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Saturday, September 30, 2023

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Andrea Byrd is involved with many organizations on campus. Andrea Byrd is involved with many organizations on campus.

Andrea Byrd's Aztec Experience

Andrea Byrd knows all about having Aztec pride.
By SDSU News Team

Andrea Byrd is a junior majoring in advertising.

She is involved with the Afrikan Student Union, Alpha Kappa Psi, KCR College Radio, Center for Intercultural Relations and was recently elected vice president of university affairs for the 2015-16 academic year.

1. Why did you choose SDSU?

There were many factors that contributed to my decision to attend SDSU. The people are what ultimately helped me make up my mind. I remember attending Explore SDSU right before I was going to commit to a university. The students, faculty and staff at each booth were so charismatic, personable and passionate about this institution. Many were so excited to share the impact SDSU made on them, and the impact they planned to make on the campus before they graduated. To me, seeing the hundreds of tents with so many diverse groups, organizations and programs meant there were hundreds of opportunities for me to take advantage of and make the most of my college experience.

2. What inspired you to declare your major?

Everything about advertising fascinates me. From the creative aspect, to how advertisers market to consumers, to brand development — it is all just so interesting! I remember when I was younger I used to make up jingles like the ones I heard all the time on TV and the radio. I always dreamed that one day I would get to be the one to come up with catchy slogans, jingles, and commercial concepts; but, as I dive deeper into my major I am beginning to realize that advertising encompasses so much more than that.

3. What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

I have received so much amazing advice over the course of my three years at SDSU; but Aaron Bruce, SDSU's chief diversity officer, said something that has really stuck with me these past few years: “Now is the time to take risks. Go out and be the president of that organization, because college is the only place where you can make those huge mistakes as a leader and not get fired. The corporate world is not as forgiving.”

I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish half of what I have if I had been too afraid to fail or step outside of my comfort zone. You won’t grow personally or professionally if you're unwilling to try something new. I have learned so much about myself and the world around me because of my ability to take risks, and I encourage all of my peers to do the same.

4. Which SDSU faculty or staff member has been the most influential throughout your SDSU journey?

My mentor, Channelle McNutt, has been one of the most influential staff members throughout my SDSU journey. I had the pleasure of meeting her my freshman year, and was immediately blown away by her many accomplishments and extensive campus involvement.

Before transitioning into her position as the development officer for the College of Business Administration, Chanelle held various leadership roles as a student including the president of the Afrikan Student Union, SDSU Homecoming Queen and the executive vice president of Associated Students, just to name a few. I believe that every student needs someone they can look up to and say “I can be that.” I was fortunate enough to have people like her who wanted to help pave the way for my success. With her support and guidance I was able to catapult from a general body member to the community relations and public relations officer of the Afrikan Student Union, current vice president of public relations for Alpha Kappa Psi and the next vice president of university affairs for Associated Students!

5. What experience at SDSU has changed your life the most?

Becoming a member of the Mu Sigma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi: Professional Business Fraternity has changed my life the most. It is so refreshing to be surrounded by a group of inspirational individuals who are likeminded in how we all hunger for success, but are so different that everyone brings something different to the table.

I found myself stepping into this organization and always learning something new. I love being a part of an organization that challenges me to step outside my comfort zone, pushes me to excel personally and professionally, while allowing me to explore my passions. Because of Alpha Kappa Psi I have been able to expand my network, gain valuable leadership experience through multiple job and internship opportunities. More importantly, I have been able to develop valuable friendships and relationships that I know will last a lifetime.

6. What has been your proudest achievement while at SDSU?

Winning the election for vice president of university affairs for Associated Students has been my proudest achievement while at SDSU. Being on the board of directors for Associated Students is something that I have dreamed about since my first year at SDSU. The feeling is surreal and I am so incredibly grateful for the people in my life who have helped me get to this point. I hope that I can be the source of inspiration and empowerment for other students to take on leadership roles that my mentors are to me.

7. What’s your favorite thing about being an Aztec?

Aside from the amazing people I have met during my journey at SDSU, my favorite thing about being an Aztec is all of the resources available to students. From Career Services, to college councils, to study abroad programs and scholarships, I appreciate the university’s effort to ensure each student has the opportunity to get the most out of their college experience. SDSU truly sets its students up for success and I can’t imagine calling another university my home. GO AZTECS!