Peer Leader Brooke Williams

Name: Brooke Williams

Age: 19

Year: sophomore

Major: public relations

Minor: Spanish

Her Campus: How did you become involved with the New Student and Family Programs?
Brooke Williams: “I took First Year Florida my freshman year, and I really enjoyed it. I knew I loved helping people, and this was the perfect opportunity to do just that. I figured, why not? Let me give it a shot. I applied, I got it and I have loved it ever since. Getting to make a positive impact on first-year students, and just any student I come across, is simply amazing.”

HC: Explain the greatest challenge you have encountered while being a FYF Peer Leader.
BW: “The greatest challenge I experienced as a Peer Leader was definitely getting my students to open up and become comfortable around me. I wanted them to be able to talk to me, ask me questions and see me as a friend or a peer, more than as a teacher.”

HC: How will your role as FYF Peer Leader prepare you for the future?
BW: “As a Peer Leader I had to do a lot of different things. I had to plan lesson plans and think creatively on what is going to grab people’s attention in an effort to engage my students and develop a trustworthy relationship with them. These skills I developed as a Peer Leader will help me throughout my public relations career because I will have to work directly with people to create methods, such as innovative social media campaigns, that will engage and develop good relationships between organizations and the public.”

HC: Does anyone or anything in particular serve as motivation for your success?
BW: “My mom is a big motivation for me because she works incredibly hard, and she plays a very influential role in my life. My friends at the University of Florida serve as a motivating factor because they are all so incredibly dedicated and involved that they just inspire me to do as well as them and to never stop improving. Also, just myself. I have a natural motivation to do well in life, and I want to succeed.”

HC: What has been your most rewarding experience at UF thus far and why?
BW: “Teaching First Year Florida this semester was definitely the most rewarding experience. Even though I was unsure at the beginning if my students were actually getting anything out of the class, by the end of the semester after reading their individual reflections, I realized that I had helped them with many things and touched them deeply. It was impactful to know after me talking and them not responding for about two weeks, they actually did get something out of the class, and each one of them was going to miss the class once the semester ended. It was really something special for me.”

HC: If you could pick your dream job right now, what would it be?
BW: “If you have ever seen the show Scandal, Olivia Pope has an amazing job owning her own PR firm, working in crisis communications. I would love to do something like that, or maybe work in an organization handling their social media management, so like Twitter, Snapchat, Vine, Pinterest, Facebook. I am obsessed with social media and keeping up with everything.”

HC: What was the most unexpected experience you encountered as a PR intern?
BW: “As an intern, you might go in thinking you will be doing work directly related to your major, but sometimes, that will not be the case. I know I was surprised when I had to adapt to new situations quickly and learn to go with the flow and be flexible. That’s a tip for any student applying for an internship. If you don’t know how to do something or you don’t think you have the skills, as long as you are willing to learn and you let the organization know that, everything will fall into place.”

Photo courtesy of Brooke Williams