Commencing their careers

* For fall Commencement, we asked 15 seniors from the Class of 2015 some questions about their days at UGA, especially focusing on their experiential learning experiences. Following are some excerpts. You can read all of these graduating students’ stories at

At the University of Georgia, learning happens inside and outside the classroom. Whether it’s conducting fieldwork in Hawaii or interning at the United Nations, students have boundless opportunities for experiential learning.

For Thaurice Milloy, who will be graduating with a B.S.Ed. in Early Childhood Education Dec. 18, some of her most meaningful learning experiences didn’t even occur in the U.S. She credits her time studying abroad and teaching in Italian schools with opening her eyes.

“Being completely submerged in a culture I was not familiar with, surrounded by people who spoke a language I was not fluent in definitely took me out of my comfort zone,” she said. “It pushed me in all the uncomfortable ways that help you grow as a person.”

Milloy also said that her time abroad helped her become a more well-rounded person. As a result of her time in Italy, she plans to travel more and pursue a career as a travel blogger.

For Chris Snyder, working stateside helped him grow as a person while at UGA. Snyder, who will receive a B.B.A. in marketing, worked as a manager at the Ramsey Student Center. There, he was responsible for leading his peers, scheduling, conducting interviews and resume workshops, and coordinating team-building events.

“Serving as a manager allowed me to not only develop my skills as a leader, but also the skills of those whom I was leading,” Snyder said. “The most rewarding part of the job was witnessing my peers improve their skills. This experience helped me realize how passionate I am about management and how much I enjoy seeing both myself, and those I am managing, grow as individuals.”

As he transitions into his role as a district manager for Aldi, Snyder said he will always remember the lesson he learned at Ramsey-there’s no one way to manage.

“My main takeaway was that there is not a cookie-cutter answer when it comes to working with individuals; I had to figure out how each person was and what motivated them in a work setting,” he said. “This challenge is one that I want to continue to develop on a larger scale in the business world.”

While at UGA, students interact with world-class faculty and staff members on a daily basis. Unsurprisingly, some of those interactions create lasting relationships and memories.

For Shelby Holsomback, a Marietta native who will receive a B.S. in agricultural engineering, getting to know Hillary Tanner had a big impact on her time at UGA. Tanner, a lecturer in the College of Engineering, was the first engineering professor Holsomback had and is the adviser of the Society of Women Engineers.

“(Tanner) saw my passion for engineering, she encouraged my hard work and dedication, she shared my excitement in my successes and she always had encouraging words after my failures,” Holsomback said. “I soon realized that she represents all of the things I aspire to be in life. She is a successful woman in engineering, she is an incredible working mom and she is actively involved in trying to inspire other young women to find their passion in engineering. My time here truly wouldn’t be the same without her positive influence and constant support.”

Faustine Sonon worked with Anand Mohan, an assistant professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, as a lab assistant doing research that focuses on raw chicken pasteurization through radiofrequency heating. Not only did Mohan open Sonon’s eyes to the complexity of food safety in the food industry, but he also helped the Watkinsville native learn some life lessons.

“One particular lesson has been ingrained in me since I’ve started working for him-to be true to my word. Whether it is a promise to turn in a report by a certain due date or a promise to help a friend move out of their apartment, I should follow through to the best of my ability,” said Sonon, who will graduate with a B.S.A. in food science. “I’ve tried to apply this idea to as much of my life as I can and will continue to do so, thanks to Mohan.”