When Lauren Mullins (BSFCS ‘09) moved to the Windy City in 2013, she didn’t know anyone. The Chicago alumni chapter became a resource for her to connect with fellow Bulldogs and meet people. Three years later, Lauren Mullins is now the president of the Chicago Chapter.
What did you study at UGA, when did you graduate, and what do you do now?
I was a fashion merchandising major at UGA and graduated in May 2009. Right out of college, I was an assistant store manager for Kohl’s Department Stores and was asked to go back to UGA to recruit management trainees and interns. This extracurricular activity for Kohl’s introduced me to a career in campus recruiting and led to a promotion to university relations manager with Kohl’s. I moved to the Windy City with my husband in 2013 and started a sales campus recruiting and internship program for an insurance company. This June, I became the senior sales campus recruiter for Groupon in Chicago.
What made you want to become a chapter leader?
I didn’t know anyone in Chicago when we first moved here, so I wanted to get involved with the chapter as a way to get to know the city and local alumni and build my network. It just so happened the first email I got when I updated my address with the university was an invite to a chapter leader interest meeting!
Why do you feel like it is important to stay connected to your alma mater after graduation?
Athens will always be a home to me, and I’ll always cherish my four years at the university. I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunities UGA provided to me as an undergrad and enjoy giving back to my alma mater and paying it forward for future grads. You never know where life will take you, and it’s comforting to know there are chapters around the country that help Dawgs stay connected.
How do you create a sense of unity inside your chapter with other UGA alumni in your city?
It starts with having an active leadership board to support the chapter and executing amazing game watching parties during the fall as this creates a captive and engaged audience. In between game watches and in the off-season, we try to plan a variety of events to engage alumni on all fronts. From local philanthropy efforts to “Bulldogs After Business Hours” to the winter letter writing campaign to recently admitted students – we try to host regular events and advertise via email and consistent Facebook communication.
What is your favorite event your chapter has planned?
I have to pick just one? Can I share my top 3? It’s so hard to pick! One event I look forward to every year is the SEC Flag Football Tournament that the SEC Alumni Chapter Leaders get together and organize. It’s a friendly competition the week before football begins, the proceeds go to local charity, and there’s an awesome after-party. Chicago is the heart of the Midwest and Big 10 country, so it’s nice to network with fellow Southerners and band together as the SEC! The Chicago Dawgs have yet to win, but I’m feeling like 2017 will be our year. Another favorite is when we purchased the supplies and cooked a meal for the homeless. We really have a lot to be thankful for, and it was so awesome to see how appreciative the group of 60 were for our support. Lastly, I really enjoyed adding a Halloween costume contest to our Georgia-Florida game watch last year. This was a great way to spice up the parties, and fans really got into it!
What is your favorite UGA memory as a student?
I have to pick just one here too? So hard! Football games are an obvious favorite – GA/FL trips to St. Simons and Jacksonville every year, Georgia vs. LSU my senior year and the trip we took to New Orleans/Baton Rouge to see the Dawgs emerge victorious, and the original “blackout” game vs. Auburn in 2007 with Matthew Stafford at the helm. Aside from football, I met some really amazing friends at UGA that I still keep in close touch with. We still reminisce and look back fondly of our times in Athens – the glory days.
If there is one piece of advice you could give to a current student, what would it be?
SAVOR EVERY MOMENT – including the feta fries at The Grill. From my professional campus recruiter perspective, get involved early on in your college career. There’s no going back once you’re a senior, so start ASAP in adding value and transferable skills to your resume. This will help you put that education to use and land your dream career!
Find the alumni chapter closest to you at https://alumni.uga.edu/find-chapter/