You are the Sum Total

My freshman year of college I was forced to take an introductory English class as part of my GEP requirement. I was needlessly bitter about taking this course; I thought it was a waste of time and that I would be better suited taking the business courses that would start me on the path to completing my marketing major.

However, one of the authors we really delved into during that class was Maya Angelou and, although I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of poetry, it is one of her quotes that has really stuck with me throughout my time at Saint Joe’s. “You are the sum total of everything you have ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

After hearing this I began to question why I let so many negative influences into my life – negative people who I continued being friends with, positions in clubs and groups that I didn’t enjoy, jobs that I dreaded going to. And it was because of that class that I didn’t want to take that I began to cut all of these negative influences out and replace them with things that were positive. A little advice: if you haven’t done this yourself, you need to start. It really makes a world of difference.

And so, going into my senior year at Saint Joe’s, I honestly feel that all of the experiences I have had there have truly added so much to my “sum total.”. I became a double major in finance and marketing, which has helped me understand so much about the organizations where I have worked. I discovered that I have a passion for social justice and sustainability and so I added a Leadership, Ethics, and Organizational Sustainability (or LEO for short) minor to my double major. I became an RA for freshmen, and, although this means that I have lived in freshmen dorms for my entire college career, my residents have given me just as many positive experiences as I have given them (I hope). I have had five extremely diverse internships, all of which have taught me more than I could ever learn in the classroom. All of these experiences have benefitted me in one way or another, but most importantly, all of these experiences have been overwhelmingly positive.

That being said, I’m looking forward to starting my internship at the Bravo Group because I know that my experiences here will be overwhelmingly positive as well. Although I’ve only been here a couple of weeks, I’ve already been learning so much about the many different facets of PR and I’m so excited to really delve into my projects! But more than anything, I’m interested to see how this experience will add to my “sum total!”

Catharine Gaylord || Wayne Office


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