Madeline Paige Hawkins
Choosing to study, intern, and live in Washington D.C. for a semester was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It gave me clarity on myself, my future profession and how I want to continue to grow professionally and personally. Being thrown into a completely new environment with high expectations helped me gain more confidence and a deeper perspective on what life is like outside of Athens. I won’t ever forget the time I spent in D.C., the memories I made, the people I met, and most of all my love for this city. I cannot thank the UGA Washington Semester enough for having the insight into seeing how valuable this program is for students.
My name is Madeline Hawkins and I will be graduating from the University of Georgia in August 2016, earning a degree in public relations with minors in art history and human development. Apart from a deep love for all things Athens, I am passionate about infusing visual arts and community outreach in my future profession. Here on campus, I am involved in UGA Miracle, Crosstrainers, Public Relations Student Society of America and my sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi. In my spare time you can find me at my favorite coffee shop, Hendershots, or exploring 5 points with friends.
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism
Why I went:
I knew choosing to study in Washington D.C. would provide not only the ideal setting to interact with people from around the world, but gain insight into what type of career I should pursue upon graduation. Not only did the location of this program attract my interest, but also the ability to receive class credit. While both working and studying, I knew I would be able to apply what I learned in the classroom to real life experiences.Through this program, I knew I would be fully equipped with the knowledge and confidence I needed to be a successful public relations professional, as well as the gain the opportunity to explore a new city. I couldn’t have been more right!
Favorite spot to visit:
I have too many wonderful experiences from the semester to count but I what I can’t talk more about is brunch. Brunch is the greatest thing about D.C. My all-time favorite brunch place in D.C. is Ted’s Bulletin and you could find me there every single Sunday. I love their world famous tomato soup and grilled cheese and, of course, their homemade pop tarts. Wow, that place is just incredible.
Most memorable day:
After one of our first evening seminars at Mckenna Long and Aldridge in early January, my friends and I decided that we had to see what the Lincoln Memorial looked like at night. Little did we know then that the snow flurries outside would turn into a full-on blizzard by the time we made it to the National Mall. Once we arrived in front of memorial, there was not a single person in sight. In fact, the stairs to the memorial were so thick with snow we had climb with both our hands and feet so we didn’t slip. Looking out from the top of the stairs, you could see all of D.C., including the Washington Monument and Capitol, covered in a half foot of snow. Although it was probably the coldest I’d ever been, I don’t think I could have loved D.C. more in that moment. The view was beautiful and thats when I knew my experience in D.C. was going to be one that I would never forget.
Why I'm glad I went:
The Washington Semester Program pushed me out of my comfort zone and was, by far, the best decision I have made in college. While in D.C., I discovered so many different career opportunities and made life-long friendships. I learned so much about myself, both personally and professionally, and became so comfortable with the city. If I could do the program again, I would!