5 Minutes With… Jessica Dewberry

Jessica Dewberry is the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering’s undergraduate student recruiter, serving the college since July 2011. A 2009 graduate of Auburn University, she is constantly on the go, traveling to college fairs across the region in support of Auburn Engineering. With an engineering degree of her own, Dewberry knows first-hand what it takes to be an Auburn engineer, and she is using that knowledge now to recruit the finest prospective students to the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

MS: What brought you to Auburn?

JD: I’m from Alexander City, Ala., and I come from a family that bleeds orange and blue. My parents both went to Auburn and my grandfather played football here. I grew up loving Auburn — the university, the community and the sense of pride in the school. I visited the university and an engineering alumnus gave me a tour of the College of Engineering my senior year of high school, and that was it for me. I knew this was where I was going to go to school.

MS: You have a bachelor’s degree in engineering. How did you choose your major? 

JD: I knew I wanted to pursue engineering because I had always been strong in math and science. At first, I thought I wanted to go into a medical field, but when I toured the College of Engineering I was instantly hooked on polymer and fiber engineering. Julia Freeman, the department academic adviser at the time, talked to me about how polymer and fiber can make a difference in the medical community, because prosthetics and heart stints are made from polymer and fiber. I was sold. It is a small, close-knit department and I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world.

MS: You went in a completely different direction for your master’s degree. Tell us about that decision.  

JD: I went on to get my master’s degree in public administration because I was active in the Student Government Association for the four years I was completing my undergrad, and served as an executive officer my senior year. I found my niche, as they say, and wanted leadership skills that would complement my engineering. I am also a people person and love interacting with others.

MS: How does being a recruiter for engineering tie your two degrees together? 

JD: Being a recruiter for engineering is the best of both worlds for me. I served as a student recruiter and graduate assistant in Auburn’s admissions office while I was an undergrad and a graduate student. I realized there is nothing better than telling people about Auburn and all that it has to offer. It is a very rewarding job to share information about Auburn’s College of Engineering with prospective students and their families. The most rewarding thing I have seen firsthand is finding high-achieving students who get to take advantage of the same wonderful experiences that I had as a student.

MS: So, tell us, what all do you do as a recruiter? 

JD: I travel to high school fairs, transfer fairs and national college fairs to recruit students and represent the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. On campus, I help plan and organize the college’s annual events for high school and prospective students such as E-Day, Tiger Camps and the phonathon, and I attend and represent the College of Engineering at admissions events and receptions for prospective students. Each week, Monday through Friday, the college has visitors on campus and they are welcome to attend information sessions with me about the college. I am also responsible for maintaining relationships with prospective students through mailers, social media correspondence and our web presence.

MS: As someone who was a student just a few years ago, what do you tell students now who are interested in the College of Engineering? 

JD: I tell them about student services and the extremely accommodating faculty members in this college who go the extra mile for their students. I tell them about the college’s new facilities, our wide variety of instructional programs and that we have the largest and highest ranked engineering program in the state. I also tell them about the extracurricular activities that engineering students participate in, in addition to their engineering studies — whether it’s the marching band or Cupola Engineering Ambassadors or student competition teams. We do a really good job of producing well-rounded engineers, and I know employers find that appealing.

MS: What can Auburn Engineering alumni do to help recruit new students? 

JD: Auburn’s more than 40,000 engineering alumni and friends play a crucial role in the continued success of our college and the student body. Our graduates span the globe, and students are eager to speak with alumni about their experiences, or how the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering prepared them for the workplace. Our alumni bring enthusiasm, experience and a unique perspective to a new generation of prospective students, which further strengthens our recruitment program. Alumni can refer prospective students, attend recruitment events, visit local high schools and communicate with prospective students. I am looking forward to working with alumni, so we can continue to recruit bright and well-rounded prospective students — tomorrow’s Auburn engineers.

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