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Friday, June 2, 2023

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Willis graduated in December 2015. Willis graduated in December 2015.

Katie Willis' Aztec Experience

Katie Willis is a recent SDSU graduate.
By SDSU News Team

Name: Katie Willis
Major: Journalism with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in marketing
Campus affiliations: Residential Education, Professional Studies and Fine Arts College Council, Associated Students

1. Why did you choose SDSU?

One of the reasons I chose San Diego State University over other colleges I had applied to was because of something I remembered hearing from the campus tour I took during my senior year of high school. The SDSU Ambassador explained to the group that more than 50 percent of graduates stay in San Diego to pursue careers after graduation and I thought to myself, 'There's a reason why they stay. There’s something special here.' Looking back at the jobs, internships and opportunities I’ve been fortunate enough to have, I can definitely say that choosing SDSU was one of the best decisions I’ve made thus far.

2. What inspired you to declare your major?

I remember watching Katie Couric on the TODAY Show growing up and thinking I wanted to do something like her. After getting involved with the journalism and yearbook classes during high school, I realized that I loved writing, creating and telling the stories of my classmates.

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

A piece of advice my Dad shared with me a few years back was a quote by Theodore Roosevelt — “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” I’ve never been the loud, boisterous individual in the group and I used to think that others would believe I was uninterested or careless because of it. Setting aside the political ideology, my Dad explained that I didn’t need to be that ‘type’ of person, all I needed to be was myself. Soon enough, people will come to respect and value what you have to say if you’re true to who you are.

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

There’s really no way for me to pick just one SDSU faculty or staff member that has been the most influential because in all honesty, there have been so many supportive and encouraging individuals during my time at SDSU. From those who I was lucky enough to meet and learn from in the College of Business to Residential Education to the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts to the SDSU Athletics Media Relations Department and more … the campus is filled with people who care about seeing you succeed.

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

My experience learning and working with the staff in the SDSU Athletics Media Relations Department has changed my life the most because I’ve not only grown as an individual, but have developed a set of skills and abilities that has prepared me for my future career.

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

Becoming a resident advisor was one of my proudest achievements. No matter who you are, there are a lot of ‘firsts’ you experience during your freshman year and even more so when you live on campus in the residence halls. My resident advisor was a friend, mentor and one of my greatest resources, and I wanted to be the same. It was a rewarding job to not only witness firsthand how my residents grew throughout their first year but also to work together with amazing staff and supervisors.

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

I love being an Aztec because of the pride we, as students, have in our university. When you attend SDSU, you become a well-rounded person because of the solid academics, leadership opportunities, a distinguished athletic program, and more — all while attending one of the most diverse, beautiful campuses in the country.