Degrees type and major(s): B.B.A. in marketing
Hometown/High school: Gwinnett County/Collins Hill High School
Has there been a particularly impactful learning experience that you’ve had while a student at UGA? If so, share what it is.
During my time at UGA there was one experience in particular that best prepared me for my future career: being a manager at the Ramsey Student Center. I began my journey with Ramsey as a staff member during my first semester of junior year. After working hard and exceeding goals, I was promoted to a manager the following semester. As a manager, I not only was responsible for leading my peers, but also scheduling, conducting interviews and resume workshops and coordinating team building events.
Through my efforts, I was one of five managers who assumed the role of our supervisor once he received a promotion. After excelling in my role as a manager, my bosses and supervisors selected me to represent all 600 recreational sport employees on the student advisory board that meets with the vice president of student affairs and dean of students every month.
How did that experience change you or clarify your future plans? What did you take away from it?
Serving as a manager allowed me to not only develop my skills as a leader, but also the skills of those whom I was leading. The most rewarding part of the job was witnessing my peers improve their skills. This experience helped me realize how passionate I am about management and how much I enjoy seeing both myself, and those I am managing, grow as individuals.
In all of my favorite college experiences, there was one common thread—interacting with people. I knew that whatever industry I ended up in, I wanted to work and help develop people. I discovered this passion during my time at Ramsey. My main takeaway was that there is not a cookie-cutter answer when it comes to working with individuals; I had to figure out how each person was and what motivated them in a work setting. This challenge is one that I want to continue to develop on a larger scale in the business world.
Has there been a particular faculty or staff member who’s had a big impact on your time at UGA? If so, who and why?
There are three faculty members that have had a tremendous impact on my college experience: Laura Richardson, Jen Osborn and Kevin Ellis.
Richardson was my amazing adviser all four years and kept me on track to graduate. She provided guidance on every course I brought up and had extensive knowledge on what I needed moving forward. I am very grateful for her help throughout my time here and the many conversations we shared.
Osbon helped me really get involved in my major by networking with business professionals through the American Marketing Association. She serves as the faculty adviser for AMA and has a true passion for educating students about digital marketing. That passion is contagious to students around her. She introduced me and others to our first conference. While at the conference, we listened to multiple seminars and had the opportunity to speak with industry professionals. This early exposure taught me the necessary steps to networking.
Ellis helped me channel my inner salesperson. He teaches the sales courses in the Terry College of Business. He encouraged me to compete in numerous sales competitions and work to improve my selling skills. By working closely with him, he selected me and one other student to represent the university in a sales competition in Kansas City, where we can establish UGA as one of the top sales programs in the country.
Who are you most grateful to for helping you succeed and reach your goal of graduating? Why?
I am most grateful for my parents and their love and support throughout college. They provided me the means to attend school and obtain a degree. Without them I would not be graduating from UGA this December. Knowing how much they have sacrificed for me has motivated me to be as successful as possible following graduation. Plus, I don't think they want me moving back in with them for the next 10 years.
They gave me the perfect balance of advice and guidance to allow me to find my passion during my time at UGA. I also want to set an example for my younger brother, Robert, who is about to begin his college career at the University of Virginia.
Thank you for everything Mom and Dad. And good luck, Robert.
Plans after graduation: I have accepted an offer as a district manager with Aldi.