UNC | Columbus, OH | The Wellington School
In what way has your experience as a Robertson Scholar challenged you the most?
I've been challenged to take ownership of my academic and career paths given the unique structure and opportunities given by the Program.
Please share an example of how one of your summer experiences impacted your leadership.
Each of my summers helped me mature and learn more than any other experiences I've had, especially Community Summer. Even with the variety of incredible things Scholars accomplished during high school, almost no one had been put in a consequential, real-world situation. I know in retrospect that I hadn't. Working at OPD in New Orleans was formative in the ways that it helped me mature, gave me an incredible amount of genuine responsibility not bestowed to any other 19-year-old, and encouraged my self-driven work ethic. The daily experiences of that summer helped clarify my values and interests, vastly improved my skills in the workplace, and taught me more about people and personal leadership than anything else I've had the fortune to do. I wish every Scholar, and every person in general, could spend even a couple weeks at OPD.
If you had one piece of advice for future Robertson Scholars, what would it be?
All that matters about the typical collegiate construct is your grades and pursuing experience in whatever it is you want to do. Do not get bogged down in being in as many clubs as you can (post-freshman year), because this isn't high school and that doesn't matter. Don't waste your time volunteering for ineffective organizations you're not passionate about just to virtue-signal. Gain as good a sense as you can early on about which on-campus activities and opportunities are actually valuable and will help you grow and gain the experience you want, and ignore everything else. Round that out with off-campus internships and opportunities, and focus heavily on making the most of your summers and study abroad/away semesters. I focused heavily on academics and my summers and essentially did nothing on campus the last three years of college, and I got the most selective new graduate job in sports business. You're all smart and can judge for yourself what activities are genuinely valuable - don't get trapped in the college bubble and find yourself wasting time on things that won't matter.
Anything else you want us to know?
Thank you for everything. My experience was incredibly fulfilling and allowed me to end up in a position I couldn't have at any other college in the country. My only serious critique is that the staff/board should spend some time focusing on strengthening the mechanics of the program. My four years were plagued with constant confusion and issues regarding cross-campus approvals, transcript errors, etc. We should figure out how to streamline those processes and work more effectively with the respective registrars and deans to make it as easy as possible for Scholars to pursue academics on both campuses. Also, though it had to be cancelled this summer for obvious reasons, please do everything in your power to get Community Summer back on track for next year and beyond (I trust this is already a priority.) I know almost no Scholars for which that was not a favorite and formative experience. Thank you again for all your hard work and generosity. The Robertson is a truly unique program and it's meant the world to who I am and what I've been able to do. I look forward to staying in the loop and helping in any ways I can in the future.