Age: 26 //
Occupation: Assistant to the Chairman and CEO for External Affairs and Special Projects, Chick-fil-A //
Major at GC: Political Science, Minor: Criminal Justice
Tell me a little bit about why you came to Georgia College.
I had heard of Georgia College from a few friends, but didn’t know a lot abut it. Once I visited, I knew it was where I needed to be. It felt right. It was my number one pick.
I did not get accepted traditionally and was a little discouraged by that at first. I got a letter in the mail in spring of my graduation year that said “You’ve been tentatively accepted should you attend the Bridge Scholars Program (BSP).” At first I threw letter down and said “If I can’t go to college like everybody else, I’m not going to go there. They must not want me bad enough.” But really that letter was the most important letter that I have received in my lifetime. It set me up for so much that I would have never imagined, had I not gone through the BSP. I got really involved on campus and I have to thank the BSP for opening me up to college life. I was so prepared, I was so engaged, I was so plugged in with the community and with my other Bridge students.
You can’t choose where you’re born, you can’t choose your parents, you can’t choose your socioeconomic status, but you do get to choose your mission in life and Georgia College was a part of that mission for me in determining what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be, and I’m ever grateful for the success I found there. Without me even knowing that it was the best decision I ever made, it definitely turned out to be.
Wow! I have so many. BSP, again, is a memory from the very beginning that really implanted a sense of community and friendship that I had all four years of college.
Another highlight was when I was elected student body president my senior year. Serving on the presidential search committee, speaking at commencement and being able to give back to a place that gave me so much, that was a special year.
Tell me about your day-to-day. Is there such a thing?
My day-to-day primarily exists in a support role for our Chairman & CEO, Dan Cathy. It could be preparing for external speaking engagements, where I coordinate with organizations that have invited Dan, but then it could also be working with internal partners on specific projects in areas where Dan is involved.
There are also really exciting projects that take me beyond the Chick-fil-A Support Center here in Atlanta, as we work with other business leaders across the nation to grow Chick-fil-A into an even more relevant and memorable brand.
The role of “duties as assigned” - that’s the best phrase. Not knowing the day-to-day is part of the fun sometimes. As a young person, it’s really encouraging to find opportunities where you can grow in your career from exposure to a host of different areas of the business. I think that’s a great reminder from a liberal arts perspective, to be exposed to a lot of different things can add value wherever we are.
What is the best part about your career?
The people. I am proud that I have the opportunity to interact with people and that the chicken sandwich is more or less a tool for that exchange of conversations, of smiles, of living life together. It’s all about the influence with people and you being of influence to them.
People make up a really exciting part of what I get to do day-to-day. Both internally, with the wonderful team that we have at Chick-fil-A, and also interacting with guests and helping to ensure we provide them the highest quality experience they could have at any restaurant. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Ritz Carlton or a Chick-fil-A, we all want our guests to walk away from a Chick-fil-A saying “That was a special experience.”
What would you consider your biggest success?
I’ve always been reminded that success is a journey and not a destination. There are certainly a lot of parts that I’m proud of. I think what I’m most blessed by is to have great parents and great influencers consistently in my life.
I’m also proud of myself in that I was confident enough, because of my education, encouragement and support to take opportunities that crossed my path. College taught me this more than anything, but taking unexpected opportunities without necessarily knowing the outcome can make a difference.
Any advice for current and future students?
Find yourself. Once you find yourself, don’t lose yourself. Then just be yourself. Be authentic.
Take all the positive opportunities and positive relationships that are put in front of you and figure out who you are through all of those.
Keep grounded in who you are. You don’t always have to be the exact same person, because we’re always growing and always learning, but your core should always stay the same. Being patient with yourself and being patient with others as you walk through that learning part of life is critical.
Super serious question: What is your go-to Chick-fil-A order?
Of course my favorite is the original chicken sandwich, but I really do love our breakfast. If you haven’t tried the new Egg White Grill, a protein-packed breakfast sandwich, I would encourage you to do so. It’s perfect if you’re health-conscious, but also want a delicious grab-and-go option.