After graduating with my bachelor’s in Literature, Media, and Communication from Georgia Tech in 2013, I started a six-month fellowship in the Georgia Governor’s Communications Office. Shortly after beginning the fellowship, I applied for graduate school at Tech for public policy, was accepted, and started as a grad student the following spring.
As a fellow in the Governor's Communications Office, I was able attend the event where Governor Deal announced the removal of the Georgia 400 tolls. People had been waiting for years for the tolls to come down after they had achieved their financial purpose. Working the press conference that took place at the actual toll site was a unique and memorable experience.
I got to meet the couple that paid the first toll when the toll opened and who also paing the final toll before it closed. It was a fun, happy workday and I was able to use my technical skills to ensure the live stream of the event went off without a hitch!
In my current position as a graduate student assistant for the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs for the University System of Georgia (USG), I serve as the graduate advisor to all of the USG Student Government Association (SGA) presidents in the state of Georgia. I plan meetings and conferences for these students to gather and discuss pressing issues at their respective institutions and across the state. It is fascinating to learn how other colleges and universities across the state operate and learn more about the distinct cultures on each campus. Few people who work in higher education are afforded the opportunity to meet student representatives from every USG institution.
I credit so much of my success to education and experiences within the Ivan Allen College. As the “Tech grad” in the office, I find myself utilizing skill set and knowledge I gained there nearly every day. I am expected to understand science and technology issues ranging from coding to social media, software to scientific terminology. When I may not have the knowledge to solve a particular technology problem, I do have the skill set to find the knowledge needed to inform solutions.
The skill I find myself using the most in my career is bridging the technical and the non-technical, a primary focus of all degree programs in the Ivan Allen College. When working to solve technical issues, it is important to clearly and concisely communicate actions to the appropriate people. I enjoy being the person who understands both the technical and non-technical and bringing them together for the good of my organization!
“It really is the best of both worlds...I feel unlimited in the types of jobs I can pursue in the future.”
In every position I have had since graduation, my employers comment on what a strength it is to have a liberal arts degree from an institution like Georgia Tech. It really is the best of both worlds, and I feel unlimited in the types of jobs I can pursue in the future.
In spring of 2014, I began graduate school as a master’s student in the School of Public Policy. Tech’s public policy program was my top choice for a graduate program because I knew first-hand how valuable an Ivan Allen College degree can be and how many opportunities would come with continuing my education at Georgia Tech.
As an information analyst for the Center for Advanced Communication Policy (CACP), I have conducted research on emergency wireless alerts for people with disabilities. While fulfilling requirements for the Public Policy program, I also interned in Mayor Kasim Reed's Communications department, which reconfirmed my love for political communication.
In addition to focusing on building my communications company (VKV Communications, LLC), I have been taking real estate classes with plans to earn my real estate license in summer of 2015. My goal is to be a homeowner within the next year, and I have found these classes informative and useful for that process. I also recently published my first book, Single Black Female Addicted to College, a college survival guide written with minority students in mind. I am currently working on my second book, a fiction-thriller, which I hope to finish by late 2016.
I enjoy spending time and traveling with my family and friends. I recently traveled to Washington, D.C., and I was also able to meet President Obama when he spoke on campus last spring (pictured below). My other personal interests include hot yoga class, cooking, writing, reading, church, shopping, watching HGTV, visiting antique shops, and trying new restaurants. I am a big advocate for the City of Atlanta, and I’ve been trying to explore as much of the city as possible. I love the new additions to our city and that people are starting to recognize how great it is to live in Atlanta.
I joined the Georgia Tech Young Alumni Council in 2014 as the only LMC graduate on the council. I currently serve as a leadership coach and fellow for undergraduate students, through which I have gotten to know several Tech graduates who have also returned to Tech for a graduate degree.
I also recently joined the Urban League of Greater Atlanta Young Professionals group, several members of which are Tech grads. I am excited to work with this group of public servants who are passionate about improving our communities and giving back through service.
Understand and be able to explain the value of your IAC education. We are unlike both the average liberal arts student and the average Georgia Tech student. Once you can market all that your education and experience has to offer, you will have the confidence to pursue any career or goal.
Also get to know the IAC faculty and administrators. I met Dean Royster shortly after she started at Tech, and she has been instrumental in my undergraduate and graduate career. The College is bursting with talented, invested faculty and administrators, and I suggest you get to know as many of them as you can before you graduate!