Student Spotlight April 2015

Sara Wright

 

Sara began her undergraduate studies at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada and then transferred to the University of Louisville in Fall of 2012.  Here, she completed a B.A. in Communication with a minor in Marketing.  Sara is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Communication with a focus on Strategic Communication.

 

"Sara has been a wonderful student and a positive representative of our department to others. She so deserves this recognition and I offer my sincere congratulations to Sara." - Dr. Sohn, Associate Professor, Department of Communications

 

 

Interview:

What brought you to the University of Louisville?

I transferred here during my undergrad career, and in doing so I was the first international student to become a member of the University of Louisville cheerleading program.  After graduation, I decided to stay at UofL to pursue an advanced degree in my field.

What made you go into this field of study?

I have always had an interest in communications and marketing and feel that throughout our daily lives these are fields that we cannot escape. It is such a practical field; virtually every aspect of society involves some form of strategic communication.  Additionally, the field of communication is so broad that it opens many doors, allowing me the flexibility and creativity to work in the any number of industries.

Awards, honors, publications:

I will be co-presenting a Lightning talk/poster presentation at the i2a Institute      this May.  It will focus around my work on creating health and well-being          messages for the Student Rec Center that trigger critical thinking.

How do you think this advanced degree will change your role in society?

This advanced degree will open so many doors and create more opportunities for me to pursue a career in the field for which I have passion.  Completing this degree will grant me the flexibility to work in an ever changing industry where I can use my advanced training and creativity to have an impact on society.

Long term goals/ aspirations:

My long term goal is to build a career working in an industry where I can apply my education.  As I am still at the beginning of my degree, I am aware that my interests will probably change; however, at this time I aspire to work in the communications and marketing department of a large fashion brand or department store.

What accomplishment, academic or otherwise, are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my graduate assistantship position in the Health Promotion Office. Not only is it a huge opportunity to gain practical experience working in health communication as the office’s marketing department, but it also allows me to have an impact on the health culture within our campus.  Hopefully, my position will help to improve health norms.

What has been your favorite part of the graduate school experience at UofL?

My favorite part of the graduate experience at UofL has been getting to know the rest of the graduate students within my cohort and in other departments as well. During my time as an undergraduate, I was so involved in athletics that I did not get to spend enough time getting involved on campus or getting to know the other people with whom I share academic interests.

What do you feel is the greatest challenge that graduate students face and how have you dealt with this challenge?

The greatest challenge graduate students face is figuring out how to balance the heavy academic responsibilities, outside jobs and practicums, as well as research interests. Personally, it has been all about time management and scheduling. I have made sure that my work hours are early in the morning so that I can allow myself time in between work at the Health Promotion Office and class to get my assignments and readings done. Additionally, I use a giant wall calendar that has my entire schedule for up to 4 months written out on it. This allows me to maintain a visual picture of what is due when and what commitments I have that may prevent me from completing any work I have to do. This way I can get things done in advanced if need be.

Family life:

As an international student my family is far away and living in a different time zone which makes it difficult to say in touch. The only family I have here is my dog, Sloane. Luckily, I have developed a great support network in Louisville that I can rely on like family.

Fun Facts

A talent you have always wanted: I would love to be able to draw and paint.

Favorite book: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Favorite quote/words to live by: “It matters not what you have done, it’s what you will do.” - Anonymous

Role Model: My mother.

Favorite Vacation Destination: Maui, Hawaii.

If you weren’t in graduate school, what would you be doing now?  Running a cheerleading gym in southern California.