Fourth-year public relations major Ike Epstein has made the most of the opportunities offered to him by Grady College and the University of Georgia. As a transfer student, Epstein has found his community at UGA by getting involved on campus. He serves as a research and strategy specialist for the Arby’s account at Talking Dog Agency and he is also involved in Dawg Camp and the Student Government Association (SGA).
What does “tenacity” mean to you?
To me, tenacity is about being persistent. College will have its fair share of ups and downs, something that I’ve certainly experienced myself. Sometimes, you will not do as well on a test as you thought—I know I have—and that feeling can be very defeating. However, learning to stay persistent throughout those ups and downs is something that has not only served me during college, but will also aid me in my career.
Why did you choose your major?
I chose to pursue a degree in public relations because of how versatile it is. Considering how quickly the job landscape changes, having a degree that will give me the tools to succeed in various aspects of the public relations and advertising world will play an integral role in the success of my career.
What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?
Mary Ellen Barto has had the biggest impact on me during my time at UGA. She is so knowledgeable about the field of ADPR, and she has helped me hone my skills and find a career path that I’m legitimately passionate about. Sometimes I’ll go to her office between classes just to hang out for a second, and I’m very grateful to have met her this year.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of advice I’ve received is to try and stay in the moment. I often find myself worrying about things that are far in the distance, especially when it comes to jobs and internships. While I know this is easier said than done, it’s something that has really helped me this year, especially as my time in school is beginning to come to a close. Your time in college is short, so just try to enjoy the moment and make the most of it.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to other Grady students?
If I had to give one piece of advice to Grady students, it would be to get involved! Grady offers so many amazing opportunities, Talking Dog and PRSSA just to name a couple. Getting involved with Grady organizations has helped me make the most out of my time here and allowed me to form meaningful connections.
What is your most memorable Grady experience?
My most memorable Grady experience has been my time with Talking Dog Agency working on the Arby’s account. Agency work is what I want to do with my career, but it was never something that I thought I could do during the school year. Having the opportunity to work with such an impressive client has been a rewarding challenge, something that I never thought would be possible. Learning how a professional agency operates and getting real world experience working with a big-name client has been an invaluable experience I’ll never forget.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the past year?
My biggest accomplishment this past year was learning how to successfully build a survey for the Arby’s account at Talking Dog. I had never built a survey before, learning how to craft specific questions to get the most accurate data possible was a great challenge, but incredibly rewarding at the same time. Once it went live, I got about 3x more answers than I anticipated and got great usable data that the client was very happy with. The data ultimately shaped the idea for our campaign and is something that I’m incredibly proud of.
Who is your favorite Grady professor and why?
My favorite Grady professor is Michael Cacciatore. His classes are always ones I look forward to attending and I have never laughed so hard in an academic setting before. He’s incredibly well-versed in his field and worked closely with me to help build a successful survey for Talking Dog.
What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
One thing that surprises people is that I’m a transfer student. While it’s been a challenge to integrate into such a big school, Grady has shown me the community and like-minded individuals that have helped shape my college experience.
Where is your favorite study spot?
My favorite study spot on campus is the main library. While this is a hot take for some people, I think it’s the best place to get work done. Whether I’m going to the fourth floor to work on a group project with my friends or sitting on the first floor to get more complex work done, the main library is always my first choice.