“ESTJ | Coffee Lover | Organizational Fiend | Miss International 2018”
Fun fact about yourself: I have a Miniature Potbelly Pig named Scout Hamilton.
Hometown: Monroe, Georgia
High School: Loganville Christian Academy
Major: Management Information Systems & Marketing
Favorite Business Course: Information Security Management
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:
Delta Sigma Pi, Professional Business Fraternity | Vice President of Pledge Education & Vice President of Public Affairs
MIS Advisory Board | Coordinator
Terry College of Business Ambassador
Transfer Peer Mentor
UGA Tap Dawgs Dance Team
Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society
Where have you interned during your college career? (List Companies, Locations and Roles)
Dixon Hughes Goodman | Atlanta, Georgia | Risk Advisory Intern
BUILT | Atlanta, Georgia | Social Media & Marketing Intern
War Room Strategies | Athens, Georgia | Fundraising & Finance Intern
U.S. Congressman Jody Hice’s Office | Monroe, Georgia | Walton Country Field Representatives
Where will you be working after graduation? Dixon Hughes Goodman | Atlanta, Georgia | Risk Advisory Consultant
Who is your favorite professor? Dr. Mark Huber taught my Information Security Management course, and, from that course, became my favorite MIS professor. His passion for developing leadership qualities within his students coupled with his ability to weave real-life applications into his courses have made him an outstanding professor. Dr. Huber structures his courses in a way that expose his students to both the challenges and opportunities the ‘real world’ can bring. He fosters an excellent learning environment and made me more passionate about pursuing a career in consulting.
What did you enjoy most about your business school? The Terry College of Business is housed in the Business Learning Community, or how we affectionately refer to it- the BLC. To those outside the business school, the BLC is just another group of beautiful buildings in the center of UGA’s campus, but to me, the BLC is home. It is where connections are made and relationships are grown. Terry and the students within it have a unique ability to take a school that houses 8,000+ students and creates a close-knit network where I can always find a friend, mentor, or teacher. I can always find guidance, resources, and connections. The Terry College of Business has become home for me, and that is what I most enjoy about my business school.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Shakespeare famously said, “All the world’s a stage.” Studying MIS and Marketing has shown me that all the world’s business. Everyone is selling something, and studying business has given me the unique ability to help others buy, sell, and trade their products more efficiently and effectively. From the ‘mom and pop shop’ down the street to a multinational corporation headquartered in New York City, I’ve learned the best businesses are built on good relationships, integrity, and determination.
What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Business is so much more than what you are taught in a classroom. It is more than debits, credits, and the bottom line. Business is about connections and relationships. It is about growth and opportunity. Business is a daily challenge and a daily choice to work harder, be smarter, and improve who you and your company were the day before.
What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Majoring in business is like having a Swiss Army Knife. I have been surprised at how applicable my areas of study have been to a variety of problems, organizations, and industries. I am able to better relate and understand areas I previously knew very little about as a result of studying business.
“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Psychology. Understanding why and how we as humans make the decisions we do in all areas of life – be it in relationships, business, etc. – is fascinating to me. One of my favorite books is Why We Buy by Paco Underhill. In the book, Underhill discusses marketing psychology and the decision-making processes of consumers. I strongly believe the more we understand each other and the way and reasons we make decisions, the better our world will be.”
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? In high school, I took an Introduction to Accounting course with Mrs. Schultz. Her love of organization and fun ways of helping me memorize the rules surrounding debits and credits made me want to pursue business. While I’m not an Accounting Major, my love for numbers and the various ways they can be arranged and understood still remains.
Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? When I was just 13 years old, my innocence was stripped away through sexual assault. A few years later, my dad was deployed to Afghanistan. Even though he returned safely, I only had four more years with him until I got the call that changed my life. I will never forget the day I heard my mom say, “There’s been a plane accident…Daddy didn’t make it.” Through all the tragedy, my greatest accomplishment remains – enduring pain and cultivating it into a passion!
These three, major life-altering events exposed me to a great deal of pain, but, in 2015, I founded BRAVE, my non-profit organization, to inspire others, and myself, to choose bravery no matter their circumstances. We accomplish this mission of empowering courageous choices in life-altering events through education, mentoring, and BRAVE Boxes, Bears, and Bundles.
I have built a website for the organization (www.choosebravery.org), hosted self-defense seminars, developed a mentoring program and am in the process of filing for 501©(3) status. I am proud to say BRAVE has touched numerous lives in its three years, but I know its greatest accomplishments are yet to come.
Which classmate do you most admire? In my first MIS course, I met Claire Lutrick. She was kind, outgoing, and honest. Since our first class together, Claire and I have worked on multiple group project teams, studied for many a test, and developed a relationship that will last beyond our tenure at UGA. Claire has the ability to stand up for what is right without degrading anyone’s point of view. She works tirelessly until the task at hand is completed to the best of her ability. Claire Lutrick has the most integrity of anyone I know. I am so incredibly thankful for our friendship both in and out of the classroom.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? Success rarely comes without a challenge. My mom, Lori Ewing, has shown me what is looks like to remain steadfast, determined and graceful in the face of challenge. I would like to thank her for setting the example and supporting me through life’s challenges – not only to get through them but to overcome them.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
- Visit All 50 States. Thus far, I have been to 13 states. During my time in each of them, I have learned so much about myself, the lives of the locals, and our nation as a whole. I cannot imagine the perspective I would gain and the ability to relate to people I would grow if I were able to visit every state within the U.S.
- Go Skydiving. Oftentimes, I get caught up in taking myself and my life a little too seriously. I think going skydiving will be a fun and adventurous way to put life into perspective and take in the beauty of risk and nature all at once.
What are your hobbies? I thoroughly enjoying dancing! I grew up training in ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, and lyrical, but recently, I have been taking ballroom dancing classes. I love taking the time out of my day to exercise and destress through the art of dance – regardless of style. Another hobby of mine is pageantry. I currently hold the title of Miss International 2018. I am able to travel around the world to promote the International Pageant System and my non-profit organization, BRAVE. When traveling, I really enjoy trying to new cuisine and learning about the local customs of certain countries and/or cities.
What made Kaylee such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?
“I run the MIS Department’s MIS Advisory Board that connects our department to the business community. On the Board, I include a small number of students to help plan and execute various Board-related events. The students also take on projects to improve the MIS department. Only the best MIS students are invited to apply and only a few of those are invited to serve on the Board.
In Fall 2018, Kaylee became a member of the Board. She was invited based on her academic excellence, outstanding service accomplishments, and an interview in which she demonstrated exemplary poise and presence. Her performance on the Board was so good that I invited her to be the coordinator of other students on the Board – a very high recognition and honor.
As a Board member, her ability to work with people has been demonstrated in leading other student Board members, interacting with students and Board members, and giving presentations and leading discussions at Board meetings. After one of her presentations, several Board members asked her to apply for a position with their companies (she had to tell them that she had unfortunately already accepted one). I tell our students on the Board that they are the “face” of the MIS program and Kaylee fulfills this role perfectly.
As coordinator of students on the Board, Kaylee is responsible for helping interview student applicants, scheduling our internal meetings, planning and executing Board meetings and other events, making sure that all student-related tasks are completed on time, and generating new ideas for what can be done. In general, she does an outstanding job of “making sure the trains run on time.” And she does this in a friendly and cooperative way.
Kaylee was also the creator and executor of our Department’s new MIS Coffee Series, where we bring small groups of students to together to have informal conversations with MIS faculty members. She is currently expanding the scope to include senior Board members in the MIS Coffee Series. She was also a key player in the creation of our new MIS events registration system and our planned outing to a Braves baseball game with alumni of students on the Board.
Kaylee’s charitable foundation deserves special mention. Driven by a tragic personal experience, Kaylee created her non-profit organization BRAVE to empower courageous choices in the face of life-altering events. BRAVE accomplishes this mission through a variety of outreaches including BRAVE Workshops, BRAVE Boxes, Bears, Bundles, and Bookbags. Kaylee truly believes we do not get to choose our circumstances, but we do get to choose our reactions and attitude. You can learn more about BRAVE at www.choosebravery.org.”
Hugh J. Watson
Professor of MIS