gabby Lozon and Taylor Ann O’Connor at Universal Furniture. They connected with a variety of clients inside the showroom, where they served as the first point of interaction. They also provided tours in the showroom and the designer’s lounge. For O’Connor, working in the furniture industry runs in her family.

“Furniture is kind of in my blood,” says O’Connor, a sophomore from Summerfield, North Carolina. ”This is my fourth market I’ve worked, and it is a great opportunity for me to learn more about furniture and to grow my passion for this industry. HPU’s emphasis on the importance of internships made me want to work market. It’s also been fun getting my friends involved in something I’m passionate about.”

This is Anastasia Avlonitis’ first market experience, and she helped at Primitive Collections, a lifestyle-inspired company and showroom at the International Home Furnishings Center, the heart of the High Point Market. She says this experience boosted her confidence when interacting with potential clients.

“This is a great teaching and learning experience by interacting with different people,” says Avlonitis, a sophomore interior design major from West Chester County, New York. “As an interior design major, I heard a lot about furniture market, especially from older students that I’ve met through HPU. I personally wanted to gain the hands-on experience I’ve heard so much about.”

Michael Papadakis, executive vice president for Primitive Collections, supervised Avlonitis and Juliana Maniscalco, a junior interior design major, at Primitive Collections. He says that he wanted to work with HPU students because they are eager to gain real-world experience in the industry.  

“These ladies have done an amazing job, and each day they have gained more knowledge in their position at the market,” says Papadakis. “They’ve gained hands-on experience by helping and interacting with customers. It’s been an honor working with them.”


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 5,850 undergraduate and graduate students. It is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report for Best Regional Colleges in the South and No. 1 for Most Innovative Regional Colleges in the South. The Princeton Review named HPU in the 2022 edition of “The Best 387 Colleges” and on the Best Southeastern Colleges “2022 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list. HPU was also recognized as a Great School for Business/Finance Majors, a Great School for Communication Majors and Great Dorms. For 11 years in a row, HPU has been named a College of Distinction with special recognition for career development, business and education programs. The university has 62 undergraduate majors, 64 undergraduate minors and 14 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. For more information, visit highpoint.edu.

Furniture Industry News and in depth magazine articles for the furniture retail, furniture manufacturers, and furniture distributors.

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