Young Alumni Profile: Alexandra Edquist (AB ’16, MA ’16)

Alexandra Edquist (AB ’16, MA ’16) may have been born in San Francisco, but she calls Georgia home. The alumna is a business analyst for McKinsey & Company. 

Where are you from and where did you grow up?
I was born in San Francisco, but moved to Alpharetta, Georgia, when I was 3 years old. I grew up in Georgia, and it’s the only place I remember.

What made you decide to attend UGA?
I wanted to go to a big school with lots of opportunities, a good football program, and (most importantly) no snow, so UGA was always high on my list. I was lucky enough to receive the Foundation Fellowship, which sealed the deal on my UGA selection.

What were your majors/minors at UGA?
I did a four-year combined bachelor’s + master’s program in economics. It’s awesome that UGA offers so many combined programs.

What activities were you involved in at UGA?
I was most heavily involved in the Roosevelt Institute, which is UGA’s on-campus think tank. I was also involved in several other political organizations (Georgia Political Review and a few now-defunct groups) and Terry organizations (Corsair Society, Deer Run, Women in Finance). I was also a CURO research assistant and a graduate teaching assistant.

What was your most memorable college experience?
I’m a football nut, so I’m going to take advantage of this question to talk about my second-favorite UGA football game: the 2013 LSU game. A half-dozen friends, myself, and our signs (several of which were confiscated) joined the 5 a.m. stampede for ESPN College GameDay on Myers Quad, then proceeded to the best home game of my college experience.

What was your favorite UGA football game that you’ve attended?
The Rose Bowl last year! My dad and I have been going to the bowl games together since I was a freshman. Each year, we get front row seats, paint our faces, make signs, and try to get on TV (we’re usually successful). That was hands-down the best football game I’ve ever seen, and to be able to go in-person, with family and friends, to witness UGA’s first playoff win probably made it the best day of my life.

What have you done since you’ve graduated?
I spent two years as a business analyst at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company getting an amazing real-world education and serving our federal government and tech clients on a variety of topics (and trying to recruit more Bulldogs to the office!). This year, I’m doing a secondment from McKinsey with the Atlanta Committee for Progress to manage an exciting workforce development initiative led by the mayor, several CEOs of Atlanta’s biggest companies, and Atlanta Technical College.

What are you most passionate about?
Improving the effectiveness of government institutions and their “customer service” to taxpayers (yes, I know it may seem like a boring passion).

What advice would you give to graduating seniors and recent graduates?
Networking never stops, even after you get your first job. Always, always, always work on building and strengthening your network.

Young Alumni Profile: Taylor Schachinger (BS ’10, MBA ’16)

Taylor Schachinger (BS ’10, MBA ’16) was the first person in his family to earn a degree from a four-year school. Now, he works as the lead manager for interconnection agreements at AT&T. In this role, he handles business case development to guide rural network strategy. He also negotiates roaming contracts for AT&T’s FirstNet network build.

Where are you from and where did you grow up?
This is always a tough question for me to answer succinctly. I was born in New York and spent the majority of my childhood there, with a short stint in Nashville, Tennessee. In middle school my family moved to Connecticut, where my family lives now. I’ve lived here in Georgia for the past 12 years.

What made you decide to come to school at the UGA? 
Finding a way to pay for school was a huge focus for me as I compared my college options. I saw UGA as an incredible value, and was fortunate enough to establish residency and earn a H.O.P.E. scholarship even though I started as an out of state student.

What was your major(s) and minor(s) at UGA?
My undergraduate major was Health Promotion (my original plan was to go to PA school), and my graduate concentration was finance.

What activities were you involved in at UGA?
In business school I served as co-president of the Graduate Business Association and I was also a member of Leadership Fellows.

What was your most memorable college experience?
At the risk of sounding cliché, my graduation day was pretty special. I was the first person in my family to earn a degree from a four-year school so that was pretty special.

Taylor and familyYou met your wife at UGA – how did that occur?
We actually “met” prior to that, my wife is originally from New Jersey and we went to the same church camp growing up. We reconnected at a friend’s birthday party in college and the rest is history. I’m blessed to be married to a diehard Dawg – she completely blocks off the calendar on fall Saturdays. We don’t ever fight about watching too much football.

What was your favorite UGA football game that you’ve attended? Why?
I don’t think I would have said this about 9 months ago, but the National Championship last January was such an incredible experience. Even though it ended in heartbreak, it was the most amazing game I’ve ever seen in person.

What have you done since you’ve graduated?
When I graduated from business school I started in AT&T’s Leadership Development Program, a rotational program for MBA graduates. My first rotation within the program was managing network construction in Northwest Georgia. In my current role, I do business case development to guide our rural network strategy, which helps AT&T decide where to build out our wireless network vs. where to “rent” capacity. I also negotiate roaming contracts for AT&T’s FirstNet network build.

What are you most passionate about?
I really love working with kids. In college I spent several summers as a counselor for 9-10 year olds at a church camp. Currently, I volunteer at our local Boys and Girls Club and teach in the children’s ministry at our church. Those are two of the highlights of my week.

What makes you unique from other UGA grads?
I paid for my own education, that’s something that I’m really proud of.

What advice would you give to graduating seniors and recent graduates?
Fight the urge to prove how much you think you know, especially when beginning a new role. I think humility establishes trust and credibility in ways that overconfidence cant. Also, manically manage your time.

What do you want to achieve in life?
I want to help others develop a bigger vision for their life then they might be able to on their own. I know I’ve benefited greatly from people who believed in me and encouraged me to pursue dreams that I may not have without their faith in me.

Anything else that you would like to tell the UGA community?
Go Dawgs!

Will you take the #CalltheDawgs Challenge?

Calling the Dawgs is one of the ultimate traditions that unifies Bulldogs all over the world. This chant is most commonly recited in unison at football games, but most recently proud alumni have been calling the Dawgs in a crowded Times Square, outside Windsor Castle, at the College Football Hall of Fame and on the beaches of Amelia Island.

Why? These alumni are participating in the Young Alumni Leadership Council’s challenge to the entire Bulldog family to support the causes they are most passionate about. The #CalltheDawgs challenge is simple: donate to a cause that you care about, call the Dawgs in creative and fun way and then challenge your friends to do the same. Even if you can’t donate, you can still demonstrate your Bulldog pride by recording yourself calling the Dawgs and challenge others to join you.

Aaron Murray (BS ’12) and Drew Butler (ABJ ’11), co-hosts of Punt and Pass podcast called the Dawgs at Atlanta’s College Football Hall of Fame (above) where they donated to the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

TJ Callaway (BBA ’07), founder and CEO of Onward Reserve, found space in a crowded Times Square to call the Dawgs.


Caleb Nicholson (BSED ’09), President of the Young Alumni Council, called the Dawgs in front of Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, and also chose to give to the Let the Big Dawgs Eat fund dedicated to eliminating student food insecurity.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bmb3vUVlEzk/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

Will you join these alumni and take the #CalltheDawgs challenge?

You know the drill. GOOOOOOOOO DAWGS, SIC ‘EM, WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF!

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As a University of Georgia Triple Dawg and a member of the UGA Alumni Association's Young Alumni Leadership Council, I’m participating in the Call the Dawgs Challenge! I give to the Black Alumni Scholarship Endowment because in 1961 Hamilton E. Holmes and Charlayne Hunter-Gault paved the way for me. I am passionate about helping to provide resources for African-American students to attend my beloved alma mater. There are so many causes that you can give to and ways to further the mission of UGA. What's your passion? Every donation matters no matter how big or small. I’m challenging Cara Turano Snow, Carla C. Smith, Maranie Brown and other alums, fans, and friends to show their UGA spirit and Call the Dawgs! You’re up next! GOOOO DAWGS! #CalltheDawgs #GoDawgs #AlwaysADawg #RedAndBlack #UGA  Donate ➡️ https://gail.uga.edu/callthedawgs

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40 Under 40 reflections: Travis Moore

The 40 Under 40 program began in 2011, and celebrates the personal, professional and philanthropic achievements of young UGA graduates. To continue our 40 Under 40 coverage, we caught up with three agriculture professionals–Travis Moore, Amelia Dortch and Sam Watson–from the 2017 honorees to learn about their career journeys and the wisdom they’ve gained along the way. 

Meet Travis Moore

  • 40 Under 40 Class of 2017
  • BSA ’03
  • Senior Brewmaster at Anheuser-Busch InBev

Professional Journey

Travis Moore is the head brewmaster at the St. Louis Anheuser-Busch InBev site, the largest and oldest brewery. Moore oversees the brewing process, which includes making sure that each product meets the correct quality standard. He manages 100 brewers.

After Moore graduated with a bachelor’s degree in food science and technology, he worked for Bravo Foods & Bakery, a production facility in northeast Georgia. There, he learned the basics of manufacturing. In 2008, Moore started an entry level job at the Cartersville Anheuser-Busch InBev site. Eight years later, he managed to work his way up to the senior manager before moving to the St. Louis site in 2016.

Being named 40 Under 40

“It’s pretty amazing to me because, the University of Georgia has so many great students come through. It’s a huge organization to be singled out of – 40 seems like a lot, but when you think about the thousands and thousands who to come through there, it’s a small percent. And to me, that’s an honor. I learned so much when I was at the university that I was able to excel in my career, and this is a way to be rewarded for that.”

Nailing his dream job

“People are always going to have to eat or consume something in our culture, and I wanted to be a part of that. Some industries may come and go, but this is very stable…I always had a love for brewing. When you think about beer, most people probably don’t think about it being a product of agriculture, but it is certainly. Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest purchasers of rice in the United States. There’s an art behind the brewing process, and that’s what’s fun to me.”

Lessons from UGA

“I only applied to one college and Georgia was the only school I ever wanted to go to. I was in the food science program and the different labs and projects forced me into the understanding of what it’s like in the real world. I got the feeling that UGA was preparing me for something different, something better.”

Words of wisdom

“Study something that you’re going to enjoy. If you don’t think you’re gonna like it, then you’re wasting your time. Pick something and stick with it and see through it. Understand what you’re going to get out of your degree.”

Career destination

“My goal is to always question the way things are, and try to move up to become a future senior leader of the largest brewing company in the world. The culture at Anheuser-Busch is to not be complacent. I’m always setting higher goals.”

Brandon Stewart (BBA ’06) dishes on becoming a Jimmy John’s franchisee

Written by Liz Powell (BS ’06, ABJ ’06), a member of the Young Alumni Leadership Council.

Brandon Stewart had big plans of becoming a pilot before starting school at UGA, but after arriving in Athens he decided to become a lawyer instead. However, a critical piece of advice from Earl Leonard, the namesake of the Terry College of Business Leonard Leadership Fellows program, changed everything.

He asked Leonard about his tips for success after law school even though Stewart wasn’t sure he wanted to be a lawyer. Leonard replied, “Brandon, if you don’t want to be a lawyer, for goodness sakes, don’t go to law school.”

From that moment on, Stewart stopped following the path he felt he should take and instead, created his own. That path originally led him to pursue a career in finance, but after several years of working in investment banking and private equity, Stewart determined that he wanted to work more closely with people.

This led him to Jimmy John’s, where he became a franchisee, and opened his first store in Birmingham, Alabama in 2011. Today, he owns 52 Jimmy John’s locations across the Southeast. He credits his success to this mantra: “My employees are the most important part of my business and I will always treat them with respect and fairness.”

Brandon with his wife, Elizabeth, and son, George.

Stewart resides in Birmingham, and when he’s not traveling for work, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Elizabeth, and his 2-year old son, George. He also makes time to give back to the local community by volunteering with the Phoenix Club of Birmingham, Boys and Girls Club of Central Alabama and Birmingham Zoo.

We caught up with him and asked a few questions about his time at UGA and how he’s making an impact in his community, today.

Favorite class at UGA
“Lessons in Leadership,” taught by Pat Pittard, executive-in-residence at Terry College. He taught me to read the Wall Street Journal every day. He also showed me that I want to, and should, teach to inspire others after retirement.

Most memorable college experience
The first time I walked out of my dorm on football Saturday. I had no idea.

Athens in three words
Southern, nostalgic and easygoing.

The importance of UGA
UGA means so much for me and completely changed my life. I’ve reinvested about every single dollar I have made in my business and employees, but giving back to UGA is on my mind all of the time. I cannot wait for my business to reach a mature point to enable additional giving.

Advice to graduating seniors and recent graduates
Build a network, read often and never stop learning.

Young alumni tell us their #FirstFiveJobs

This post was contributed by the UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council

From waiting on tables to working for the White House – UGA alumni have distinct journeys that have made them powerful professionals. Where they started off isn’t where they are today. Luckily, broad work experience is beneficial as it fosters a valued employee.

We asked six of our alumni to share their first five jobs. Take a look, and then tag the UGA Alumni Association on Instagram or Twitter and tell us your #FirstFiveJobs.

Elizabeth Powell (ABJ ’06, BS ’06)
Sr. Associate Director of Alumni & Development Services, Emory University
• Babysitter
• Waitress, Dockside Grill at Lake Lanier
• Student worker, UGA Office of Vice President for Instruction
• PR freelancer & intern, Reaction Marketing Group
• Marketing assistant, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Yvette Dupree (BBA ’03, MAT ’07, PHD ’12)
Business and Computer Science Instructor/NTHS and FBLA Co-Advisor, Henry County Public Schools
• Sales associate, FootAction USA
• Customer relations specialist, JC Penney
• Resident assistant, Lipscomb Hall
• Marketing coordinator/DECA advisor
• Graduate assistant, University of Georgia

Sumita Dalmia Patel (BSFCS ’10)
Corporate Attorney & Painting with a Twist Studio Owner
• Student teacher, Sylvan Learning Center
• Front desk associate, Windward Lake Club
• Receptionist, Alpharetta Tax Office
• Paralegal assistant, Delta Air Lines
• Real estate attorney, Rubin Lublin Law Firm

Shayla Hill (BBA ’08)
Program Manager, Dagger
• Cashier, Wendy’s
• Child care assistant, Towne Square Academy
• Bookkeeper, Athens Public Library
• Intern, Hartsfield Jackson International Airport
• Accounting coordinator, Nurun

Courtney McCants (BBA ’10) 
Senior Account Executive, Valassis Digital
• Sales manager, Macy’s
• Account coordinator, News America Marketing
• Sales planner, Turner Sports
• Account executive, ION Television

 

Joshua Jones (AB ’08, ABJ ’08, MBA ’16)
President/CEO, Red Clay Communications, Inc.
• Managing partner
• Senior advisor
• Lobbyist
• White House Advance
• Political director

Young alumni offer advice to new graduates

This post was contributed by the UGA Alumni Association Young Alumni Leadership Council.

Finals? Check. Picture in cap and gown? Taken. Celebrations with family and friends? Definitely. Walking under the Arch for the first time? Finally It’s official: You are now a graduate of the University of Georgia – congratulations!

Now what?

Members of the UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council certainly know the feeling of “now what?” So, they’re sharing some advice from things that motivated, guided and helped them along the way. Good luck with wherever your journey takes you and remember–Once A Dawg, #AlwaysADawg!


“Go with your gut and do something you love…at least give it a try…it might work out! You are more likely to succeed doing something you enjoy.” -TJ Callaway (BBA ’07)

“When starting your career, whether you’re assigned a seemingly mundane task or a huge opportunity, do everything you can to knock it out of the park. Be the person that leaders can depend on and trust with both the little things and the big things, and seize every opportunity presented to you.” -Elizabeth Cox (BBA ’13)

As you embark on this new chapter in your life, be sure to cherish those memories that you have made but don’t be afraid to make new ones. The world has so much to offer and don’t worry about taking that extra leap into a new job, a new city, or a new career! You have acquired the necessary skills during your time at UGA so take that leap of faith!” -Sumita Dalmia (BSFCS ’10)

“If you need help ask for it. It always surprises me how many people have questions, or need help with something, but they are afraid to ask. There are lots of people out there that want to help you! Remember to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So help others whenever you can.

Say yes–be willing to say yes to new and sometimes seemingly scary opportunities because you never know where it will lead.

Manage your online reputation carefully. Post your successes, highlight your expertise, etc., but remember everything you post ‘sticks to you like a tattoo.’

Continue educating yourself (formally and informally) because learning never stops.

Work smart and ALWAYS be kind.

Dawg nation is behind you. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten an opportunity because I’m a Georgia Bulldog.” -Yvette Dupree (BBA ’03, MAT ’07, PHD ’12)

“Although you are graduating college, your education is just now beginning. Treat each work day as an opportunity to learn from those around you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Work harder than anyone else. And above all, never compromise your values or integrity.” -Derek Hammock (BBA ’15, MACC ’16)

“No task is beneath you. Demonstrate you can handle the small stuff and you will find yourself in charge of much more.” -Travis Johnson (AB ’11)

Lewis Howes once said, “Effective networking isn’t a result of luck – it requires hard work and persistence.” -Courtney McCants (BBA ’10)

“Be a joy for others to work with.” -Caleb Nicholson (BSED ’09)

“Never underestimate the power of your network. Start building it now and keep in touch with your friends, classmates and professors from UGA. You never know when your paths will cross again, or how you can help each other out down the road.” -Elizabeth Powell (BS ’06, ABJ ’06)

“Seek out opportunities and apply! You may not have every qualification listed in a job posting, but you may be a great fit for the position. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. UGA prepared you for great things!” -Anna Reddish (BSA ’08 MADS ’09)

Young Alumni events offer fun and fellowship

This post was contributed by Elizabeth Cox

On Tuesday, April 3, in a location with reference to a different day of the week in its name, over 100 UGA young alumni filled Monday Night Garage for Young Alumni Trivia Night. Dawgs congregated with old friends and new at tables decked out in red and black decor for an evening full of Monday Night Brewing tastings, Jim ‘n Nick’s BBQ, some very clever team names and trivia by Dirty South Trivia. The Young Alumni Council’s own Courtney McCants even took over the Alumni Association Instagram to showcase the evening’s festivities.

The top three teams went home with gift bags full of various prizes, and congratulations to team “Humble Yourself” for winning the first place prize after a sudden death showdown requiring some expertise in Herschel Walker stats. Check out the event photos.

This event was the first trivia night organized specially for UGA young alumni, and was planned by the Young Alumni Leadership Council, whose members are in their first year serving on the council. Its members will be planning more events and opportunities for the nearly 40,000 Atlanta area young alumni to engage with and give back to UGA.

The next event will be our annual UGA Young Alumni Night at SweetWater on June 22. Nearly 600 were in attendance last year, so be sure to get your ticket early!