September 4, 2011
Blake Mitchell is an amazing student leader. From his involvement with student government, the UGA Visitors Center, various academic programs, and CineClub, Blake has accomplished much. He was chosen as a Leonard Leadership Scholar and is a member of the Dean William Tate Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and the Blue Key National Honor Society.
ABJ in mass media arts, BBA in international business and finance, Certificate in leadership and personal development
University highlights, achievements and awards:
My aspiration is to work in film production, so a great deal of my involvement in college has been media and entertainment related. I spent the last two summers interning in Los Angeles, working with Double Feature Films during the summer of 2010 and splitting my time between MGM and Participant Media this past summer. I was one of three finalists in MTV’s Student Oscars Correspondent Contest, giving me the opportunity to fly to LA for the 83rd Academy Awards and cover events leading up to the ceremony. I also participated in the Cannes Film Festival study abroad program through Grady College.
Back in Athens, I’ve interned with Robert Osborne’s Classic Film Festival; I’ve worked with CineClub, a student organization that promotes independent film and Cine Theater in downtown Athens (where my photo for this profile was taken, actually!); and I’ve served as an ambassador for the Grady College and planned GradyFest, the college’s student film festival.
The most rewarding and fulfilling organization I’ve worked with at UGA has been the Student Government Association’s Freshman Forum. I was a member of the program my first year, went on to be an SGA senator my sophomore year, and returned to Forum to serve as a director of the program my junior and senior years. Through Forum, I’ve met so many incredible students and have had the opportunity to work with many remarkable campus leaders. Forum’s mission to teach leadership through service and connect students on campus is something I really believe in and support.
In addition, I work at the UGA Visitors Center, was a member of the 2010 Homecoming Court, participated in the UGA en Buenos Aires study abroad program and was chosen as a Leonard Leadership Scholar through the Terry College’s Institute for Leadership Advancement. I am a member of the Dean William Tate Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and the Blue Key National Honor Society. I also attend Athens Church.
Oak Mountain Academy
I currently work at the “Happiest Place on Campus,” also known as the UGA Visitors Center. I conduct campus tours and share my love for college with prospective students.
Family Ties to UGA:
I’m the first person in my family to come to school in Athens, but I’m proud to say that I’ve successful converted my parents and siblings into die-hard Dawg fans!
I chose to attend UGA because...
I graduated in a high school class of 13 people, so I needed a bigger environment for college. I was attracted to UGA’s strong business and journalism programs as well as the innate charm of the campus. Add in the eclectic culture of Athens, fantastic athletics, the numerous and diverse student organizations and tuition paid in full by the HOPE scholarship, and UGA was an obvious choice!
My favorite things to do on campus are...
to go for a run at the Botanical Garden, hang out in the Center for Student Organizations with Ms. Becki Garrett (arguably the most powerful person on campus), drive down Sanford bridge late at night when campus is empty and the stadium is illuminated, pass through Tate Plaza during a class change, and grab a coffee or frozen yogurt downtown and sit on one of the North Campus benches with a friend.
The craziest thing I've done is...
take an impromptu weekend trip when I was abroad to visit Salzburg, Austria, home of “The Sound of Music.” My close friends all know that I have an affinity for Maria and the Von Trapp children, so visiting the locations depicted in the film was a dream come true. I’m certain my travel companions only agreed to join me so they could laugh at me while I sang every song from the movie, but I didn’t care. It was a magical weekend.
My favorite place to study is...
the fourth floor of the Miller Learning Center. With easy access to Jittery Joe’s and very few distractions, there is no better place to go when you really need to get some work done.
My favorite professor is...
a tie between Dr. Vikki Clawson in Terry College’s Institute for Leadership Advancement and Dr. Jennifer Smith in Grady College’s mass media arts department.
Dr. Clawson, or “Dr. C” as she is more affectionately known, was the instructor for the first class I took as part of the Leonard Scholars Program. She taught me more about my own strengths and weaknesses, personal development and leadership than anyone I’ve ever known. She also happens to be the most kind and encouraging individual I’ve ever met, and I’m so thankful for her influence on my life.
What Dr. C contributed to my personal growth, Jenn Smith not only matched but also exceeded with the professional guidance she has provided. Jenn taught my video production class; I studied abroad under her in Cannes and did a directed study with her this past spring. She gave me the courage and know-how to pursue my dream of working in film production. It’s very rare that someone helps you tap into your passion – Jenn did that for me, and I am forever grateful.
Honorable mentions: James Biddle for always rescuing me and Dr. William Lee for making Snookie relevant to my academic experience.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
Clint Eastwood. Not only are Clint’s performances and no-nonsense attitude endearing, but also his resume reads like an Academy Awards ballot. “Million Dollar Baby,” “Mystic River,” “Unforgiven”… the list goes on. I’d love to go visit Clint at his offices on The Warner Brothers’ lot and pick his brain. Maybe I could even stop by and see Ellen DeGeneres while I was there.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
walk straight up to James Schamus and ask him to share the secret to his success. He’s the CEO of Focus Features, a remarkable company that has produced films such as “Brokeback Mountain,” “Hanna,” “Milk,” “The Kids Are All Right,” and “The Constant Gardener.” I dream of making films half as good as these, so the opportunity to learn from Schamus would be a game changer.
After graduation, I plan to...
pack up my life and move to Los Angeles. It seems the only way to make it in Hollywood is to actually move to Hollywood, so that’s what I’m planning to do. I hope to secure an entry-level position in the film industry as an assistant to a producer or executive.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
meeting Ryan Gosling at the Cannes Film Festival. Some friends and I had gone to a panel discussion that Ryan and Michelle Williams participated in for their film “Blue Valentine.” Afterward, Ryan came to chat with us, offered the group some gummy worms he was eating, and took photos with us. He is such a great actor and such a nice guy. The trip overall was incredible—we saw nearly 30 films, walked the red carpet at premiers and networked with film professionals—and this particular moment was one of the best.