Jennifer Gulley graduated from the University of West Florida as an Honors Scholar in 2010. An International Studies major with minors in Spanish and Communications, she also held the Fundraising Chair on Honors Council. Upon graduation, she moved to DC to begin her interesting and unique career. Jennifer answered a few questions about her experiences in Honors and beyond UWF.
What are you doing now that you graduated?
After graduation, I moved to DC and fell into a rather interesting field: travel directing! I am an independent contractor for a handful of companies and, though my work varies by assignment, I essentially plan and execute trips. I also do some freelance writing when I have time.
Were you involved in Honors Council or any of the committees? Did you hold any leadership roles? If so, what and how did they impact you?
I did! I chaired the fundraising committee, and pretty much always stuck to that thereafter; fundraising is usually the most necessary and most neglected! I learned a lot through being the chair, from how to write donation and sponsorship requests to accepting and implementing ideas from fellow committee members. The latter is sometimes difficult for me, but I was convinced when we threw a very successful Halo and Madden tournament; I initially brushed off the idea because I know nothing about gaming, but I eventually realized that chairing is less about knowing everything and more about steering a project forward and making sure your team has everything they need. It was a good life lesson.
What was the most lasting impact that the Honors program had on you?
Being in the Honors program had many benefits, but I would say that the sense of community in Pace Hall allowed me to make some of the best friendships of my life.
If you had to redo your time at UWF, what would you do differently?
I tell this to any incoming college student I encounter: go try new things while you have the time and the student discount! One thing you realize after graduating is that hobbies can be expensive! I recently learned to ballroom dance and scuba dive, both of which are offered at UWF for half the price.
What was your favorite thing about UWF?
I really liked how small and low-key the campus was. Some days we would just lay out on the Cannon Green and people would stop by and chat, then go on their merry ways. It was rare to walk from Pace Hall to the Commons and not see someone you knew.
What suggestions or advice would you give to current honors and UWF students about college life?
Aside from trying new things, I would recommend just getting out there and making new friends. This is probably the most social you will ever be in your life, so take advantage of those spontaneous, late night Waffle House trips where packing into a car with a random assortment of people is perfectly normal!
By: Abigail Allgood, Freshman