40 under 40 profile: Will Carr (ABJ ’06)

40 under 40 profile: Will Carr (ABJ ’06)

September 11, 2019

Grady College is proud to have four alumni recognized as 2019 40 under 40 honorees, presented by the University of Georgia Alumni Association.

The 40 under 40 celebration, recognizing the personal, professional and philanthropic achievements of UGA graduates under the age of 40, takes place Sept. 13.

This interview with Will Carr, the LA-based news correspondent with ABC News, is one of a series of conversations with Grady’s honorees this year. Other interviews include:

Brooke Beach (ABJ ’11)

Ashley Callahan (ABJ ’04)

Robbie York (ABJ ’05)

Grady College: What does this recognition as a 40 under 40 awardee mean to you?

Will Carr: “It’s a tremendous honor. From the moment I stepped onto campus for the first time, to right now, UGA has continually impacted my life for the better. To receive such an honor, along with 39 other thriving UGA grads, means that the life tools UGA equipped me with have really paid off.”

GC: What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today? 

WC: “For me, there was nothing like Newsource 15 in the Grady College of Journalism. The live broadcast forced you to rotate positions within a local newscast. I went into the program thinking I wanted to become a sports anchor but left with a true passion for hard news. I’ve stayed in touch with my professors, Michael Castengera and Steve Smith, over the years. I have three sisters, all of whom attended UGA, and they think it’s really amazing that I stay in touch with two of my professors (both now retired). Newsource 15 offered a unique opportunity that helped propel me into the journalism industry with complete confidence. I equate the program to a jetpack propulsion device. Without a doubt, my time at Newsource 15, and Grady, helped lift me to the highest levels of this industry.”

GC: What motivates you?

WC: “I’m motivated by my profession’s ability to hold people in power accountable for their actions. I’m also motivated by the human emotion/interaction that I witness on a weekly basis. It’s important to remember that no matter how we feel about certain stories/issues, there are always people impacted. It’s my goal to spotlight those people so that the country can have a full understanding of each story’s layers.”

GC: What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students?

WC: “Work hard. Have fun. Ask yourself if you have a true passion for the profession you’re about to get into. If you don’t, find something else that does spark your inner passion. You only have one life. Live it to the fullest.”

In addition to his West Coast assignments, Carr is sent to other parts of the country to cover national news for ABC outlets like “Good Morning America.” Here, he is reporting on the strength of Hurricane Michael’s winds.

GC: What advice do you have for today’s young professionals?

WC: “Make sure you’re living in the present. So many of us get so focused on the future, we forget to enjoy our daily lives. I’ve found the more time I try to live in the moment, the less anxiety I have about the countless things I have no control over. Also, don’t be afraid to put the phone down. After your initial withdrawal symptoms, you’ll be glad you did.” 

GC: What do you miss the most about being at UGA?

WC: “The relationships. Without a doubt, I met some of my best friends at UGA. It was an amazing four years.”

For more information about Will Carr, see “Nine ways to be a better journalist, shared by Grady Greats panelists.”