Written by Jacob Smith, Graduate Assistant of the UGA Graduate School
Interview with Frankie Barnes, graduate student and Double Dawg in the UGA Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communications
Frankie Barnes is a first year graduate student and part of the Double Dawgs program in the Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communications. Originally from Rougemont, North Carolina, she will be graduating this May with an M.A. in Integrated ADPR. Having completed her undergraduate degree at UGA as well, Frankie is very involved in the campus community and has found a second home in Athens, making it bittersweet to graduate later this year.
“Double Dawgs is a fantastic program that made [graduate school]
much simpler than it could have been.”
Barnes was able to begin taking classes for her graduate degree during her undergraduate program.
“One thing I really enjoyed about the Double Dawgs program was how it allowed for integration between undergrad and grad classes. I felt confident that I could take on my master’s program when the time came,” she said.
Barnes has enjoyed her master’s program at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, admiring how close everyone in her program is. “Our cohort is small so we all know each other and have made a group of friends that is close-knit and sees each other in every class,” she said.
“My graduate-level classes have been much more application based and I am able to experience a bit more of what my intended career industry will be like. Getting that hands-on experience of real industry situations while still being in the classroom is a huge advantage I will have once I graduate.”
She also recalled her undergraduate experience and remembered her crisis communication course taught by Dr. Yan Jin. “It was like a mini-campaign with a whole series of communication plans. We had to plan for whatever could go wrong for our client, which was a lot to take on but super rewarding,” she said.
Barnes is involved on campus in a variety of areas.
She is a Grady Ambassador, a role she takes very seriously. Barnes describes ambassadors as being representatives of the college from a student perspective, giving tours, and interacting with alumni. The ambassadors also create engaging events for the students to build community. An example of this is the iced coffee stand set up for Grady students during Valentine’s Day.
She also works with The UPS Foundation, a nonprofit created by UPS. Although she did not say no to driving the delivery trucks, she works diligently to learn about the corporate nonprofit sector and working with corporate executives. This experience was facilitated by UGA and is an opportunity Barnes is thankful for. “I’m working for an international nonprofit, something that not everyone gets the opportunity to do,” Barnes said.
Through the skills learned from UGA, Barnes feels confident taking on the next step.
“Grady gives you the skills to be confident in whatever role you have,” Barnes said. “I didn’t know exactly what I was reading given some of the corporate nonprofit lingo, but I knew I had the ability to do the work,” she said of one of her first editing assignments for The UPS Foundation. “The skills learned at Grady are applicable to any comms career and create a foundation that allows me to tackle new opportunities.”
Barnes is excited to graduate in May with her master’s degree in Integrated ADPR. She expressed her gratitude to be able to spend a fifth year at UGA and recommends that others ask questions and get involved if they are interested.
“Everything works out for a reason,” Barnes said.
Learn more about Double Dawgs and follow the Graduate School on social media to hear more first-hand experiences from students.