What are you doing now and how did you get there? I am in Germany on a Fulbright grant until July 2013. Fulbright is a cultural exchange program aimed at increasing understanding between the United States and other countries. Therefore, my time here is certainly about improving my language skills, but more importantly, about the exposure I’m gaining to the German systems of government and education. The application process involved a resume, essays, letters of recommendation, interviews, foreign language assessment and a lot of help from my wonderful professors and Honors Program staff. You typically apply about a year before you wish to begin the grant.
What is your day-to-day like at your job? (Any interesting projects that you can share with us?) For four mornings every week, I work with third through sixth graders as an English teaching assistant at an elementary school in Berlin. I am very fortunate to have three-day weekends to use for travel around Germany and Europe. When I’m not teaching at the school during the week, I try to take advantage of all the opportunities Berlin has to offer. Yesterday morning, for example, I hopped on a train right after school to my master’s class at Humboldt University on economic problems stemming from the rise in social media usage. After class, I sprinted through the street to spend the rest of the day at a Google Big Tent conference on the value of data and data privacy, where I met industry experts from across the world and listened to them frame problems of new media in a truly international context.
What activities were you involved while in Grady/UGA? I joined PRSSA August of freshman year and remained involved throughout my time at Grady, including serving on the executive board my junior year. I was a junior account executive for two Creative Consultants teams. Outside of Grady, I was a team captain for Undergraduate Mock Trial and a Residential Advisor for University Housing.
What part of your Grady experience (classes, professors, etc.) has been helpful in your career today? Grady professors and alumni were and continue to be an integral element of my support system; it is one I am incredibly thankful for! Additionally, the new media certificate, in particular, really helped to shape the direction I intend my graduate coursework and career to take.
What is your favorite Grady memory? That’s a tough one. I really enjoyed traveling to Washington, D.C. with PRSSA to meet with Grady alumni and tour public relations agencies. Other than that, networking events like PR Workout, Professional Connection, alumni visits and lectures, local agency tours, etc. were always a highlight, because there are so many paths to explore with a Grady degree and these events really reinforced that notion.
What advice do you have for current AdPR students? Take the time to get to know your professors. Never hesitate to apply for an opportunity you’re interested in, even if you don’t think you have enough experience or good enough grades. Every application you fill out will teach you something more about yourself and the professors who serve as your references may even pick up on an interest area for you that you had not identified for yourself.