A strong student has a plan. For Jennifer Coples, ’16, her plan has included taking advantage of every opportunity that came her way – and creating a few opportunities of her own.
Jennifer is a fashion merchandising and design and business administration double major. She’s also thrown in a minor in marketing for good measure. More impressive than her academic ambition? Her timeline for achieving her goals.
“My adviser helped me tremendously by making sure that I was on track to complete all of my classes for both majors in order to graduate in four years,” said Jennifer.
Even with her demanding course load, Jennifer made it a priority to explore opportunities outside the classroom. She’s been involved in the Meredith Fashion Association, American Marketing Association, and White Iris Circle, the College’s student-led admissions ambassadors. She also served as a marketing consultant for the Office of Student Leadership and Service, and was a Broyhill Fellow.
With a solid plan in place, Jennifer was able to fit in an experience every fashionista dreams of – studying abroad in Paris. She traveled to the City of Light with Meredith’s fashion program and managed to complete an internship with a prestigious designer. She interned for Elie Saab, an haute couture designer whose gowns have been worn on red carpets by the likes of Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Emma Watson. After conducting a skype interview right before leaving to study abroad, she landed an additional internship with Rick Owens.
"My time in Paris opened my eyes to different opportunities in the fashion industry. I realized that I could be in publications, for instance, and combine my business and fashion background. Paris broadened my choices with regard to possible jobs."
The internships also underscored for Jennifer the importance of career planning. To ensure that she made the most of her time before she graduated, she worked closely with advisers in the Office of Career Planning. In fact, you could call her the poster child for StrongPoints®.
She used on-campus career planning services to revise her resume. Asked questions about professional conduct at career fairs, leadership conferences, and interviews. She attended seminars and networking events with potential employers. And she assessed her strengths and created her personalized StrongPoints plan.
"Both Academic Planning and Career Planning are among my go-to sources on campus,” said Jennifer. “They know me by name and face, not just as a number.” The meaningful relationships she formed with her advisers allowed them to work with her to understand how her unique strengths could be used to help her achieve her goals.
In addition to her flair for fashion and business sense, Jennifer’s strengths include determination, focus, and perseverance, so it’s not a surprise that she relishes every opportunity that comes her way. “You never know where it will take you in life,” she said.
The good news? All of her hard work paid off: after graduation, Jennifer is will be working in the marking field as an inside sales representative for Lenovo.
"Meredith has helped me refine the positive things about me. I have self-determination. I complete any task that's given to me and go above and beyond - but I ask questions along the way. And I learn from my mistakes - that's the only way I know how to become even better."