Many college students see graduation as a stressful beginning to their futures. One UWG alumna, Madison Murphy, tackled this stress head-on to set herself up for success in her future career.
Murphy graduated in May of 2020 with a degree in Mass Communications, a Public Relations concentration, a marketing minor and an advertising certificate. She was active on campus during her college career as a Kappa Delta, orientation leader, PRSSA president and writer for The West Georgian. Her current role is as Marketing Coordinator at Colony Square in Atlanta for North American Properties.
When Murphy started at UWG in 2016 as a freshman, she had no idea what she wanted to do. She explored a marketing major and eventually switched to public relations which she believed offered a bigger opportunity for creativity.
Murphy credits an on-campus internship for unveiling a passion for writing.
“My first internship was at the University’s Marketing office,” said Murphy. “I went into the interview not even knowing what I had applied for and it ended up being a writing position. It ended up being really great and I found out I was passionate about writing and won a lot of awards for the things I wrote while I was there.”
Her extracurricular activities and relationships with staff at UWG put Murphy a step ahead of her peers.
“Some of my biggest takeaways were some of the things I learned in PRSSA,” said Murphy. “We had a lot of really great workshops, resume building and [being told to] talk to my professors.”
“A lot of students didn’t take that seriously, but I did. I would schedule meetings with Taylor Byrant and Kelly Williams,” continued Murphy. “I would sit down with my resume just to get professional opinions and advice, even if it wasn’t classwork related.”
Murphy credits those conversations to her outstanding resume and her professional connections today.
“It might be scary to go sit in your professor’s office for 20 minutes and have them critique your resume but to me that was really beneficial,” said Murphy.
Murphy left UWG well-equipped for her future career, completing internships with the Four Seasons Hotel, the Candler Hotel and other big name hospitality industries in Atlanta. Even with her experience, the journey to her current position wasn’t what she expected.
“My first job out of college was doing marketing out of an oral surgeon’s office and that wasn’t what I wanted to be doing,” said Murphy. “I was absolutely miserable at work and I hated it.
“About six months in, my old internship supervisor recommended me for the job I’m in now,” continued Murphy. “[The workforce] is definitely different than what I thought it was. You think it’s gonna be so glamorous and fun and sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not.”
When reflecting upon her time at UWG, Murphy wants students to know that hard work does indeed pay off.
“Take every single opportunity you can find to gain experience,” said Murphy. “Out here, they don’t care about your GPA or what you majored in. All they care about is your experience.”