Profiles of Tenacity: Amanda Whylie

Third-year EMST student Amanda Whylie defines tenacity as "moving forward no matter what obstacles you face, and endlessly pursuing your curiosity while trying to grow as a person." (Photos provided courtesy of Amanda Whylie)

Profiles of Tenacity: Amanda Whylie

March 28, 2024

Amanda Whylie is a third-year Entertainment & Media Studies student and serves as the vice president of The Industry. Read on as she shares her story in Grady.

Why did you choose your major?

I chose to study Entertainment & Media Studies because I believe that media is an influential tool that gives us the power to raise consciousness, form opinions, and think critically about the world around us – I wanted to learn how to wield that tool so that I can do my part to ensure diverse and authentic stories are told.

What does tenacity mean to you?

To me, Tenacity means moving forward no matter what obstacles you face, and endlessly pursuing your curiosity while trying to grow as a person. It doesn’t just encapsulate your approach to schoolwork, but your approach to life itself. It means doing whatever it takes to attain your goals.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to other Grady students?

One piece of advice that I would give to other Grady students is to find loopholes. There is always a way to achieve your goal, but you may not always find it on paper – sometimes you have to create it, and you can’t be afraid to do so. Use your creativity in unexpected ways to tailor things so that you can accomplish what you set out to do. Thinking something is impossible is akin to giving up. Strike up good relationships with your professors and peers, and seek out connection rather than a ‘network’ – this helps to build a community of people that can help you find other ways to go at a goal.

Whylie served as the Head Team Advisor of the Film Production and Screenwriting Team at the NSLC Program @American University in June 2023.

What advice would you give to your freshman self?

I would tell freshman Amanda that it’s okay to do the exact opposite of what people expect you to do- if you are interested in doing it, that’s more than enough. I would also tell her that cultivating genuine connections with a few people matters more than trying to be in ten places or meetings each week.

What are you passionate about?

    I am most fulfilled by international stories – I love learning and experiencing different ways of life, and the various forms of storytelling that follow from that. Most importantly, I’m invested in changing the media landscape in a way that provides more visibility and competitive wages and education to those in creative industries in developing countries, which often fall victim to exploitation by Western streaming services or production companies.

    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    Whylie in mid-shoot with RED cameras for the Department of Alumni Relations at UGA.

    In five years, I hope to have graduated from law school and passed the bar in multiple countries, so that I can fulfil my goal of becoming an international entertainment lawyer. I also hope to have made a narrative feature film in Jamaica.

    What motivates you?

    I’m motivated by working with and/or leading others to create or improve existing systems or processes and take on challenging projects. Woman-led narratives across media (books like “In Every Mirror She’s Black”, or shows like “The Bold Type” and “House of the Dragon”) also strengthen my motivation to move forward.

    Who is your favorite Grady professor and why?

    My favorite professor is Prof. Mohammed, who teaches me Entertainment Media Analysis. I LOVE her because her teaching style is very thorough, and she has gotten me to think critically about the way that U.S. media influences the world. She has also empowered me as a black woman to stand on my own and not be afraid to pave my own path in a world that often tries to put us down. Seeing someone like me teaching at Grady has been amazing.

    Editor: Morgan Jones |