An Interview On
University of Georgia

Background

Interview Date:July 2018

Gender Identity: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White
Graduation Year: 2018, but I’m doing a one-year master’s program that I will finish next summer.
Sexual Orientation: Straight
High School Experience: Private school in Atlanta, GA with a graduating class about 115 students. We had 100% college placement.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Advertising. I’m getting dual master’s degree in public relations and advertising, but the official title is Mass Communication.
Minor: Sociology
Extracurricular Activities: I was in a fraternity, I was in Advertising Club, and I worked as a bar-back and waiter at a restaurant in Athens.

Have any of your extracurricular activities had a particularly big impact on your experience?
Greek life did because I made a lot of friends through my fraternity and events with other sororities. It also gave me a chance to have leadership roles.

Academic Experience

Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
Besides the general electives, we had one class to cover each aspect of the advertising industry, so one class on the creative process, one class on the analytics process, one class on the research process, etc. A lot of our classes were centered around a campaign with either a real or mock client that we’d do an advertising campaign for.

What were your major graded assignments?
The biggest grades were centered around the campaign, whether that be a final project or an ongoing project throughout the semester.

Is there anything that you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
It did a good job of having real life clients with real life problems that we could make an impact on. We did mock campaigns that our clients used in certain aspects of their business. It’s cool to get how our work can actually help a business out.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
The learning environment, especially in regards to campaigns, was very collaborative. We were always on teams, so we had to understand our teammates strengths and weaknesses. A lot of times our professors would have to list our strengths and weaknesses, that way you know who to have in your group. For example, we’d always have someone who knew Photoshop or had video skills to make fake ads or billboards and stuff like that.

How accessible were your professors?
They were pretty accessible. They were always in class and they had pre-defined office hours. Sometimes they would carve out time in class to make sure that everybody’s getting the time they need to meet with the professor for our projects and campaigns.

What has been your favorite class in your major?
Advertising and Communication Management because it was a very hands-off professor, but he was very knowledgeable. I had a really good group for that class and made an awesome campaign.

What has been your least favorite class in your major?
Ethics of Advertising. It was a very interesting course topic, but the professor wasn’t very good and didn’t speak English very well. She just read off of her PowerPoints and was not very engaging.

Why did you choose your major? And are you happy with your choice?
I knew I wanted to go into business, but I didn’t want to do the typical 9-5 lifestyle. Advertising is an in-between of business and a more creative career path, so I chose that for both of those reasons. I’m happy with my choice. I’ve enjoyed my classes and I look forward to starting my career after graduation. Also, UGA has one of the top [communications] schools in the country.

How was managing your coursework and being in a fraternity at a big southern school?
It was actually very manageable. I lived in the fraternity house my sophomore year and got really good grades because I knew that I had to put school first. I’d go to the library and not be distracted and then go back and hang out.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Creswell Hall with one roommate.

Sophomore: I lived in my fraternity house. I shared my room with one roommate and the whole house had about 18 people in it.

Junior & Senior: I lived in a house about a mile away from downtown. I had a room to myself and had three roommates in the house.

What was your favorite living situation?
The fraternity house was very fun, but having my own house my junior and senior year was my favorite because it was much cleaner and I had more space. The house was in good condition. It was close to my other friends’ houses and I could walk to class and to the bars.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on campus?
On campus it’s very safe. I’m also a male, so I’m not worried about sexual assault and things like that. Off campus, depending on where you are in Athens it can be a little sketchy. There have been some incidents, like last summer somebody was shot and killed at an apartment complex [editor could not find news article], we’ve had people come into our garage before, and a few weeks ago my friend was walking past the downtown area and was held at gunpoint. The UGA campus is safe, but Athens has dangerous areas. The area that I’m living in is not the safest.

What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
The World Famous. It’s a hole in the wall, but they have the best wings in Athens and great poutine.

What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Athens has great nature trails, and there is one called Greenway. I’ll very often go on a run there.

Pros and cons of being located in Athens, GA?
Pros:
1) There is an amazing music scene. Big bands come to Athens and there’s never a shortage of live music.
2) It’s close to Atlanta, so if you need a big city it’s accessible. It’s about an hour and a half drive.
3) It’s a very pretty city with a lot of history.

Cons:
1) If you don’t like the heat then it’s not for you. Athens can get very hot, especially in the summer.
2) Overall, Athens-Clarke County is very poor. [There is about a 25% poverty rate and the median household income is around $40,000.]

Social Opportunities

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Georgia is known for its nightlife. [As of 2014, 122 downtown businesses serve alcohol.] You could go out six nights a week if you want to. I have a friend who went out five nights a week for a whole year. I’d probably go out two to three nights a week. I’d go out every Thursday, choose between Friday and Saturday, and then maybe a Tuesday. Normally that would entail going to a party and then going to a bar downtown. People bar hop in Athens because there’s no covers, so it’s very common to go to multiple bars in one night. There are bars that trend more towards Greek life and there are hipster bars too.

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
Greek life definitely has an impact. It determines which bars Greeks go to because bar owners will hire Greek people because Greek students will bring in their friends in their fraternity or sorority. Greek organizations throw the parties, so they will control the theme, how big it is, who comes, and things like that. At the same time, if you’re not in Greek life you can still have a very active nightlife. It’s not an inhibitor.

How happy are you with the nightlife at Georgia? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m happy with it, but over the past few years there’s been an issue of racial profiling. A lot of bars will use their dress code to racially profile who comes to the bar. I have friends who are minorities and they’ve been turned down from bars for their “outfits” but students who are White will wear the same thing and get into the bars.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
My closest friends who are males, the majority of them I met through my fraternity. I still have a handful of friends from my freshman hall who I still keep up with. My female friends, the majority of them I met through Greek life events like parties and socials, and I have met a handful of my female friends in the downtown nightlife too.

How would you describe the overall social scene at Georgia?
It’s a very active social scene. There are plenty of bars. But, if alcohol’s not your thing, there are plenty of clubs you can join so you can find your niche. The clubs are a great way to get involved and find your friend group. There’s room for everyone at UGA.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientation mix socially?
Because of the bars racial profiling, it’s not the best when it comes to downtown. But, I have friends of all different races and sexual orientations. I can’t speak as much to different sexual orientations though because I just don’t notice it that much.

What do you think the impact of Greek life is on social life?
I think it depends on the person. My viewpoint is that it’s always good to have friends in different social groups and different bubbles, so I’ve branched out from just my fraternity and my pledge class. You can join Greek life and only have friends in your fraternity, you can not join Greek life and have lots of friends, or you can join Greek life and have friends inside of Greek life and outside of it.

Careers

Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
No, I had an internship last summer that I found on my own. I have plenty of friends you have found internships through alumni. We have a lot of career fairs during the school year where alumni will come back. UGA also has a lot of internships that you can find through your professors. I had an internship during the past school year through a professor where I worked remotely for a company in New York City.

To what extent have you used the career office? How helpful have they been?
I went to the career office a handful of times. What’s good about them is they have working hours to do resume critiques and edit cover letters. They’ve given me resources to help me find internships. It’s definitely helpful, but it’s up to the student to take advantage of it. You have to make the effort.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew before about Georgia when you entered as a freshman?
I wish I had known how my academic career would go over the four years. When they advise you it’s just by semester, I wish they’d sit you down and walk you through how the overall academic career works and a broader view of your academic path.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Go look at the Ramsey Center, it’s the student gym. They have a pool to swim in, a rock-climbing wall, a weight room, and basketball courts, etc. If you’re an active person, it’s a very impressive facility to check out.

Reasons to attend Georgia:
1) If you live in Georgia, you can get the HOPE Scholarship.
2) It’s a very good public state school academically.
3) There’s a really fun nightlife and social scene.
4) The football culture is unlike anything else. Everyone lives and breathes UGA Football.

Reasons to not attend Georgia:
1) It is a very social school. If you’re not a big partier, you may struggle at first to find your niche.
2) The freshman dorms aren’t really the best. If you’re really picky about housing, maybe look at a different school.
3) If you’re not good at balancing nightlife and Greek life with academics.

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