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Friday, June 2, 2023

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Stefanie Banks, a senior studying public relations. Stefanie Banks, a senior studying public relations.

Stefanie Banks' Aztec Experience

Stefanie Banks is proud to be an Aztec.
By SDSU News Team

Name: Stefanie Banks
Major: Journalism, public relations emphasis and communication minor
Campus affiliations: Afrikan Student Union, Harambee Mentor, Marketing and Communications student assistant

1. Why did you choose SDSU?

As a San Diego native, San Diego State University was always on the list of colleges I wanted to attend. When I was in high school, my teacher and counselor constantly mentioned that SDSU was on the rise, which gave me more motivation to apply. Receiving the full college experience without having to move far from home was really important to me because I didn’t want to be far away from my twin sister. I chose SDSU for all of these reasons and because it had my public relations major. I also love red and black.

2. What inspired you to declare your major?

Growing up, I always talked, argued and defended others. Because of this, nearly everyone who’s known me said I should be a lawyer, but when I found out that public relations practitioners and lawyers are similar in some aspects, I chose that route. My life experiences in general were my inspiration for choosing public relations as my major. I’m sure it was my destiny.

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

The best advice I’ve ever received would have to be from my dad: “Rarely resist the opportunity to keep your mouth shut.” Though I’m sure he always told me that so I would be quiet, I’ve actually found value in this advice as I’ve grown older. I think making a conscious effort to take criticism without responding, and actually listen when people speak, gives one a chance to learn a lot about themselves and others. It also allows people to become better communicators, in my opinion.

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

Hongmei Shen, an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Media Studies, has been the most influential person to me throughout my college campaign. She works hard to ensure her students are graduating with applicable experience for the workforce. She instilled confidence in me and it has allowed me to be involved in things I never imagined doing. She’s caring and inspirational.

5. What does student success mean to you?

To me, student success means benefiting and changing the world by utilizing the skills you’ve gained and experiences you’ve had during your college career. Once we finish up here, we’re going to go out into the world and have a bigger purpose. I think it all begins with the type of person you become as you prepare for your future. In all, student success is learning about yourself, leading by example and encouraging your successors to be better than you were.   

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

Being a mentor for the Aztec Scholars Initiative’s Harambee program has definitely shaped me into a different person. I became a mentor when I was a sophomore, and it required me to mature quickly in order to be a role model for my mentees. Because I was heavily involved in the development of my mentees, I was required to grow with them as well. I’ve witnessed the progress of my students right before my eyes, and it’s a truly life-changing experience. 

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

There are a few things, but first, I’ll begin with the bragging rights. From academics to athletics, job preparedness and more, there’s nothing that I can’t be proud of.

This brings me to the next thing I enjoy about being an Aztec — the pride. Alumni and other SDSU affiliates carry themselves well and represent all things being an Aztec entails, and they do it with class. Amazing people have been involved with SDSU, and the university is going to attract even more talent as it grows. I’m honored that I get to be part of such a select, special group of people.