Skip to main content

November 14, 2023

She's Charting her Own Course at Guilford

Sarah Sheets '26 always thought she wanted to be an engineer like her dad. Guilford showed her a different path.

“The one-on-one help that I receive from my professors is extremely beneficial for me."

Sarah Sheets '26
Experience Design and Computing Technology and Information Systems double major

When she went looking for a college, Sarah Sheets ‘26 always knew that she wanted to stay close to home. Little did she know that college would be even closer than she thought.

Sarah, a Greensboro native, says she always dreamed of attending North Carolina A&T State University in town. The school has a strong engineering program and Sarah always thought she’d want to follow in her father’s footsteps. Stephen Sheets is a manufacturing engineer with Thomas Built Buses. “He taught me a lot of stuff about engineering, so it always piqued my interest,” she says.

At New Garden Friends School, the local Quaker high school Sarah attended, students have the opportunity to dual-enroll at Guilford College and take college courses. New Garden and Guilford’s campuses are side by side in Greensboro. Sarah saw this as an excellent opportunity to get ahead in mathematics to jump start her career in engineering. However, after struggling while taking Calculus II at Guilford, Sarah had a change of heart and started searching for other career opportunities.

During her college search, Sarah recalls a conversation she had with Kyle Wooden, her admissions counselor at Guilford. “I had no idea Guilford even offered anything related to design,” she says. “My parents always thought I wanted to be an engineer, so I didn’t even look at other options.”

These days Sarah is seeking a double major in Experience Design and Computing Technology and Information Systems. One thing that drew her to the program is the ambiguity of her majors, which Sarah says gives her more input in creating her degree.

Sarah says Experience Design is is a hard major to define. “The easiest definition I can give is this: designing systems, products, and services with the understanding of how people think and interact; it’s designing things for people,” she says.

Now, as a sophomore at Guilford, Sarah hopes to leverage her experience into internships. She’s already in conversation with Allen Industries, a company that makes signs for big-name companies like Olive Garden and Wendy’s, and Skyline Holt, a company that specializes in creating exhibits to demonstrate products at conventions and conferences.

She credits her advisors, Mark Dixon and Marjory Kiehn in the Art Department, along with Rob Whitnell of the CTIS Department, for helping her find such opportunities. “The one-on-one help that I receive from my professors is extremely beneficial for me,” says Sarah. “Mark and Marjory have both helped me immensely while working on my portfolio, and Rob helped me format my resume. I don’t think I would have gotten that one-on-one help from a large university.”

Sarah can’t imagine herself anywhere but Guilford. She appreciates the education she’s receiving and values the communal environment that runs through the college. “Honestly, you can’t meet a stranger here,” she says. “Guilford is amazing because of its community and everyone that supports each other.”

Sarah wants a career in web design and development. She knows that as she moves forward, Guilford will be in her corner for the whole ride, supporting her along the way.


About the Author

Connor Moran '26 is pursuing a degree in Computing Technology and Information Systems. He is from Stokesdale, N.C., and enjoys playing chess, guitar, and video games. He loves the welcoming community of Guilford and hopes to pursue a career in technology.