Leadership opportunities and a strong sense of community create a welcoming environment for IT major.

Caroline Briggs was familiar with Georgia Gwinnett College after being raised in Gwinnett County. Growing up less than 30 minutes from campus, she had heard about some of its education offerings, but was under the impression that it was a small school with basic, generic majors. Her mom encouraged her to apply and attend for a year to see where it would take her.

“I took the campus tour to kick off the application process, but wasn’t expecting much,” she said. “But during the tour, I fell in love with the school. The more the student ambassador talked about the small classroom sizes, the faculty and staff, and the fun classes, the more I prayed that I would get in.”

After being accepted and beginning her freshman year, Briggs’s decision was reinforced by the many positive attributes she experienced. Among them were affordability (she will graduate debt-free next year), proximity to her home, and the quality professors, clubs and leadership opportunities afforded to her.

Although she had considered transferring to a bigger school, her big “aha” moment came after attending the Grizzly LEAD Conference during her sophomore year.

“I spent a whole weekend growing closer to my fellow classmates and building a community of friends that I knew would help me grow into a better leader,” she said. “After that, I made the decision that GGC was home, and I wanted to graduate from here.”

A junior, Briggs became interested in an information technology major through her involvement with the Women in Technology club. Prior to joining, she had no interest in computers. She now has plans to major in IT with a concentration in systems and security and a minor in mathematics. Post-graduation, she plans to join the Air Force and focus on a career in systems and security, though her dream job would be to eventually work in cyber security for the CIA.

In addition to finding an exciting major and career path, Briggs feels she’s grown personally at GGC.

“I have become a better leader, and since GGC is such a diverse school, I have learned about and come to appreciate so many different cultures,” she said.

She continued, “I choose to be an ambassador because if it weren’t for the ambassador that led my tour, I wouldn’t have chosen to apply to GGC.” As part of her ambassador commitment, Briggs conducts weekly tours for prospective students, assists with Preview Days and helps with whatever Dena-Kay Spence, admissions events manager, needs throughout the semester.

“Caroline embodies a lot of our students in that she is a full-time student and has a job, but still finds time to be involved on campus, and in her case, give back to the GGC community as a student ambassador,” Spence said.

Coming full circle, Briggs now welcomes others with her Grizzly spirit, leadership qualities and student success, inspiring others to consider GGC their first choice, as one prospective student confirmed, “Great speaker [and] tour guide. Best we’ve seen on college tours.”