Georgina Sugrue ’24 is a Spanish and international business double major and Catholic studies minor who has a wide variety of interests and passions that led her to St. Thomas. She was originally born in Margate, England, and moved to the U.S. when she was 5 years old. When looking at colleges, Sugrue considered schools all over the world, but ultimately fell in love with the location and opportunities that St. Thomas presented.
Sugrue is a member of the GHR Fellows program, a competitive undergraduate community of business students. Members of this program receive a full-tuition scholarship; included in this scholarship is a J-Term study abroad with their cohort, as well as leadership and career development programming.
The program, established by the GHR Foundation, gives students access to university and community leaders. Students expand their global perspective and leadership skills by following the pillars of the program.
Beyond GHR, Sugrue plays an active role in many other areas of campus life. Last summer she worked as an orientation leader for incoming first-year students, and she currently works as a tour guide and as a lifeguard on campus. She is a member of the Aquinas Scholars program and currently the secretary of the board for the program. She also sits on the boards of the Running Club and Foreign Affairs Club and is currently a Changemaking Fellow on campus.
The Newsroom recently caught up with her to discuss how her involvement in GHR and other campus programs has influenced her experience as a Tommie. Here are some highlights from the conversation.
What made you want to apply to GHR?
All through high school I was stuck on the idea of moving back to England for college. I also had heard good things about St. Thomas from a friend attending at the time, so I applied to St. Thomas mostly because of their recommendation, and I loved the Twin Cities. As I researched the school, I got more interested in attending and came across the scholarship application.
When we visited St. Thomas for scholarship day, I was stunned by how pretty campus was and how nice everyone was. I felt at home. I realized the schools in England had seemed dreamy, but I did not see a future in England and didn’t love the culture of the schools I had looked into there. So, when I got the call from Brad Pulles saying I had been accepted into the program, I knew what my best option was. I am so thankful for this since my time with GHR has been truly transformational, has given me a cohort of 10 amazing friends, and has connected me with incredible advisers who are so helpful and caring.
Why do you think you were selected as a GHR fellow?
I think I was chosen as a fellow because of my love for learning. This has been inspired by my dad encouraging me to be a lifelong learner and my love for reading nonfiction books, traveling to new countries, and asking questions. I also think that during the hands-on part of our scholarship day, I collaborated well with another girl in our group, and we co-lead the project together.
What has being a part of GHR meant to you?
All through high school I was a leader on my cross country and swim teams and made my best friends through those sports because of our commitment to each other and our sport. Coming to campus, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find a community where I belonged. I would never have guessed that my GHR cohort would end up being that team.
Not only have my cohort members been vital to my college experience so far, but our advisers have been an incredible example of leadership to us. Dr. DeVinck and Mr. Pulles are always available to help us with issues that arise.
Tell me about your other involvement opportunities on campus.
I spontaneously applied for a tour guide job in February of my first year and have loved it ever since. Through my job as a tour guide, I was inspired to apply to be an orientation leader! I got the job and had an amazing experience this summer. I am also a lifeguard on campus.
As for club involvement, I am a part of the Aquinas Scholars Honors program as the secretary on the board. I am also involved in Running Club, which is a chill, but awesome, club. As vice president I help lead runs and organize groups.
I am also involved in the Changemaking Fellows program where I help organize events like Spark Week and Changemaking Days to give students opportunities to learn about and discuss current social justice issues. I am also involved in Foreign Affairs Club as the position paper editor and the conference coordinator.
What do you hope to do in the future?
I am really interested in a job where I can interact with individual people while serving a larger community and applying my business and Spanish skills. I am considering joining the Peace Corps for a couple years. I would love to attend law school to study immigration law or work for a nonprofit organization focused on education or food insecurity. I also know I want to incorporate my faith into my future career.
What advice do you have for first-year students?
Be curious. Look into different majors and consider a minor that might not directly help your career goals but might spark a passion or help you develop personally. I only realized I wanted to do Catholic studies minor after randomly deciding to take a two-credit class on St. Francis; I proceeded to fall in love with the program and the people in it. I also had to investigate a couple different majors to realize what I want to do. I love the problem-solving aspect of an economics major, but I know that I need to work more directly with people and love to travel, so I decided Spanish would be my best option for a second major instead.
I would also recommend getting involved in activities and clubs. You don’t have to love every club, just give it a try. Once you are involved, you should take a chance and run to be on the board of the club to get more connected to faculty on campus and the other awesome students on your e-board. I would also recommend reaching out to hang out with new people. If you always leave class with someone or run into someone regularly in a club meeting, ask them to get coffee or go for a walk!
Who inspires you?
Different people inspire me at different points of my life. They might be professors, religious leaders or friends. However, my parents are the most constant source of inspiration. My mom’s zeal for life is infectious. The sacrifices she has made for us through our move to America and every other step along the way has shown me what selfless love is. My dad inspires me with his hard work to give us the best opportunities he can. He is also passionate about being a lifelong learner and a global citizen.
What makes you smile?
Having good conversations about life with my friends. Another one of my favorite things is when my roommates come home after having a good day; I love seeing them excited about small moments and big achievements. Talking to my family is also a sure way to make me happy; my mom will always make me laugh, and my dad will always reassure me about my decisions and give me the best advice.