Hometown: Pulaski, Virginia
Major: Business Administration
Post-Graduation Plans: I plan to apply to VCU Adcenter for graduate school for advertising. I will also be applying for jobs as a strategic planner at several advertising agencies in New York City and Washington D.C.
Favorite Class: My favorite class, hands down, was Integrated Marketing Communications (aka Ad Class) winter term my junior year. Professor Bower does a superb job of allowing students to basically run the class. While she provided the background learning that we needed, what happened in that class was entirely up to the students. We were able to work for a real client, Coca-Cola, and pitch our advertising campaign to professionals in the advertising industry, while competing against other colleges in the area. It was as if I worked for a real agency. I was allowed to see how an agency works and without that class I would still be clueless as to what I want to do with my future.
When deciding where to go to college, I knew that I wanted to be close to my family in case something went wrong or I just didn’t fit in. Ironically, I live an hour and a half from my parents-- fairly close compared to most--and yet I go home no more often than students who live as far as Texas and California. At first my parents were disappointed that they never saw me at home, until they realized the reason. I found myself at an amazing university where I felt like I made a difference, and I never wanted to leave.
I tried several activities my freshman year. They were great, the people were great, but they just didn’t fit me--except for one group, my sorority. Going through recruitment I honestly didn’t think that I would end up in a sorority. No one in my family was Greek, and the whole concept of a sorority was foreign to me. During fall term I met women from all over the country who were at very different places in their W&L lives. I got to know them very well, and ended up in a sorority with them. Thanks to my sorority, I also formed friendships with women that I would not have otherwise met. While I am excited to graduate in June, I will truly miss the daily conversations that I have with my sisters over lunch and the ability to find a true friend there at any time.
The Greek community at W&L has truly shaped my college experience--not just the friends that I’ve made, but the opportunities that it has given me. When I was first given a position on the Panhellenic Council, I had no idea what they did other than govern the sororities on campus. I soon learned that Panhel handled everything behind the scenes, always looking for ways to improve the Greek community, educate women on various issues, and get women involved. One of my favorite Panhel events is Day of Dialogue, which is held every winter. The event is completely organized by students, including choosing the topic for the day. It is one of the few times during the year when Greek students gather and talk about what issues W&L students are facing, and more importantly, what we as students can do to improve the campus. I am always amazed at how creative students get with their suggestions for improvement—from simple things like parking and food choices on campus to widespread issues such as gender relations, student health and diversity. Students take a genuine interest in making W&L a better place, and Day of Dialogue is a great opportunity for them to express those ideas and make a difference on the campus.
Panhellenic has become a very important part of my college years. I was given leadership opportunities that have prepared me for a job. Working with different people with a variety of personalities and interests has taught me how to effectively interact with people in a group or work setting, and my involvement in various activities has forced me to learn how to juggle a lot of things and still get all of my course work done.
For me, college has been more than taking classes and furthering my education. It has been about making life-long friends, growing up, figuring out what I truly enjoy doing, and realizing that there is more to this University than what lies between the walls of the academic buildings. Each year has been a learning experience as I have joined new organizations and become involved in different ways. Washington and Lee is set up so that every student can find their niche, get involved, and take advantage of a wealth of opportunities. It’s just one of many reasons that I love this university. I can’t imagine having a better college experience anywhere else.