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Alumnus guides others on med school journey

I always knew that I wanted to be a doctor. I remember proudly proclaiming this on career days in elementary school. I didn’t know what kind of doctor that I wanted to be, but the decision to pursue medicine was clear from an early age.

What I didn’t know was that the path to medical school was like running through miles of thorn bushes while trying to avoid a stampede of buffalo in the dark of night, during a tornado. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I remember what it was like every step of the way, and it was not easy.

Destination Med School Screen Capture 1

I was never the smartest person in class. As I share in the video above: I failed my driver’s test twice, I took the SAT three times to get the score I needed, and I had to take the MCAT twice. I got denied from 25 medical schools and it took me nearly two years to get accepted. Hard work, resilience, and patience got me to where I am today.

After 3 years of medical school in Philadelphia at Sidney Kimmel Medical College (Thomas Jefferson University), I decided to pursue an opportunity to earn a Master of Business Administration at my Alma Mater, the University of Georgia, in the MD/MBA Dual Degree program.

When I returned to UGA, I wanted to give back to the university that shaped me into the person I am today. I began volunteering for the UGA Pre-Health Advising Office, speaking at panels, hosting presentations, and meeting with students for one-on-one advising. When the new year rolled around, I decided that I wanted to make a larger impact.

We all know the value of a mentor. During undergrad, I had a small handful of these mentors that were accepted into medical school and they provided me with powerful advice. What about the people that didn’t have mentors? Imagine a space where an entire community of doctors, dentists, physician assistants, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more, many of whom are UGA grads, provide advice and motivational stories to pre-med students.

In January 2020, I launched Destination Med School, an online community of medical professionals sharing advice, insight, and lessons they’ve learned along their journeys. As I write this post, the account has exceeded 2,000 followers on Instagram since launching one month ago and has grown to a community of nearly 100 medical professionals. Future medical professionals, anywhere in the world, can now tune in to receive daily content from mentors in all fields.

I am proud to continue my work with UGA’s Pre-Health Advising Office and speaking to future medical professionals at this great university. I am proud to run an account that provides mentorship to students who need it. And I am proud to now, and always, be a Georgia Bulldog.

Check out Destination Med School on Instagram @destinationmedschool.

Jake Goodman

Best,
Jake Goodman
UGA Class of 2015

UGA Mentor Program by the numbers

If you’re considering participating in the UGA Mentor Program as a mentor or a mentee, here are some numbers you may find interesting:

FIrst Generation Mentors & Mentees

The program currently has 1,669 mentees, 1,956 mentors and has fostered 989 mentoring relationships*. This is definitely a case of “The more, the merrier,” so come join the fun. A rewarding relationship awaits!

Think you won’t find someone who shares your background or interest? Fear not. The program gathers a wide variety of information on both potential mentors and mentees. For instance, say you are a first generation Bulldog–few in your family can relate or offer advice. The Mentor Program has 319 first generation mentees and 484 first generation mentors right now. You are bound to find a connection that can relate to your situation and offer support and guidance.

Popular Mentor Discussion Topics

Unsure of what you can offer a mentee? Wonder what you would discuss with a mentor? The five most popular discussion mentoring topics are:

1. innovation/entrepreneurship
2. work-life balance
3. building your personal brand
4. maximizing your college education
5. networking/informational interviewing

There’s no doubt you will find things to talk about together!

The one thing missing from the UGA Mentor Program? It’s you!

 

*Stats are as of January 18, 2020. The program continues to grow.

I am a UGA Mentor

In honor of National Mentoring Month, we are celebrating UGA Mentor Month. January 8 is the national “I am a Mentor Day,” or as we like to call it: “I am a UGA Mentor Day.” Let’s hear from a few mentors about the benefits of giving back to the university through the UGA Mentor Program.

Dominique Hollaman

 

I am a UGA mentor because it is another way for me to support the mission of the university while paying it forward. During my time as a student, I had numerous mentors who guided me along my journey and continued to support me post-graduation. My professional life would not be the same without the impact of their time. In my gratitude, I choose to serve to give what was given to me. 

Dominique Holloman (BS ’01, MED ’04, JD ’04)
Chief of Staff, Office of State Representative William K. Boddie

 

My experience serving as a UGA mentor has been rewarding in ways I did not anticipate. Not only have I gotten to know two incredible UGA students and (hopefully) offered them some useful advice or ideas, but I’ve gained just as much from them! As a doctoral candidate and staff member on campus, hearing first-hand about my mentees’ experiences as students–and reflecting back on my own time as a UGA undergraduate–has been eye-opening for me both personally and professionally. Participating in the UGA Mentor Program allows me to contribute to the University of Georgia community in a meaningful, tangible way.

Julia Butler-Mayes (AB ’07)
Director of University Academic Advising Services

I am a UGA mentor because I love staying connected to the university and to current students. I would advise fellow UGA alumni to become a mentor because it is a meaningful way to support the university and its students.

What I love most about being a UGA mentor is encouraging a student who is pursuing a career in my field, broadcast journalism. I find it rewarding because I have learned so much about the remarkable courses of study being offered today, and the aspirations and values of these students and future job seekers. It is also rewarding to give back to the university I love. UGA meant so much in shaping my career and my life.

The surprising thing for me as a UGA mentor was I learned as much, if not more, from my UGA mentee as she did from me!

Kay Flowers Johnson (AB ’83)
Independent Video Content Producer
(pictured with her mentee, Taylor Maggiore)

Hear Domonique Holloman and Cara Winston Simmons share about their experiences mentoring through the UGA Mentor Program. Get in on the fun. Become a UGA Mentor today!

From one boss to another

The value of a high-quality boss can’t be overstated. From advocate, counselor, teacher and friend–a great boss wears many hats!  

In honor of National Boss’s Day today, we asked some of our young alumni volunteers to share memories and lessons learned from their favorite bosses. Take a peek at their answers below … and remember to thank your boss(es) today!

Raj Shah (BSA ’06, MPA ’06, JD ’10)

UGA Alumni Board of Directors

Title: Senior Regulatory Attorney, MagMutual

Favorite Boss: Jon Rue, Parker Hudson Rainer & Dobbs

“Jon is the consummate professional and is extremely well-respected for both his professional achievements and community involvement. He taught me the importance of always finding time to listen, how to be actively present, and that humor is key to succeeding in the workplace.”

Jasmin N. Severino Hernandez (AB ’13, AB ’13)

Outreach Chair, UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council

Title: Associate Attorney, Davis, Matthews & Quigley, P.C.

Favorite Boss: Kevin Bowen, American Campus Communities

“Kevin took a chance on me when I was a new student at UGA who needed a job to make ends meet. Some of my favorite memories of Kevin include: tailgating for UGA games; when he made me work the leasing office during the ‘snowpocalypse’ of 2011 because I was the only employee snowed in on the property; and grabbing Firehouse Subs with him and his son Tyler. Kevin was a great friend and he taught me to be bold and stand for truth.”

[Jasmin and Kevin at one of their UGA tailgates, pictured top of page]

Hunter Knowles (JD ’12)

UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council

Title: Corporate Counsel and Assistant Secretary, Oxford Industries

Favorite Boss: Anonymous Law Firm Partner

“When asked if a more casual dress code could be implemented to match the attire of our clients, the partner responded ‘If our clients were the circus, would we dress like clowns?’”

Collier Hatchett Collier (BSED ’10, AB ’10)

UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council

Title: Director of State Board Operations, Technical College System of Georgia

Favorite Boss: Matt Arthur (BSED ’83, MED ’91), Technical College System of Georgia

“Matt and I are both graduates of the UGA College of Education and my favorite memory together is attending the 2018 awards ceremony where he received the COE Lifetime Achievement Award. Matt has taught me that it is never too late to show someone kindness and that becoming a good listener will allow you to understand others and help you become better at what you do. Plus, Matt also played on the 1980 National Championship football team (I have a pretty cool boss).”

Noel Hardin (BBA ’15, MACC ’16)

UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council

Title: Mergers and Acquisitions Senior Consultant, Deloitte

Favorite Boss: Travis Grody, Deloitte

“Travis and I started our careers in Audit at Deloitte. The most important thing he taught me was to take ownership of the quality of my work. Your brand is based on the quality of whatever you deliver. My favorite memory of Travis actually happened out of the office. A common trend for auditors during ‘busy season’ is to fall out of their exercise routines and gain 10-20 pounds (very similar to the ‘Freshman 15’). We spent a month traveling for a project in Toccoa, Georgia. Travis was getting married soon after our time in Toccoa, so he couldn’t afford to gain busy season weight right before his wedding. Toccoa is a very small town, but we found a gym online. We went the first morning before work, and the two of us worked out in the sketchiest old warehouse/gym you can imagine, with the sketchiest trainer you can imagine … and never went back. We found a different gym, had a great month in Toccoa, and Travis stayed in shape for his wedding!”

Even if you aren’t a boss, you can still help guide a fellow Bulldog’s professional journey – become a UGA Mentor today! You’ll be able to connect with a student who is seeking career advice on your time, on your schedule.

UGA Mentor Program – LeBria Casher

Photo of student typing on computer with mentor.

Mentors and mentees communicate via email, text messages, phone calls and in-person meetings.

The UGA Mentor Program is the first comprehensive mentorship initiative at the University of Georgia. It will launch publicly on Wednesday, June 12. Alumni, including staff and faculty, are invited to create a profile at mentor.uga.edu if they are interested in mentoring a student. When students return to campus in August, they will begin pairing with alumni so that mentoring can begin this fall.

LeBria Casher

A successful pilot of the program was executed this spring with over 115 mentor pairs, including LeBria Casher, a rising senior majoring in English and comparative literature. LeBria’s mentor was Allison Ausband (ABJ ’83), who graduated with a journalism degree, serves on the UGA Board of Trustees and is the senior vice president of in-flight service at Delta Air Lines. LeBria shared a little about her experience piloting the new UGA Mentor Program…

What made you want to be a mentee?

When I heard about the UGA Mentor Program, I knew without a doubt what a wonderful opportunity it was and that I should apply immediately. Various organizations at UGA have shown me what it’s like to be a student mentor or mentee, but the UGA Mentor Program offered me a chance to connect with an alumnus on a personal level. I was able to choose a mentor that would share my major, interests, or experience at UGA. Also, I wanted to have a mentor who would support my goals and help me develop them.

What was your biggest fear?

I was scared that I would have a mentor who didn’t care, but I was quickly put at ease. My mentor, Allison, genuinely supported my ambitions and talked me through my goals. Also, I’ve seen and heard how the alumni who participate in the UGA Mentor Program want to see students succeed.

What has been the biggest surprise?

The biggest surprise was the flexibility of the UGA Mentor Program. It wasn’t time-consuming. It didn’t interfere with my class schedule, work, or any other obligations. I got to establish how frequently I wanted to communicate with my mentor, and we communicated monthly via email, telephone, and in-person.

Why has this been so meaningful for you?

I enjoyed having someone in my corner who wants the best for me. Despite the official mentoring relationship ending, I feel comfortable contacting my mentor and knowing she is still willing to offer me advice.

Describe the UGA Mentor Program in three words.

Investment. Significant. Worthwhile.

What would you tell someone considering UGA Mentor Program?

Don’t hesitate to apply! It really is a great program because there’s a mentor and commitment that’s right for everybody. Having a mentor is a great chance to look at someone else’s journey from UGA to where they are now — especially if it aligns with your interests. Mentors are a valuable source of information, and you get out of the mentoring relationship what you put into it. You never know what good will come from the relationship. Everyone should take the time to look at the website, the FAQs, and contact the UGA Mentor Program team if they are unsure of anything.

 

Interested in learning more about the UGA Mentor Program?

Meet new alumni board member Truitt Eavenson (BSAE ’83)

When Truitt Eavenson transferred to the University of Georgia from Emmanuel College, he was not sure about which career path to take. Eavenson, who grew up on a farm in Carnesville, Georgia, began looking through the course catalog and was fascinated with agricultural engineering. Once he met with the department head, Robert Brown, he committed to studying agricultural engineering.

Now, more than 20 years later, Eavenson is the vice president of Georgia Power in the Southeast region thanks to the education he received at UGA. To that end, he is dedicating his time to giving back to the place that helped shape him by serving on the board of the UGA Alumni Association.

“No matter what your career is or where you go in life you really don’t get there alone. There are always people helping you,” says Eavenson. “I think that we have a responsibility to go back and help people who are behind us be successful.”

Prior to joining the alumni board, he served on the College of Engineering and College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences advisory boards. He often returns to campus to speak to undergraduates, and hopes to prepare students for life after graduation.

“I really just want to make a difference. When my service is finished with whatever I am doing, I want people to say ‘I’m really glad he was here; he really did make a difference.’”

Eavenson offered advice to students preparing for life at UGA and beyond: “You can go to college for four years, and you can graduate with a degree, and go get a great job,” he said. “Or you can come to Athens and really get involved in the university. Look for the opportunities that are available to you and have an experience that you’ll always cherish and always be glad you did.”

 

Announcing Women of UGA’s Mentorship Mondays

Join Women of UGA for Mentorship Mondays, a professional development initiative featuring notable graduates. In this intimate breakfast series, participants will have the opportunity to hear from alumnae at the top of their fields, connect with fellow graduates, and gather tips to take their careers to the next level. Get ready to be inspired and build a network that will offer new perspectives and share things they’ve learned along the way.

All events take place from 7:30-9 a.m. on the following dates:

    • January 29
    • March 26
    • May 21
    • July 30
    • September 24
    • November 12

Speakers and panelists include Kim Bearden (BSED ’87), co-founder of The Ron Clark Academy, Kappy deButts (BBA ’97), executive director of The Zeist Foundation, Inc. and Maritza McClendon (AB ’05), Olympic medalist and senior brand marketing manager at Carter’s and OshKosh B’gosh.

There are only 50 slots available, so be sure to register today!

The complete series of events costs $125 per person. Breakfast is included in all sessions and $35 of each registration supports the Women of UGA Georgia Commitment Scholarship.

Events will be held at Carr, Riggs & Ingram in Atlanta, Georgia.

More speakers will be announced soon. There are only 50 slots available, so be sure to register today!

Questions about Mentorship Mondays or the Women of UGA affinity group? Email Luke Massee!

Meet Lisa Conley, Member of the Black Alumni Leadership Council

In October 2015, the UGA Alumni Association launched the UGA Black Alumni Affinity Group, which is led by the Black Alumni Leadership Council. The council seeks to connect with black alumni and students through shared experiences, and to continue building a welcoming and supporting campus community. Lisa Conley (MED ’09, EDD ’20) is a member of the Black Alumni Leadership Council, and we recently interviewed her to learn more about her UGA experience and what drives her to stay connected to the university.

When did you graduate from UGA and what did you do after college?

I attended UGA as a working graduate student. After completing my degree in 2009, I continued to work in the Professional Education Department at Georgia Tech. To expand my teaching skills, I obtained a part-time job at Literacy Action Incorporated in 2010. That was one of the best experiences I’ve had as an educator.

How did you get involved with the Alumni Association?

I received an email and showed up to a meeting.  The rest is history.

Which Black Alumni Event are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the Brunch and Learn: In the Black, A Discussion of Wealth and Finance in the Black Community event we had in March. I attended the new faculty tour last summer, and we met Dr. Kenneth White from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, and talked with him about his work. I was thinking we have to find a way for him to come and speak about his research about financial planning in the black community. To be able to include a new black faculty member and a black alumni entrepreneur — Mr. Mohamed Massaquoi (BS ’08) — at our event was amazing. We had a great turnout and hit several of the goals of the Black Alumni mission. I feel like that event helped us reach a great cross-section of alumni.

Image result for lisa conley uga

How has serving on the Black Alumni Leadership Council benefited you?

It is difficult to engage graduate students at any school, as most people have an affinity to their undergraduate institution. It is also tough to engage the working/commuter graduate student who is there to get the degree and move on. My engagement with the university has increased a great deal being involved with the Black Alumni Leadership Council, plus it feels great to know people that went to UGA! They help me understand more about the background of certain things and provide a deeper insight. I no longer feel like an “outsider” as an alumna. More than once, I’ve had the opportunity to engage with the President and the Dean of the College of Education. I am not sure I would have been able to do that as often as I have as a non-serving graduate. For me, that is a cool perk.

What is the most important experience you learned as a student?

I would say the most important experience I gained was confidence. I emerged from graduate school confident in my abilities. I was also more confident in my intelligence. It was as if I forgot somehow, but doing the rigorous work (and doing it well) was such a boost for me. I had that “I actually know what I’m doing and what I’m talking about” epiphany. It was great.

What is one piece of advice you would give to UGA students?

My advice is to succeed anyway. There may be mean people that call you names or treat you unfairly. It isn’t about them, it is about you. Find a way around them and succeed despite their efforts to hold you back.

UGA is committed to its students and mission as a land and sea grant university. What is your commitment?

I stumbled across this picture the other day from our winter event, and it says it best; I want to help the next generation at UGA to achieve their goals and dreams.

 

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