Profiles of Tenacity: Paige Searles

Student headshot in front of campus building
Paige Searles switched her major from biology to advertising in pursuit of a more creative field. (Photos: Submitted)

Profiles of Tenacity: Paige Searles

May 02, 2024

Paige Searles is a fourth-year advertising student with a certificate in new media. She encourages students to seek mentorship by joining the UGA Mentor Program and reaching out to professors.

Why did you choose your major?

I have always been creative and loved bringing my ideas to life, but I never considered pursuing it as a career until my freshman year of college during the pandemic when I realized that I should take the leap of faith. Ever since, I have never been happier with my decision and opportunities have continued to allow me to grow and develop within this major.

What does tenacity mean to you?

Tenacity means the determination and grit that you have to have to pursue your dreams. Personally, my tenacity is how I have been able to withstand the rejections, push through adversity and be successful in pursuing a career in advertising.

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

One piece of advice I have for Grady students is to not be afraid to ask your professors for help, especially with jobs. They have a plethora of resources, connections and opportunities that you may not know about unless you ask. Also always check your
email and spam folder!

What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

Outside of my friends and family, I can 100% say that my mentor, Shayla Hill, had the biggest impact on my time at UGA. I met Shayla through the UGA Mentor Program in December of my freshman year, nearly days after I had taken the biggest risk of my life (at the time) to switch my major from Biology to Advertising to pursue my creative dreams. Since then, she has taken me under her wing, instilled me with wisdom, and helped me to uncover and create my own path within advertising. I am so grateful for all the time she has devoted to me and our relationship is something I will forever cherish.

What are you passionate about?

I am always discovering new things I am passionate about, but a few of the things that come to mind first are traveling, creative representation within minority communities especially within primary education, and creating a space where the ideas that others dream of making are brought to life.

Paige Searles (right) pictured with her new media institute capstone team. They worked on Tranquil Study, one of the Apple Store’s first 600 applications for Apple Vision Pro.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the past year?

My biggest accomplishment within the past year has been continuing to trust in myself and my gifts which has allowed me to walk in my first New York Fashion Week Show and launch my creative consulting business.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Don’t tell yourself no before they do. Do it scared.

Where’s your favorite place on campus and why?

The New Media Institute Lab on the 4th floor is where I spent countless early mornings and late nights during the later half of my time at UGA. I brainstormed and created a lot of my best projects while working there and it always provided me with a quiet space to get my thoughts out and be productive.

What advice would you give to your freshman self?

Please understand that you do not have to sign your life away to the major that you entered college with. Think long and hard about what you truly want to do, not what your family wants you to do or what you think is the safest path or most realistic because nothing is unrealistic or guaranteed. Have faith, trust your gut, follow your heart and don’t be too hard on yourself.

Editor: Jin Lee |