Goodnight Spotlight: Max Davis

Greensboro resident and classically-trained pianist, Max Davis ’18, knows all the right notes to be successful at NC State.

Goodnight Scholars Program: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Max Davis: I am from Greensboro, North Carolina, where I grew up in an awesome family of four, counting my two parents and one older sister. I graduated from Northwest Guilford High School and came to NC State having been accepted into the College of Engineering, but still undecided as to my intended discipline. Within one semester, I had entered the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) due largely to the flexibility offered by a degree in ISE. Industrial engineers are employed virtually anywhere that a product is made or a process can be improved; in other words, everywhere. I was also attracted to the broad overview that industrial engineers receive by assessing whole systems, the same overview that gives them the insight to be the engineers most likely to work their way into executive roles. Outside of class, one can usually find me practicing piano, attending a Goodnight Scholars event, participating in my campus ministry, or hanging out with friends.

Talk about some of your greatest accomplishments at NC State thus far.

Awards that I’ve received include the Edward P. Fitts Scholarship, the College of Engineering Dean’s Office Scholarship, and appointment to the Dean’s List each semester. With regards to campus involvement, I’m an active participant in the Goodnight Scholars Program, which has also allowed me the unique privilege of serving as a leader through the Goodnight Scholars Mentor Program going on two years. Additionally, I spend a lot of time with the Presbyterian Campus Ministry of Raleigh, in which I’ve become a Leadership Team Member. Apart from those organizations, I can often be found in practice with one of NC State’s music ensembles, such as the Singing Statesmen or the State Chorale.

As far as internships, I spent the summer of 2016 working at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center as an intern for the Dean’s Office. This was my first internship as well as my first true foray into the medical field, and it was an amazing experience in terms of exposure to both a truly exciting and innovating industry and an outstanding company culture. Other accomplishments of mine include participation in an Alternative Service Break trip to Costa Rica and an entire semester of studying abroad in Wales, UK.

From attending professional programs with well-known leaders to jumping into social events with good friends to working with others to serve our community, my college experience has been greatly enriched by the [Goodnight Scholars] Program.

How would you describe your experience in the Goodnight Scholars Program?

The Goodnight Scholars Program is simply incredible. Going back to the start of my college career, I remember being elated when I first discovered that I had been awarded the Goodnight Scholarship and would receive such generous assistance in paying for my education. However, I hadn’t a clue as to how many opportunities would accompany the reward. From attending professional programs with well-known leaders to jumping into social events with good friends to working with others to serve our community, my college experience has been greatly enriched by the Program. Only halfway through my undergraduate career, I’m already reaping the far-reaching benefits of my involvement, which include gaining transferable work skills, receiving networking opportunities, learning from professionals, interacting with fellow scholars in the STEM fields, staying connected with the community, and paying it forward in both that same community and elsewhere.

What does being a Goodnight Scholar mean to you?

To me, being a Goodnight Scholar means doing one’s best to act as a good citizen at all times. Along with the benefits and rewards that it provides, this scholarship comes with a lot of responsibility. Namely, our scholars are accountable to represent our Program, our university, our state, and even our nation. Furthermore, one of the Program’s most important mantras states that the scholarship is not just a reward for high school achievement, but rather serves as an investment in us to develop as well-rounded leader in our communities. With that comes the duty to pay it forward and ensure that the resources invested in us make their way around to our neighbors through leadership, service, or even simple acts of kindness. In an effort to remain deserving of the privilege provided by the scholarship, I try to be the best representative that I can be and help those around me every chance I get. That’s what being a Goodnight Scholar means to me.

What will the next few years look like for you?

Currently, I intend to pursue full-time work upon graduating with my bachelor’s degree. Once I’ve gotten a few years of experience under my belt and narrowed my exact area of interest, I plan to return to school for a master’s degree, likely in either industrial engineering or business administration. As for the specific field, I’ve been swayed by my one internship experience to think that I might be interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. Given its ever-increasing size and complexity, the healthcare industry is in need of improved quality and efficiency. I hope to play a part in meeting that need through either a health systems engineering role or an administrative perspective.

What advice would give to a new or prospective Goodnight Scholars about being involved at NC State and the Goodnight Scholars Program?

My advice to any student, whether or not they are a Goodnight Scholar, is to try and find a balance in everything that you do. You should not spend every minute of your college years studying, nor should you spend them only having fun and ignoring the work. The same goes for your extracurricular involvements. Graduate school admissions and job recruitment alike seek well-rounded candidates, and you shouldn’t confine yourself to a single group. As great as that investment may be, having a diverse set of interests sets you apart more. Lastly, don’t forget to include friends and family in the mix. It shouldn’t need to be said, but it can be easy to forget that at the end of the day, it’s the group of people around you, and not your degree, that has your back.