Erin Burnett

Posted: January 11, 2016 10:12 AM

Erin Burnett

Why did you choose to attend the University of Georgia?

I was really involved with Georgia 4-H in high school and I credit that club with my choice of university and college. Not only is UGA the flagship institution of the state, it was the sponsor of much of my development as a high school student. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has made me feel welcome, special and at home at this large university.

About Erin

Hometown: Sale City, Georgia
Major: Agricultural Communication
Class: May 2016
Campus: Athens

How did you choose your major and what do you like most about it?

Agricultural communication is the perfect major for me because it combines my passion for agriculture with my love of all things creative and visual. Photography and graphic design are two of my favorite activities, and I feel fulfilled when I get to combine that creativity with the chance to tell others about agriculture.

What class or instructor do you value the most or has been most influential?

My favorite classes have been those that involve me using my creativity in a hands-on way. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of creating something both beautiful and useful.

What CAES organizations or clubs are you involved in and how have they impacted your college experience?

I have been a member of Sigma Alpha professional agricultural sorority since freshman year and my wonderful sisters really helped me get involved in the college. The older sisters served as my mentors, helping me find my niche within CAES. During my second year, I served as the public relations and alumni committee chair and really enjoyed getting to use information I learned through my agricultural communication major to serve my sorority.

Have you received any scholarships or awards while in CAES? If so, how have they impacted your college experience?

I have earned two study abroad scholarships in addition to being awarded an Arnold International Fellowship. This fellowship has been a godsend and has allowed me to study abroad once a year during my time here at the university. I am very passionate about international travel and would not have been able to pursue my dream of studying abroad had it not been for the assistance of the CAES Office of Global Programs. Another scholarship I received was the Southeast Produce Council’s Southeast Top Agricultural Recruits Scholarship, which allowed me to go to Orlando, Florida, to attend their annual expo. There, I met with produce growers, shippers, buyers and marketers from around the country and even landed a summer internship in public relations.

If you have studied abroad or participated in an internship (or both!), tell us about it. What was the best part?

I have studied abroad in Uruguay, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. I’ll also be doing a six-month internship at UGA Costa Rica. These study abroad experiences have opened my mind and helped me reflect on my own cultural identity. They are some of the most valuable moments of education I have had in my time at CAES. There’s no substitution for going and experiencing another culture. When I'm abroad, I always tell myself I'll never get the chance to have these experiences again, and that will make you brave! I bungee jumped, petted a lion and went shark cage diving on my last study abroad experience.

What's your best advice for prospective or incoming CAES students?

Know what you want out of your college experience and meet the people who can help you make your dream happen. I knew I wanted to study abroad, so as a freshman, I went to the Office of Global Programs and met with the study abroad adviser. We made a plan of experiences and scholarships. Now, as a senior, I’m going to embark on the last study abroad trip we planned together three years ago. The people in the Office of Global Programs helped me make my dream college experience a reality. Find the people who can help you!

What are your goals or plans after graduation and how will your degree help you accomplish them?

I plan to pursue a master's degree in agricultural communication, and I know that having a degree from UGA CAES has prepared me for graduate school. Afterwards, I would like to work in public relations for a company within the agriculture industry, using the writing, design and photography skills I learned as an agricultural communication major.

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