Class of 2020: SGA Chief of Staff Receives President Award

Class of 2020: SGA Chief of Staff Receives President Award

Jessica Easum
Jessica Easum

What first sparked your interest in SGA?

I knew I wanted to do something more on this campus but I wasn’t really sure what that would look like. I was in a weird place in my college career right before joining SGA - I had just made a drastic change in majors and I wasn’t really sure what my next move was. I was just randomly checking my email one day when I saw an email blast saying that SGA had a couple vacant senate seats and they were taking applications. I didn’t know much about SGA at Georgia College and what they did, but I thought that this opportunity could be what I needed to refocus me and point me in my next direction. So without another thought, I applied.

Have you taken part in any other groups on campus during your college tenure? If so, which ones and why?

Other than SGA, the majority of my campus involvement has been with my sorority, Delta Gamma, and in the Panhellenic community. I joined DG my freshman year and was drawn to the opportunities they provide their members. There are just under forty officer positions in the chapter, and everyone is encouraged to run. I ran for my first position my first year in DG and have held a position every year since (Director of Chapter Archives, Director of Public Relations, Director of Recruitment Records, and I’m currently finishing up my term as VP: Finance). 

What is your proudest moment at Georgia College, and can you describe the events that led to that moment?

My proudest moment at Georgia College was receiving the Student Government Association’s President Award. I was finishing up my term as Chief of Staff in SGA and because we were all online, it was looking a little different. I was proud of what I was able to get done but also feeling disappointed because I knew it was my last position in SGA since I would be graduating the following semester and there was so much more I wanted to do. Typically the SGA awards are announced at the end of year banquet, but due to the pandemic, they were all announced on social media. When the President’s Award was announced and it was me, I felt so incredibly honored. I had joined SGA just over a year prior and yet I was able to accomplish so much in my time. It meant the world to me that my peers were proud of what I had done and Amelia Lord, the president at the time, who I had worked closest with, also was proud of my work.

What are your plans after college?

I have not quite solidified my plans for after graduation yet, but I am so excited for the next chapter. I am currently interviewing for positions at several third party logistics companies and I’m looking forward to seeing how those pan out and where I end up.

What is the single, most important event that led to your interest in Management?

As I mentioned earlier, I had a drastic change in majors my junior year. I had just been accepted into the nursing cohort so I should’ve been overjoyed but deep down I knew that wasn’t where I was meant to be. After weeks of going back and forth, I knew that I was better suited to a career in the business field. Even then I wasn’t sure exactly what that entailed, so I blindly just switched to being a Marketing major. My first semester of business classes I was taking a marketing class and also a management class, and some general business electives. Though I enjoyed all my classes and knew I was headed in the right direction, I fell in love with my management class. I was taking Principles of Management with Dr. Beadles. I had been warned he was a hard professor so I came in nervous, but I ended up looking forward to the class every week. I learned so much about management but also just life in general and what it means to be a leader. That same semester, I decided where I really needed to be was in the Management major. 

What is the importance of a Management major in today’s world?

I believe Management is such an important field that can sometimes be overlooked just because of its broad nature. One of the ideas that we have talked about in a few of my classes over the past couple years is the belief that managers and leaders are not synonymous. Managers are made while leaders are born. While I believe there is some truth to this, it raises the question: what happens if a natural born leader never receives any training or education in management? You get an ineffective leader. To me, that’s why Management is such a critical field to study. A team’s performance has everything to do with who they're led by. 

Where do you hope to go next?

I hope to settle down with a company I love and work my way up. I want to stay in Georgia for at least a couple years, but after that I would love to move around if my job gives me the freedom to.

What did you find most surprising about Georgia College?

I was most surprised by the opportunities here at Georgia College. It’s a smaller school so I thought that would mean less opportunities, but it’s been quite the opposite. If you go looking, there is a place for everyone to grow and thrive on this campus. The sense of community at Georgia College is unreal. We are all so connected and yet there is a place for every single person to explore their interests and pursue their goals.

What was your favorite part of attending Georgia College and how do you think that might influence your future?

My favorite part of attending Georgia College was the relationships I’ve been able to form on this campus. As I’ve said, the community of students is so uniquely tight knit and I hope to carry these friendships with me for years to come. Through my time with Panhellenic and SGA, I’ve been able to grow close to staff members who gave me incredible guidance and advice the past few years. The same goes academically. I have professors such as Dr. Karl Manrodt who I have taken several classes with now who have helped me grow so much and equipped me with the tools to succeed past graduation. These relationships will undoubtedly influence my future for the better because I know even after I graduate I can count on these people for advice, recommendations, and anything else that comes up.

Finally, what advice would you give to incoming students at Georgia College?

My advice for incoming Georgia College students is to soak up every single minute. Don’t feel like you have to have it all figured out on day one. I surely didn’t and I’m still graduating! I want all the incoming students to take advantage of everything Georgia College offers and make the best out of their time here. There is so much to learn here at Georgia College and I hope all of them take this opportunity to grow and become the best versions of themselves.