Profiles of Tenacity: Eli Banzon

Headshot of Eli Banzon
Eli Banzon is a fourth-year public relations student interested in public affairs communication. (Photos courtesy of Eli Banzon)

Profiles of Tenacity: Eli Banzon

October 26, 2023

Fourth-year public relations student Eli Banzon is interested in working in Washington D.C. as a public affairs practitioner. He wants to make a positive impact through his work, and he’s dedicated his time in Grady to expanding his communication skills.

Why did you choose your major?

I came to UGA as a political science major on the pre-law track, but I quickly realized that law school wasn’t for me. I wanted to find another major to go with my political science studies. After an intentional search process, I chose public relations because I felt this would best merge my interest in public policy with my interests in writing and storytelling. I felt it would give me tangible skills to advocate for the policies and issue areas that matter to me. With only one semester of coursework left, I’m so happy that I decided to add the major.

What does tenacity mean to you?

My mom once described me as tenacious when I was a kid. My family didn’t know what she meant, but I’m pretty sure she was just referencing my stubbornness. In hindsight, she wasn’t too far off. Tenacity means to remain steadfast in who you are and what you believe in. It’s still important to be open to alternative ideas, but you should always stick to what you believe in. That’s what makes you who you are, and that’s what tenacity means to me.

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

Believe in yourself. Everyone in Grady is super talented and ambitious, so it’s easy to compare yourself to others. Just know that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be, and don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you’re behind. Remain where your feet are, and don’t get so caught up in the race to graduation. That’ll rob you of amazing experiences and memories here at UGA. Just believe that all of your talent, hard work, involvement and relationship-building will pay dividends in the future.

What are you passionate about?
Banzon and other SPIA Ambassadors participate in the SPIA Board of Visitors and Alumni Board meeting in April 2023.

I’m passionate about the conservation of public lands, which is originally rooted in an appreciation for the outdoors. It became a passion after I participated in the SPIA National Parks Program this past summer where I had the opportunity to visit 12 National Parks with incredible students and staff. I find public lands inspiring because they are a unique bipartisan issue that people of all political affiliations overwhelmingly support. They show that we are capable of overcoming our differences and getting things done. It’s definitely an issue that I would like to work on in my career.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I’m open-minded to wherever I may be in 5 years, but I know it would be unwise not to have some sort of plan in place. I hope to have earned my master’s in integrated advertising & public relations. My goal is to be living in Washington D.C. or Atlanta and working for a public affairs agency or federal government department. No matter where I end up, I want to work towards making a positive impact.

Who is your favorite Grady professor and why?

It’s hard to choose because there really are so many amazing professors at Grady, but I’m going to go with Dr. A. When I took her PR Management class, I could tell how passionate she was about teaching and mentoring the next generation of PR practitioners. She really believes in her students, and that means a lot. I’d recommend taking her class if you can. Now that I’m talking about this, I need to reach out to her ASAP.

Where’s your favorite place on campus and why?
Photo of UGA PRSSA executive board
Banzon serves as the internal communications director for UGA PRSSA.

My favorite place on campus is the 3rd floor West Wing of the MLC. To some, it represents the doom and gloom of studying. To me, this is where the magic happens. I may struggle to finish essays or take-home exams in the study carrels, but it’s also where I complete those assignments. If there’s something for me to do, this is where I get it done. It’s where I’m most productive. A lot of my academic successes can be attributed to the 3rd floor of the MLC.

What advice would you give to your freshman self?

Relax. Life is so unpredictable, and you can’t control everything. Things don’t always work out the way you want them to, and that’s completely okay. Prepare, work hard and do what you need to do, but don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t go how you expect. Once you learn to relax and take life less seriously, each day becomes much more joyful.