Senior uses leadership skills to improve local town

Senior uses leadership skills to improve local town

Amelia Lord
Amelia Lord

Senior political science major and SGA President Amelia Lord has a strong sense of leadership and community. She always has. From her time at Georgia College to her new role as a Venture for America (VFA) fellow, she will leave her mark in the heart of Milledgeville.

Lord was one of 40 applicants selected for the fellowship out of nearly 4,000 nationwide. The adventure begins in July with a five-week training camp in Detroit, Michigan. Once Lord completes the training, she will move to Milledgeville and begin her two-year fellowship working for a small nonprofit or startup.

“I want to make an impact and work with an organization I believe in and help build it from the ground up,” she said. “VFA is providing me with the structure, support and ongoing training to immerse myself in a new venture while continuing my education through courses and mentorship.”

Prior to being accepted, Lord completed an application, two essays and an interview. She went on to participate in Selection Day, which consisted of all-day group and individual interviews, project simulations and seminars. It was the largest application cycle yet for VFA.  
 
“Applied leadership, small group communications and flexibility are what I will be taking with me from my time as a student leader on campus,” Lord said. “GC provides amazing opportunities for students to grow their organizations, projects and initiatives within a supportive community. Taking advantage of what GC has to offer gave me everything I needed to stand out in the competitive application process."

VFA Fellows interview with over 250 affiliate startups across 14 cities. The match process, where the startup companies and fellows pick each other, will be completed in May. After she interviews with several startups, Lord will choose one to work at for two years. When she has completed this fellowship, Lord hopes to apply what she's learned and begin her own business in Milledgeville.

“I am looking to fill a role in operations management or development and am interested in sustainability and its role in community connections,” said Lord. “What has excited me the most is the innovation and breadth of what the startup covers.”

The startups range from involvement in farm-to-table food and engineering artificial intelligence to sustainable clothing lines and homeless shelters. 

“GC provides amazing opportunities for students to grow their organizations, projects and initiatives within a supportive community. Taking advantage of what GC has to offer gave me everything I needed to stand out in the competitive application process."
– Amelia Lord

Lord’s experience at Georgia College prepared her for this leadership role by providing her an opportunity to grow in different areas.

“Attending a school with a liberal arts mission allowed me to customize my own university experience by choosing GC1Y and 2Y courses, which broaden my view of the world. Having access to leadership roles and being able to easily reach my professors for guidance made me into a person who is highly competitive against other students from much larger, well-known campuses across the nation,” she said.

Lord credit’s the networking she learned at Georgia College’s Career Center for making this fellowship possible. 

“My resume was in the mix with other students who attend elite private schools and other prestigious universities,” she said. “In fact, in my interview group on selection day I was the only applicant out of the nine others I was grouped with who didn't go to a large university. But I was able to have this opportunity because of the unique way that GC stands out and allows their students to stand out as well.”

Lord recognizes the entire staff in Student Life, especially the HUB, Give Center and Campus Life office, for supporting her during her time at Georgia College.

She feels her experiences of creating an organization on campus, volunteering in the community, managing a budget, communicating with faculty and administration and growing relationships with students and alumni all have been steps that led her towards this opportunity and will carry her through it.

“I feel that GC has given me a foundation in so many different areas and allowed me to experience leadership in all forms,” Lord said.  

Venture for America’s alumni network is filled with people who have dedicated themselves to new companies and ideas. She hopes to do the same.

“I want to use the skills I gain over the next two years and bring them back to Milledgeville. I see so much potential to grow here,” she said. “I want to encourage more GC graduates to invest in this town, grow the arts scene, put down roots and create a place that looks to the future more than the past.”