Alumna shares how academics and student involvement prepared her for success
Students who get involved in extracurricular activities at GGC discover there’s more to college than simply attending classes and doing homework. They learn to become successful.
Recent 2012 graduate Ashley Allen serves as a perfect example and credits landing her new job as an account manager specialist to her participation in Fight Back for Children, a registered student organization she founded in 2008. Since Allen enrolled at GGC, she’s been advocating not only for her charitable organization, but for other students to take advantage of the opportunities for leadership by getting involved. And that’s made all the difference in the world. According to Allen, her new employer recognized leadership, a commitment to community and an ability to achieve goals when he initially reviewed the student organization experiences listed on her résumé.
“I was really shy when I first started school, but I’ve come out of my bubble. If I didn’t have Fight Back for Children, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity,” Allen says of her new job.
Notably, Allen was the first freshman to enroll in 2007, but what originally attracted her to GGC was the opportunity to place her stamp on the new college and continue the work she started in high school that identified her as an advocate for children. Allen started her educational career wanting to become an art teacher, but after becoming active in Fight Back for Children, she realized she liked the marketing aspect and declared a major in business administration with a concentration in marketing. Subsequently, she established the group’s liaison with Invisible Children, an international organization dedicated to putting an end to the atrocities exacted by Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda.
Her club involvement was also instrumental in her study abroad experience in Africa.
Allen’s participation in Fight Back for Children and the group’s alliance with Invisible Children garnered international attention for GGC.
Allen also took advantage of the college study abroad program. She went to Africa through a study abroad experience coordinated by Dr. Anthony L. Pinder, GGC’s director of Internationalization and Swaziland’s Prince Cedza Dlamini, founder and CEO of the Ubuntu Institute for Young Social Entrepreneurs and grandson of Nelson Mandela, famed former president of South Africa. GGC’s students assisted two orphanages, one in Swaziland and the other in Soweto, South Africa. Not only were students tasked to entertain the kids, those majoring in education helped children with reading and homework, while business students like Allen assisted with one orphanage’s annual fundraiser. Students advised organizers about marketing, redesigned their promotional material and counseled them on contacting local businesses and community members for donations.
For Allen, getting involved encapsulates GGC’s stated vision, “where learning will take place continuously in and beyond the confines of the traditional classroom.” She gained real-life experiences – experiences that get the attention of prospective employers. Allen plans to continue to engage in charitable opportunities as a lifelong community leader, participating in mission trips or perhaps this year’s Color Me Rad 5k Run in July.
To view more information, visit our current Study Abroad blog or GGC’s Get Involved website for clubs and organizations to learn how GGC students are acquiring leadership skills that translate to their successes after graduation.