University of Georgia
BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Graduation Year: 2019
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
High School Experience: I went to a public school in Athens, GA with a graduating class of about 250 students. It was about a 15-minute drive from UGA. There was a culture of going to college. Most of the students were professors’ kids.
First Generation College Student: No
Minor: Studio Art, but I mainly take Graphic Design classes
Extracurricular Activities: Talking Dog, which is the student-run advertising and public relations agency.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your majors?
It depends. Some have more coursework than others. I had a data analysis class that definitely got more homework than some of my other classes. Most of the classes are more about in-class discussion than homework. I wouldn’t say that the coursework is very hard or super rigorous in my experience.
What were your major graded assignments?
For the more data analysis and management part of Advertising, you have more tests. Whereas, like in my Campaigns class, you’re just going to be making ad campaigns. It’s a good mixture of projects and tests.
Is there anything that you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
I think it’s really good at presenting opportunities for the students, especially through extracurriculars, whether it’s Advertising Club, Talking Dog, or [networking] mixers. We have a lot of great people come to our career fairs and a lot of great people come in as guest speakers. They’ll bring people in and we can get their information to maybe talk one on one with them or have a networking session with them afterward.
I had a great time going to Chicago with Grady [School of Journalism] to go on an agency tour with about 20 other kids. We visited all the biggest advertising, public relations, and media agencies. That was super eye-opening.
What has been your favorite class in your major?
I’m more on the creative end of advertising, so my favorite classes are Copywriting and Visual Art and stuff like that. Those classes where I’m making advertisements are the ones where I enjoyed them the most. I even thought my social media classes were interesting.
What has been your least favorite class in your major?
The data analytics class was okay, but that was probably my least favorite. It is definitely crucial to learn, but just not my interest.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It can be both. The creative end is always going to be competitive because everyone is making things, and if yours is better then you’re going to be the one who comes out on top. As far as the collaborative part, what I’ve learned through Talking Dog is that every team member has a role to play. Everyone is going to have a separate role, but we have to come together and do it all as a whole. They definitely show us that a lot in our classes.
Why did you choose your major? And are you happy with your choice?
The honest answer is that I wanted to be an Art major, but that’s not very sturdy. I think that’s why there are a lot of Art minors or double majors in Advertising because a lot of them want to have a job after college. It’s a little scary diving head first into being an Art major.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: I lived in the dorms.
Sophomore: I technically lived at home because my mom’s house is only 15 minutes away from campus, but I spent most of my time at an apartment complex called River Mill
Junior: We live in a house close to the downtown area. I have four roommates.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
It’s all over the place and it’s really what you want it to be. Because I grew up in Athens, I already was very comfortable in the town and had a lot of friends, so adjusting to college was not a big deal for me. I have friends in Greek life and I have friends not in Greek life. A lot of the times those two worlds are very separated, but I’ve had a foot in both worlds because I have friends participating in both lifestyles. Overall, it’s been great. You can go out and hang out with whoever you want and there are places in Athens that will accommodate whatever you’re looking for. If you’re not someone who wants to go downtown and party, you can just hang out in people’s houses and apartments. There’s also plenty of stuff to do downtown besides drinking.
What has been your experience having a foot in Greek life and foot in the arts community?
My roommate is in a fraternity so I got to go to frat parties, and I have friends in sororities so I’ve been to date nights and formals and stuff. That’s all been really fun and I’ve had positive experiences with that. I have friends who are theater majors and art majors and they’re a bit more lowkey, which is completely fine and sometimes I prefer that depending on the night. If I don’t want to get too drunk or too rowdy, I’d much rather hang out at their place. My friends have invited me to go to drag shows, concerts at the Georgia Theatre or at the 40 Watt. All those venues have great music circulating through.
The downtown area is kind of split that way too. The west side of downtown where Church Bar is, that area is going to be less Greek. If you go towards Double Barrell, which is the direct opposite side of town, it’s going to be a lot more fratty. The lines get strong somewhere around College Ave.
What have been some of your favorite times at Georgia?
Our football season last year was incredible. I’ve never been that big of a Georgia football fan even though it was so close, but last year is when I got into it because when your team does well it’s fun. Going to the football games last year was a highlight. In general, a lot of my friends say some of their favorite experiences have been studying abroad.
How did you meet your closest friends?
A lot of my closest friends are my childhood friends from high school. Some of my other friends I’ve met through them. One of my newer close friends I’ve met through classes and through Talking Dog.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Georgia?
I think the social scene is great. It’s such a big school with so many different types of people that I genuinely feel that most people will be able to find a group or a pocket of people that they really enjoy spending time with, whether that’s in Greek life, art, theater, or whatever their interest is. It’s pretty accepting, but sometimes I still see racism here and there. We’re still in the south and I don’t judge UGA for that, it’s still a pretty progressive area. There’s an area called Normaltown, which is much more progressive and artsy area. It’s great for people that want an alternative to the downtown scene. That’s for people who want to go see spoken word poetry or an art installation and stuff like that.
As a person who is not in Greek life, what is the impact of Greek life on social life in your opinion?
I think the best thing that Greek life has to offer is connecting a lot of people who are not from Athens or are from out of state. It’s a great way to meet friends and always have something to do. There is something always going on with Greek life, whether it be date nights, socials, formals, or tailgating together. It presents a pretty great opportunity for that kind of stuff. It can be a little bit divisive, but it’s really what you make it.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
They have. I personally have relied a bit more on my personal contacts, but I have been presented with opportunities that if I followed up more vigorously then I would have been able to score an internship or opportunity with an alum. Even when I went to Chicago, there were UGA alums working at the big agencies. During our visit, they came up and talked to us and said that they were able to score this awesome job because of their [Georgia] connections.
To what extent have you used the career office? How helpful have they been?
I personally haven’t used the career office a ton. I know it’s a great resource for kids and a lot of kids do use it a lot. I have a really great relationship with my advisor, she is basically the adviser for all the Advertising Majors, and she is the best advisor. She really, really helps you and can help you with looking for an internship over the summer or doing an academic internship during the school year.
What computer programs have you learned that will be helpful to you professionally?
I’ve learned a lot of the Adobe Suite, so both Photoshop and InDesign. If you’re looking to go into the visual arts or the creative components of Grady, you’ll learn those. There’s a New Media Certificate that Grady offers, so it’s kind of like minoring in something, and you take a lot of courses that will get familiar in video editing and other tech savvy ways.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew before about Georgia when you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew more about the study abroad opportunities. If I had known how easy it was to go to Spain and take classes that I needed anyway, I definitely would have gone. Also, as a cautionary tale for kids coming to UGA, it’s a party school. Drinking is a big part of the culture. People forget that if you’re drinking downtown and you’re underaged there are consequences if you run into trouble.
Reasons to attend Georgia:
1) It’s not the hardest college. It’s manageable to balance your social life and get good grades.
2) It’s a lot of fun
3) In-state tuition. It’s such a bonus that Georgia offers the HOPE Scholarship.
4) Football’s fun.
Reasons to not attend Georgia:
If you’re looking for somewhere that is a bit more prestigious or difficult. Depending on what your major is, it may not be the best school as far as credentials go.