#ProfilesofTenacity: Chiamaka Uwagerikpe

#ProfilesofTenacity: Chiamaka Uwagerikpe

May 09, 2023

Chiamaka Uwagerikpe sitting in a chair in a podcast studio holding up her phone to take a selfie.
Chiamaka Uwagerikpe started her own podcast, called Acquainted.

Chiamaka Uwagerikpe is a third-year advertising major from Suwanee, Georgia, involved with Talking Dog Agency, the Student Industry Fellows Program and the UGA Visitor’s Center. She’s also a Strike Magazine content intern and has served as an ambassador for Gurls Talk, promoting the mental health and wellbeing of young women and girls.

To Uwagerikpe, tenacity means always giving yourself a chance. “It’s the act of doing the bold thing of starting, trying, applying, even when it seems impossible. Tenacity is a blend of stubbornness, authenticity and courage, and it’s something I live by,” she explained.

Why did you choose your major?

I didn’t know what I wanted to study when I got to college. I actually changed my major five times before ever taking a class here, which is ludicrous. I just really wanted to make the right decision. But when I got here, I thought about what skills I wanted to have by the time I left. I wanted to be able to pitch and persuade, to be an effective communicator. I wanted to feed my creativity. And that is how I chose advertising. There have been double majors and certificates that came and went, but I find advertising plus my co-curriculars have given me all the skills I desired.

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

The Gurls Talk community has had the biggest impact on my life during my time as a UGA student. Gurls Talk is a community-led non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the mental health and wellbeing of adolescent girls and young women. I had the pleasure of serving as an ambassador to the community, and it completely changed my life. Through the program I met so many amazing people, and learned about myself in a very real way. In order for me to serve well, I had to define my values and find my voice. It transformed the way I think about work and leadership. Being a Gurls Talk ambassador made me a better friend, leader and communicator. It is such a welcoming community, and I highly recommend everyone check out the cause.

Chiamaka Uwagerikpe sitting in a chair in front of a camera.
Chiamaka Uwagerikpe will spend summer 2023 as a corporate communications intern at IHG.
What is your most memorable Grady experience?

My most memorable Grady experience has to be responding to a Grady Listerv email. A team was looking for an intern with much more experience than I had, but I got a spot on the team anyway. I am so grateful for that turn of events because it has led to so much growth. I have gotten to meet other amazing Grady students and supportive alumni. I’ve gained so many technical skills and learned more about storytelling. I’ve gotten to ask so many questions, which is my favorite pastime. All because of an email.

What are you passionate about?

I am wildly passionate about culture and community building. These are things that transform and uplift people.

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

A piece of advice that I would give to other Grady students is to stay curious. You don’t necessarily have to do everything under the sun, but engage with your surroundings. Ask questions. Get to know the people around you. Be intentional and be present.

What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?

I’m a pretty nervous person. But I never let my nerves get in the way of me living.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I have no idea. I hope to live abroad, working for an innovative creative agency. I’ll have a cozy apartment, and I’ll call my family on a regular basis. I’ll be living well. I’m currently working on habits that will get me to reality close to that.

Chiamaka Uwagerikpe poses with a group of people in front of the Delta sign.
Through the Student Industry Fellows Program, Chiamaka Uwagerikpe has worked with Cox Enterprises, Delta and Worldstrides.
What motivates you?

My family motivates me, especially my siblings. They inspire me to be great in a way that is authentic.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the past year?

One of my biggest accomplishments this past year is becoming an Innovation Fellow here at the University of Georgia. The Student Industry Fellows Program has opened up so many learning opportunities for me. As a fellow, I use my creativity and communication skills to solve complex problems for clients. I have gotten to work with Cox Enterprises, Delta and Worldstrides and tackle issues of tech, sustainability, and culture. The fellowship has given my confidence in my professional abilities and has given me new friends from all across campus.