No Southern Accent PR Director Amanda Garrett

Name: Amanda GarrettAge: 20Year: juniorMajor: marketingHometown: Branchburg, NJ

Her Campus: What is your position on campus?Amanda Garrett: “I’m the Public Relations Director for No Southern Accent.”

HC: How did you get involved with No Southern Accent?AG: “Before I even got into UF, I knew I wanted to do college acapella. My freshman year I went to audition, but I had pneumonia during the audition week. Throughout the whole year I just really wanted to join, and I did a lot of research and made a friend who was in the group. My sophomore year, I auditioned and I got in. I was lucky to be one of the five new members last year, so this is my second year.”

HC: What is your favorite part of being in the group?AG: “I’ve never really been part of a group that works hard but also has a lot of fun doing it. I didn’t realize when I was joining this that I would meet my 15 best friends in college. We’re very competitive, we hold ourselves to a very high standard, and we work hard at rehearsal, but at the end of the day, our goal is just to have fun and emotionally connect with the audience. That’s what music and acapella is all about to me. Being on the executive board, it’s great to be able to give back and inspire the new members.”

HC: And the biggest challenge?AG: “ My biggest goal as a performer has always been to be genuine and honest on stage, especially when trying to deliver emotionally-powerful messages. I’ve always used music as a means to connect with people and make them feel something through my ‘stories’. It’s not always easy to be completely vulnerable on stage. My old swimming coach used to always tell me ‘get comfortable being uncomfortable’, and that’s exactly what I’ve had to learn to do. Music went from being a hobby, to a passion, to my biggest catharsis and emotional outlet. While that level of vulnerability can be terrifying and exhausting at times, it is also the most cathartic and rewarding feeling in the world.”

HC: What other things are you involved in on campus?AG: “I’m also involved with American Marketing Association. I’ve been involved with that since spring semester of my freshman year, and I help them with their marketing plans. They work with local companies and create marketing plans for them.”

HC: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?AG: “I love marketing right now, and I definitely want to go into something in that field. What I would really love is if I could somehow find a way to continue incorporating my love of marketing and PR with my love of music and signing; working for a company that incorporates both of those or even just keeping music as a hobby on the side.”

HC: What is your dream job?AG: “I really want to work for Disney; that’s been my ultimate dream since I was a kid.”

HC: What are your hobbies?AG: “Musically, I also love really playing instruments. I’ve been involved with piano my whole life and I taught myself how to play ukulele. I’ve also always really loved cooking and baking, and experimenting in the kitchen. I also used to play tennis and do competitive swimming, so I like doing that on the side. I like making memes of people and experimenting with pictures and graphic design.”

HC: Do you have any hidden talents?AG: “I’m a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I don’t really do it anymore, but it was something I did growing up. I know how to use nunchucks.”    

HC: Who is your role model?AG: “I’ve always really idolized my two sisters. They’re about 10 years older than me, so they’ve experienced everything already and can help me. They’re both in the same field as me and are very successful with it now. Acapella-wise, Pentatonix are so inspiring and innovative with everything they do. You can tell that they’re so passionate and are having so much fun even though they’re working so hard.”

HC: What advice would you give to new students?AG: “ I would say that as soon as you get your syllabus for a class, put it on your calendar because it’s very easy to fall behind. I would also highly recommend that new students try to find an organization that they really like and find your own niche within UF to grow from.”

HC: What is your favorite memory at UF so far?AG: “Last year, we competed at ICCA (International Championship of Collegiate Acapella) quarterfinals which is kind of like the competition they do in ‘Pitch Perfect.’ We competed there, and for the first time in UF history, we got first place. That was just an amazing feeling. Music has been my biggest passion my whole life, and I saw myself growing so much.”