“I don’t really know how I got interested in leadership,” said Gabrielle Woodland as she delved into her story of rising roles. “I like people!”
The latest role Woodland has taken is the position of Vice President of Campus Relations at MTSU’s Student Government Association.
She first began to explore her passion for people through involvement in committees such as her high school’s homecoming and prom committees in Virginia, where she said community involvement is expected of many students.
Woodland spent her first two years of high school in her home state before she and her parents moved to Brentwood. She graduated from Brentwood High School in 2011.
She opted to attend Middle Tennessee State University to pursue a nursing degree that fall.
“Honestly, I started out at MTSU because it was cheaper than Belmont,” said Woodland. “And, I mean, MTSU has a great nursing program. But then I changed my major to public relations, and now I’m a multimedia journalism major working on MT10.”
After getting involved with the SGA on campus, Woodland decided to run for president.
She lost her campaign to Andrew George and accepted an internship offer during the summer 2014 term, which she said helped her gain her current position.
Upon receiving notification that she would be the 2014 VP of Campus Relations, Woodland said that she was overwhelmingly excited to “live the dream” by stepping into the role.
Although she said the position has proved itself to be increasingly difficult as time goes on, constant positivity is something Woodland demands of herself.
So far, she said her favorite aspect of her VP of Campus Relations title is getting to know people.
Recently, Woodland met with students running for Homecoming King and Queen, an experience she remembers as difficult because she was able to meet with them more than a month before voting even began.
“You want them all to win after you get to know them, but they can’t,” she said.
In her term, Woodland hopes to successfully combine student programming events with SGA events.
“I would like to see the two come together because I don’t think that SGA has done a very good job in the past of helping people get involved,” she said. “The people who go to SGA events aren’t the same people who go to student programming events. I think if we brought the two groups together for the same events, not only would we have more money to make them better events, but we would also get more people to show up.”
Woodland keeps a Steve Jobs poster in her office for inspiration as a reminder of what it takes to reach goals.
“As a person, he was very rude, but he also had one goal in life and that was to keep one vision and just go for it,” Woodland said. “He kicked everyone out of the way who tried to get in the way of his goal.”
Woodland’s advice for her fellow MTSU students is to keep believing in themselves, for it will be impossible to push through life if you don’t.
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