Student Stories: Lauren Barnette

This month’s Student Story features Lauren Barnette, a senior Communication Studies major who is also pursuing a minor in Retail and Consumer Studies. She is the Marketing Assistant for the Office of Campus Activities and Programs and Editor-in-Chief for the UNCG chapter of The Odyssey Online. She was also involved with Club Softball in her junior year and the ACE (Activities & Campus Events) Vice President of Marketing her sophomore year. 

What is your favorite accomplishment at UNCG so far?

My favorite accomplishment at UNCG so far would be staying involved and continuing to get other students involved. Many students close themselves off from the university outside of their classroom and don’t even know the amazing opportunities they are missing out on. It has been my goal to help as many friends and peers involved in clubs and organizations on campus, or at least attend some on-campus events to help them find their way here and expand their network outside of class!

Are there particular Division of Student Affairs departments that have made a significant impact on your time here?

The Campus Activities and Programs office has made a significant impact on my time at UNCG. Starting with working on the ACE Executive Team and transitioning into the CAP office as their Marketing Assistant has been a crucial part to my involvement on campus. Through working here, I have not only grown my professional network and skills, but I have also grown immensely as a person.

“Before getting involved on campus, I was beginning to feel like I didn’t have much of a place to belong, and was struggling to “find my way here”, but once I got involved, the many ways in which I belong here came to light. I couldn’t imagine getting my education in any other place!”

What does Student Leader mean to you?

To me, being a student leader means leading by example. You don’t always have to be involved in a specific organization, or even hold a leadership position to inspire and lead other students. As long as you give it your all in class and around campus and act in a way that inspires other students to also get involved and motivate others as well, then you are a successful student leader.

How do you think your campus involvement and student leadership experience has prepared you for life after UNCG?

I think my involvement on campus has helped me better prepare for my life after graduation by giving me office experience, planning experience, as well as first-hand social media management experience, which is the most similar to my current post-graduation career plans. Knowing that I have given my all to my job in the CAP office has not only helped my time here, but I also know that I have a plethora of recommendation letters for the future, as well as the advantage of knowing so many different students from different departments, growing my network to possibly find out about jobs I might not have access to on my own.

How would you describe UNCG to a prospective student?

I would describe UNCG as a place where your place finds you. We have a beautiful, welcoming, and diverse campus that allows for so much more than learning to happen, if you let it. You get from UNCG what you put into it, and if you’re willing to find your way here, no other “way” would even make sense.

“We have a vast amount of academic programs allowing almost any career path to begin here, as well as 250+ student organizations where you might find your best friend, soulmate, or even a newfound love for a career you had no idea even existed!”

What advice would you give to students who may be looking to find ways to get more involved on campus?

My advice to students looking for ways to get involved on campus is always begin on SpartanConnect and see what organizations are already active on campus. When faced with the possibility that they type of club a student is wanting doesn’t yet exist on campus, I urge them to go to their friends and other resources such as the many social media pages for the different UNCG class years to find other students interested in something similar. Once they have a group together, I motivate them to go through SpartanConnect to begin their journey in starting their organization on campus! In this day and age, we have an extremely easy time finding friends who are interested in similar subjects simply by making a Facebook post, or DM’ing an organization to find out how to get involved!

What’s your favorite UNCG memory so far?

It is so hard to pick only one memory to be my favorite as I have had so many amazing experiences during my time here. If I have to choose, I would say my favorite memory would be the second or third ACE meeting I facilitated with the rest of Exec my sophomore year. This was when I began to break my shell and truly feel like a leader for other students. I still have peers come to me with questions of events coming up, offices to go to for support in different aspects of their student life, etc. because they know I have a good amount of knowledge about this campus. It’s honestly exhilarating to know you have people looking up to you, and feeling welcomed to come to you with any inquiry or issue trusting you will know how to help or where to forward them for help!

 

In what ways have you experienced UNCG’s Culture of Care? Can you share a time where you felt supported and cared for as a student?

UNCG has an amazing Culture of Care, and I have been lucky to experience that in many ways. We have a vast range of offices and support systems around campus, and the most beneficial to me has definitely been the CAP office. More than just as an employee, the events put on here are a way for students to get out and have entertainment without the worry of purchasing a ticket or finding a ride to an off campus location. In many ways, haveing these events has been a space to help my mind let loose and relax from the day to day stress of school and work.