Profiles of Tenacity: Lauren Kim

Public relations student Lauren Kim defines tenacity as "waking up with the motivation to know that, even if you are exhausted, you are working toward something greater." (Photos courtesy of Lauren Kim)

Profiles of Tenacity: Lauren Kim

April 25, 2024

Fourth-year public relations student Lauren Kim is involved in Talking Dog Agency, Grady Ambassadors, PRSSA and the Bateman Team. Throughout her involvement in the college, she’s found a community and encourages other students to take advantage of the offerings at Grady College.

Why did you choose your major?

When I was in high school, I interned in my school’s Communications office the summer before senior year. During my internship, I wrote articles for the school magazine, drafted copy, took photos; it was the first time I had ever tried my hand in the communications field. The first time I heard of “public relations” was in the office, and at the time, I didn’t know what that meant. Starting at UGA, I was a communications major, but after taking my first communications class, I realized it wasn’t the direction I wanted to go with my academic and future professional career. I remembered being interested in Grady when I initially toured UGA, and I went back to look through their majors and spotted “public relations” as an option. I thought back to the work at my high school, and everything just clicked.

What does tenacity mean to you?

I see tenacity in everything I do. It’s waking up with the motivation to know that, even if you are exhausted, you are working toward something greater. It’s in my schoolwork, my internships, my clubs and my volunteering. But it’s also in the time I dedicate to care for myself. I have always pushed myself to do the best I can, but I think the greatest form of tenacity is recognizing when you need to look out for yourself.

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

Really take the time to get to know the Grady faculty and staff. They go out of their way to help Grady students, whether it be making a networking connection for you, setting up wellness events, or simply lending an ear. As a Grady Ambassador, you have the opportunity to form an even greater connection with the Grady staff. I can’t express how much of a difference Sarah, Diane, Samantha and Karen have made on my senior year. We really do have the best college on campus when it comes to faculty and staff who care, so make sure to take advantage of it!

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

Kim studying abroad in Oxford.

My most memorable Grady experience was my abroad program in Oxford during Summer 2022. I was studying at this incredible academic institution with my best friends in a beautiful city. I have so many amazing memories from that summer: visiting the Gloucester Green Market, getting gelato at the Covered Market, traveling to Paris, exploring Edinburgh, walking through London. The fact that I got to experience all this with my best friends was what really made that summer.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the past year?

My biggest accomplishment this past year was getting selected as the Director of Research and Strategy for Talking Dog. I’ve gotten to work with a talented team of directors under the stewardship of our four co-directors and our advisor, Mary Ellen Barto. I lead a team phenomenal team of researchers, and I’m so proud of all the work they have created this past year. The agency has become such a huge part of my life, and I am so grateful for this opportunity!

Who is your favorite Grady professor and why?

I’ve had some incredible professors during my time at Grady, but I have to give a special shout-out to Welch Suggs. Professor Suggs taught my Grady seminar class during my time at Oxford. During that time, we went to the Commonwealth Games, learned how to play cricket, visited Manchester, and so much more. He is incredibly passionate about his craft, but what makes him stand out to me are the little moments. When he gave me a fork because I forgot one for my lunch, lent a helping hand during a cleaning crisis, or supported me in my internship search. I can’t thank him enough for all that he has done for me in my time here!

Where’s your favorite place on campus and why?

Kim and the Bateman team during their event at Ciné.

Definitely the second floor of Grady. I spend so much time there either doing work or hanging out and chatting with faculty. There’s always something going on, and it always seems like I run into the right person at the right time.

What advice would you give to your freshman self?

Everything will work itself out. I went into freshman year confused about my place in school. It was the midst of the pandemic, and I remember being so worried about what my future would look like. But, only weeks later, I would change my major to public relations, and more importantly, meet one of my best friends in college. Next year, I would meet even more amazing friends, join different organizations, land an internship, and really find my footing at school. Change can be scary. Sometimes life doesn’t go the way you think it will; it’s all about knowing what you can do on your path forward.