Communities like the Honors Program and the Institute for Leadership Advancement’s Leonard Leadership Scholars Program have cultivated Mai-Lise Nguyen’s intellectual curiosity, provided valuable experiences, and offered meaningful mentoring relationships, she says. She has used these experiences to prepare herself for internships in some of America’s leading companies including the New York office of Burson-Marsteller, an international public relations firm , where she helped write and launch a new magazine; The Home Depot headquarters, where she designed and wrote its corporate diversity webpage, and the Carl E. Sanders Family YMCA at Buckhead, where she planned a benefit concert featuring Grammy-award winner Bruce Hornsby. After graduation, she wants a career in public relations, and she is considering a master’s degree in business administration.
Dunwoody High School
Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in marketing, a minor in cellular biology, and a Certificate in Personal and Organizational Leadership
University highlights, achievements and awards:
This past year I helped create Athens Regional Medical Center's “Healthy Hour – A Happy Hour for Women's Health” program, a free monthly event for community members to learn the latest health developments and have their questions answered by leading health practitioners. And I assisted with The Carter Center's Guinea Worm Eradication Program, by assembling medical kits for Ghana , Sudan and Nigeria. Last year I was the first student from a Georgia college or university to receive a Lagrant Foundation scholarship, which is nationally awarded to 10 minority students studying marketing, public relations, or advertising. At UGA, I am a William Moore Crane Leadership Scholar, alum of the LeaderShape Institute, and member of the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society and Georgia Recruitment Team. Additionally, I have been a member of the University Judiciary for three years and have served on its Executive Council.
This will be my third year as a UGA Office of Admissions intern. As part of the Admissions team, I have advised prospective students and families by traveling to college fairs, serving on student panels, presenting information sessions, conducting meetings, and corresponding via email and telephone.
My favorite part of the job though is the recruitment events because of the face-to-face interaction with prospective students and parents. You would be amazed at how quickly you can form relationships. Last year, I met a family where the mother was a quadriplegic. They were the friendliest family I have ever met, and the daughter was so excited about finally visiting UGA. They didn’t feel comfortable joining the other tours, knowing they would hold the entire group up, so I got to give them a personal tour in their handicap-equipped van. I was able to answer all their questions about college and UGA, and even got to add some extra stops to the tour, like a visit and tour of the Ramsey Center and downtown Athens. The family was so appreciative, and it was honestly one of my favorite afternoons.
I chose to attend UGA because...
...of the tremendous opportunities - the opportunity to study and experience anything. The atmosphere is welcoming and down-to-earth. The faculty and staff are supportive and truly student advocates. Where else could I study marketing and cellular biology, and not have people think I’m crazy or discourage me? Whether it’s services or programs, UGA goes to extreme lengths to create small communities while providing the immense resources of a large institution.
My favorite things to do on campus are...
...attend various lectures and speeches. This interest started when I took Barry Hollander’s Newspaper Writing and Reporting class. We were only required to cover four events, but I soon found myself regularly going to them. Time has not allowed me to take classes in all my areas of interest, so I have found that attending such hour-long programs help me feel a little more informed and broaden my knowledge. Some of my favorite speeches include discussions on health disparities among minorities, infectious diseases in Africa, children’s literature books, and the state of print media in America. The Reverend Al Sharpton’s speech was also entertaining and intriguing.
When I have free time, I like...
...to attend concerts and theater performances. My favorites include seeing Broadway’s Rent and Miss Saigon at the Classic Center, and hearing piano virtuoso Vassilis Varvaresos perform my favorite Chopin pieces during my freshman year. I took piano lessons for eight years and try to keep up with my technique, but it is absolutely amazing and inspiring to hear masters play.
The craziest thing I've done is...
...dance and play in a fountain with my two best friends. (It was the Herty Field fountain to be exact, but I hope UGA authorities aren’t reading this.)
My favorite place to study is...
...a study room in the Student Learning Center , especially during final exam time. The leather couches in Moore College are great for short-term studying, and the Law Library is a good location when I don’t want distractions.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
...my grandmother. She passed away over five years ago at the age of 91, but I still think of her often. She was a source of strength and caring. She taught me so much, yet I know there was so much more to learn, especially about my ancestors and heritage. It was only after she passed I learned that to truly understand your future, you must understand your past.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
...save the world.
After graduation, I plan to...
...join a public relations firm, probably in New York City, and focus on healthcare, public health issues, and social marketing. But I’m also considering doing something more service-oriented for awhile, like the Peace Corps or the New York City Teaching Fellows Program. Eventually, I would like to earn an MBA.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
...making a list of “Things We Have to Do before We Graduate” with my best friend last semester, then actually doing them. Items ranged from serious to silly including having to pull out a two-foot extendable fork and use it at a public restaurant.