Elijah Watkins is a rising junior who began his studies at Georgia State University when he was only 16 and is scheduled to graduate in the Spring of 2015. While studying both Accounting and Marketing, Elijah has worked hard to successfully balance his studies and extra curricular activities on campus. His perseverance and diligence has paid off as he completed his first study abroad trip to London along with 15 fellow GSU students. The Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration study abroad program provided an industry-insider look at the sites and venues of the upcoming Summer Olympics in London.
After spending time with Elijah, it is not surprising that he was so highly recommended as one of Georgia State University’s outstanding students to be featured on Division of Student Affairs web site.
What made you choose Georgia State for your college education?
Surprisingly, Georgia State University was my last choice, as I was not accepted to my first two choices, however; I feel it was Divine intervention because it ended up being the best choice for my academic career and overall well being. I am majoring in both Accounting and Marketing.
What organizations are you involved with at Georgia State?
I am most actively involved with Spotlight Programs Board (SPB), FYRE (First Year Residence Experience) mentor for Fall 2012, and Leadership Development (PLA mentor, Spring 2012).
What are some of your responsibilities with the above-mentioned programs?
With SPB I am in charge of creating all marketing materials, organize and assist with the planning of the entire event schedule, and a member of the budgeting committee. Mentoring has always had a big influence on my life, and the FYRE and PLA mentoring programs have given me the opportunity to give back and help others through mentoring to incoming freshmen and new students leaders.
How did you become involved with these programs?
I reconnected with a past high school mentor who had helped me transition from eighth grade into high school. At Georgia State, she helped mentor me into the Spotlight Programs Board as her successor.
What did you gain from your study abroad program?
Besides having the opportunity to visit a beautiful, international city, and immerge myself in the culture, I also learned a lot about my field of study. We studied the importance, significance, and value of all the details of event planning, logistics, techniques, and everything that is involved in hosting one of the largest worldwide events, the 2012 Olympics. Most importantly, I discovered that the citizens of London are deeply invested in creating a legacy through their sustainability initiative. This initiative showcases their cosmopolitan ideas while still maintaining their traditional values. The attendees of the upcoming Olympics will leave London with a lingering taste of the city’s rich history.
It was because of my involvement with the official programming board at GSU, that I am able to utilize this opportunity to enrich myself and bring something back to the university.
What organization sponsored your study abroad travels?
The Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration. Again, Divine intervention played a part in this opportunity, as I had wanted to study abroad in London and it just happened that the School of Hospitality was going for the upcoming Olympics to study event planning.
What is your favorite Georgia State University memory to date?
That’s hard, that’s so hard!
I guess it would have to be between being apart of the very first, Midnight Mania hosted at the Rec Center as it was the very beginning of a new tradition at the beginning of this year, or having an in depth conversation with Bill Nye the Science Guy when he came to Georgia State as a distinguished speaker.
Finally, I am compelled to mention that without the help of the Scholarship office, the Hospitality office, Professor Robbe, Spotlight Programs Board, and my family, the realization of this dream to study the London Olympics would not be possible!