Ashley Lauren: Educational Information

Graduation Picture

Prior to College

I grew up in a small town on the outskirts of Tampa. I spent my elementary and middle school years in a small private school. Always having been a good student, my grades were high. If I wasn't in class, I was in the gym practicing. I was on a varsity cheerleading squad throughout middle school. Being a part of a small school made it easy to make friends and get involved in extra-curricular activities. I also participated in drama and choir.

When it came time to enter high school, there was a drastic change in scenery. I went from the small private atmosphere to a large public high school. I entered the International Baccalaureate program, taking on a course load that at the time I thought was impossible. School work kept me busy, but I found time to pursue other interests as well. I joined a culinary arts class, catering both school and non-school events. And I fit right in with the drama crowd, building sets and running lines. Four years later I graduated with an IB diploma, and an entire years worth of college credit. Before heading to college, I took a summer trip that opened my eyes to other cultures and gave me experiences I would never forget.

Attending the University of Florida was never really a question. I think it was the plan for me since day one. My major, on the other hand, was never decided upon ahead of time. I went into orientation thinking I might be the only one in the freshman class not sure of what I wanted to do with my life. Clearly, that was not the case. It was made apparent to me only a short time later that everyone seemed to feel that way. The ones without plans were the vast majority.

Undergraduate Courses

I registered as a Telecommunications student in the College of Journalism and Communication. Media seemed like an interesting enough line of study. I was able to take classes in advertising, public relations, and broadcasting. I was even able to register for an outside concentration in business. After your sophomore year, the college requires you to decide on a specific track within Telecommunications: News, Production, or Management. Management allowed me to take classes in every track, but focus on running media businesses.

I was accepted as a Joint Degree student my junior year. This meant that I was able to begin taking Graduate Courses as an Undergraduate student. The courses were reading and writing intensive. College requires work to begin with, but Graduate courses are more detailed in their study efforts.

The College of Journalism and Communication strives to offer a number of positions for hands on experience. With radio and television stations being run directly in our building, I had the chance to experience both industries. Throughout my Undergraduate years, I worked for ROCK104-FM, AM850, and WLUF-TV, all of which were located on the University of Florida campus.

Graduate Courses

Having started college with an entire year's worth of credit, I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in a little over three years. After graduation, I immediately began my Graduate degree in the same field. Fortunately, having been a part of the Joint Degree program, I am able to complete my Master's degree in a little over one year. Currently, I am working as a Graduate Marketing Assistant for the University of Florida's Reitz Union, which is like the heart of campus. My courses have given me the tools to do what I am doing now, and will be sure to aid me in whatever I choose to do in the future.

Being a student doesn't mean I spend all my time in class, or even at work. I get spare time every once and a while. When that happens, I try to let loose. I enjoy going to football games and cheering for the Gators! My friends and I tailgate before the games, and celebrate the wins afterwards. It is almost impossible to fight the football spirit in the fall. It is everywhere, surrounding you. Gator football is part of being a University of Florida student. There is no way around it.