Published

Kamilah Gray
Gray, the founding member of Terry’s Professional Entertainment and Sports Association, has high hopes of being a chief marketing officer of a major film studio or television network one day.

Expected graduation:

Spring 2012

Degree objective:

BBA in Marketing, Minor in Chinese Language and Literature

University highlights, achievements and awards:

Most notably, I founded PESA, The Professional Entertainment and Sports Association at Terry, during the half-point of my junior year. The organization focuses on the business side of the entertainment and sporting industry, and since it’s inception, we have held speaker panels, field trips, and conferences to help students build a network in the industry of their preference. I am most proud of what PESA has become in the short time that it has been active. From being the first African American female to found an organization in the Terry College of Business to launching PESA’s affiliate divisions PESA Cares, PESA Productions, and FTR: A PESA Publication, PESA has shown me what the outcome of passion and determination can truly be. Most recently we have expanded the PESA brand to schools across the southeast, an achievement I didn't think was possible under my presidency.

In addition to the achievement of creating PESA, I was also one of eight students to be chosen as a Deer Run Fellow for the spring of 2012. My colleagues and I are under the instruction of Dean Sumichrast, who teaches us about the keys to leadership. Thus far, the Fellows and I have had dinner with Mr. Douglas Ivester, the former CEO of Coca-Cola, and at the end of the semester, we will meet with him and other professionals on his farm as a way to develop our leadership skills. Through the highlights and achievements during my four years at the University, I am incredibly honored and humbled by the opportunities that I have been afforded.

High School: Fayette County High School

Hometown: Fayetteville, GA

Current Employment:

I am currently a desk assistant in the Hill Community.

Family Ties to UGA:

I am the first of my family to attend the University of Georgia and hopefully not the last!

I chose to attend UGA because…

…of its exemplary business school and the financial reward of the HOPE Scholarship. As I native New Yorker I yearned to transfer north, however I chose to stay at UGA because of the friendships I developed, the professional relationships I acquired, and the niche I created in the business school. Regardless of my preferences for northern cities, I fell in love with the great city of Athens and the University of Georgia. I am incredibly proud to be a Georgia Bulldog.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

…Union events! University Union throws incredible events every month, from concerts, comedy shows, thought provoking speakers and of course Dawgs After Dark! My favorite event thus far has been attending the Elliot Chang comedy show.

If I am not at a Union event, then I cherish the opportunities I get to leisurely walk around North Campus, soaking in its beauty and people watching.

When I have free time, I like…

…to watch new movies, television shows, and stay active! I love watching a great scripted drama or reality show and while I hardly have the time to do so during the week, I take advantage of the free time I have to watch new releases and shows. It doesn’t hurt that I want to work in the television and film industry.

I also love to play tennis, jog, dance and overall, stay active. By no means do I play like Serena Williams on the court. Running a 5K in Central Park over the summer was one of the most exhausting things I have ever done. And dancing? Let’s just say I’m not gifted in such coordination. But staying active and doing the things I love bring joy to my life, regardless of if I appear silly in the process.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

…audition for an MTV reality show. The summer I interned at Home Box Office in New York was filled with “crazy” experiences! One night while strolling through the city with a friend from New York University, an MTV recruiter for a show that was in development accosted us because of our lively personality. We were asked to audition for the show, so the next day I took myself to the audition at an obscure hotel in midtown Manhattan, and during the process I met some pretty fascinating people. Thankfully, I was not chosen to be on the network, but going through the experience of auditioning for a reality show on MTV was definitely a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.

My favorite place to study is…

…the Law Library. In my four years at the University, I have never been consistent with the locations I study at, moving from place to place like a gypsy traveler. Thus far however, the Law Library has been one of my favorite study spots due to the serious atmosphere and incredible feeling of being surrounded by monumental legal cases.

My favorite professor is…

…Lin Wang. I have had so many incredible professors, especially in the Terry College of Business, but Wang Laoshi has impacted me far more than any other teacher. She doesn’t know this, but even though I struggled through her Intermediate Chinese class, she persisted that I could actually learn the language. Her encouragement and belief in my abilities forced me to persevere far beyond the limits my mind constructed. In the end, my internal motive wasn’t about securing a good grade in the class, but about making her proud.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

…I would share it with my mother. There are a plethora of professionals, humanitarians, and icons that I would love to get to know and spend time with, but as I go through my life I know that I will create the opportunities to meet such people. The one person I would want to share an afternoon with, who I could never create such an opportunity in reality, would be my mother. She passed away several years ago and has been my inspiration to succeed throughout my collegiate and professional career.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

…continue to live. One thing that I have excelled at for the past couple of years is doing exactly what I set my mind to and not stopping until I achieve it. Failure has never been an option in my life, and if I were to “fail” I understand that that disappointment was meant to occur for a greater purpose. But of course, ending world hunger, poverty and finding a cure for cancer would be nice.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

…is witnessing Barack Obama win the 2008 election. That night University Union set up an inflatable jumbo-tron on Myers Quad, and students were able to get refreshments and sit out on the lawn to watch the election results. That night, me, my friends and the rest of the world watched a monumental moment in history, and whenever I reflect on that day, I will always think about that moment on Myers Quad, and the roar of cheers and applause from the results.