The University of Georgia’s Alumni Association annually recognizes outstanding alumni who have made an impact in their careers through its 40 Under 40 program. Grady College is proud to have seven honorees in the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018: Brooke Bowen (ABJ ‘07, JD ‘10), Chase Cain (ABJ ’05), Meredith Dean (ABJ ‘14), Josh Delaney (ABJ’11, AB ‘11), Ivey Evans (ABJ ’06, BBA ’06, MBA ‘13), Quanza Griffin (ABJ ‘01) and Lauren Pearson (ABJ ‘02).
Selections were based on the graduates’ commitment to a lifelong relationship with UGA and their impact in business, leadership, community, artistic, research, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors. The 2018 Class will be honored at the awards luncheon on Sept. 13, 2018, at the Georgia Aquarium.
Grady College will release profiles of the winners leading up to the awards luncheon.
Name: Josh Delaney
Graduation Year: 2011
Current Occupaion: Senior Education Policy Advisor, U.S. Senate, Office of Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Grady College: How did Grady College help prepare you for your career?
Josh Delaney: In many ways, my entire job is about communicating a message. So my Grady experience – learning how to write persuasively, mastering word economy to deliver a message succinctly and understanding the art of narrative – really helped get my legs under me when it came to being a policy professional in Washington, D.C.
GC: What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned as you’ve navigated through your career?
JD: This may sound cliché, but there is no substitute for working hard and being a nice person. Being pleasant to work with may even be more important than whatever skills you have. You can learn new skills and be a hard worker, but no one wants to work with someone who makes their day miserable. The best thing you can do is decide to be a positive and upbeat presence in your work environment because moods are contagious.
GC: Describe a moment in your professional/personal career that you are most proud of.
JD: I’m most proud of the time I spent in the classroom teaching. Right after college, I taught ninth-graders in Metro Atlanta, and it was the most challenging – yet rewarding – professional experience I will ever have. It was humbling to learn how to handle things outside of my control, while also creating and managing a classroom environment and culture that I could be proud of. On my worst days, I still had fun with my students. And on my best days, my students reminded me why I was there. I’m still in education policy because of my former students and my classroom experience.
GC: Do you have a favorite Grady memory?
JD: My favorite Grady memory was the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity study abroad I did in summer 2010. The group was fantastic, and it was the perfect way to kick off my senior year. We were the only college group at the advertising festival, so we quickly because the star attractions. Professionals from all over the world wanted to get to know us and help us get started on our professional journeys. I never really understood what it meant to network until this experience, and I’m so glad I learned the art of networking before moving to a city like Washington DC.