Profiles of Tenacity: Claire Hensley

Profiles of Tenacity: Claire Hensley

August 31, 2023

Fourth-year public relations student Claire Hensley found her home at Grady after entering college unsure of what she wanted to study. She views tenacity as an ongoing determination to make the most out of situations, pave a new path for oneself and never give up when faced with challenges. Read on as she describes her college experience.

Why did you choose your major?

I came into college undecided about my major and chose Sport and Exercise Science because of my background in dance and passion for exercise. After shadowing a physical therapist, I realized this was not the career path I wanted for myself. I decided to look at my different options and quickly found my place at Grady. Public relations was a much better fit, and I can confidently say, two years later, I made the right decision. I have loved all the public relations, advertising and journalism classes I’ve taken throughout my time in this college.

What does tenacity mean to you?

Coming into college and not knowing what major I wanted to pursue was challenging. I had to have a persistent determination to reach out to people, apply for internships and clubs and dig for opportunities. I’ve faced more rejections than acceptances, but the important thing is that I never gave up, and I eventually found an internship leading to a job!

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

Ask questions and talk to people! Everyone at Grady is eager to help you succeed.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

Hensley posing in front of Trinity College in Oxford
Hensley attended the Grady in Oxford study away program.

I studied abroad with Grady in Oxford for a summer and took International Mass Communication. We focused on the intersection between gender and sports. While abroad, I deeply explored Oxford and learned a lot about the school while also traveling to different countries on the weekends. It was amazing to see how the Grady family took care of each other, even internationally. I got to form a connection with Dr. Suggs, as well as become friends with many other Grady students while traveling and learning about sports and journalism abroad. Besides studying abroad, I love the events Grady puts on such as back-to-school coffee bars, Dawgs with the Dean and finals pick-me-up events. These are so fun and make Grady feel like a community!

What are you passionate about?

I have many passions, but I get the most joy from meeting new people and spending time with friends. Although we are here to earn our degrees, college is a time to make lifelong friendships and support one another. The people I’ve met in Grady classes, my sorority and everywhere in between, have made UGA so hard to leave!

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the past year?

Selfie of Claire Hensley posing with a KPMG badge
Hensley enjoyed her internship with KPMG this summer and used the skills she learned at Grady to excel.

This past summer, I interned with the KPMG Innovation Lab, which pushed me outside of my comfort zone but allowed me to grow tremendously. I worked on two strategic intelligence sprints where we focused on the integration of generative AI across industries for future work. I supported three client delivery sessions, including day-of delivery and post-session deliverables, and I captured notes, facilitated discussions, wrote post-session debriefs, and also networked as much as I could in the process!

Who is your favorite Grady professor and why?

I really enjoyed Public Relations Communication with Tom Cullen. This class offered professionalism tips and career advice that isn’t typically taught but is more expected of students entering the workforce to know. I also built a massive branding and style guide for a non-profit and was able to add this unique piece of work to my portfolio.

How have the classes at Grady prepared you for your future?

The classes at Grady provide students with skills necessary for the real world. I owe success in my internships at Talking Dog, the Office of Global Engagement and KPMG to the preparation I found in Grady courses.

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