Alumni Board Bios - Susan Clarke
Major: Bachelors of Business Administration
Graduation year: 2011
Where are you from? Born in Duluth and returned to Duluth/Lawrenceville area in 2007.
Where do you work? Gwinnett County Government, Department of Finance, Purchasing Division
Favorite memory about GGC: My favorite memory is standing in the atrium of Building B, in front of a group of professors who were elegantly donned in their collegiate regalia and splashing cranberry juice on the lapel of one of my business professors. The aftermath could only be described as somewhere between a mixture of comedy and parody.
Favorite professor at GGC: Dr. Doug Burns, James Wiesel, Carlos Ruis, Dr. Mary Saunders
Community Involvement: Gwinnett Great Days of Service, Friends of Gwinnett County Seniors, 2012 Gwinnett County Swim and Dive Celebration and Award Banquet, Food and Entertainment Chairman for 2012 Georgia Governmental Purchasing Conference and Products Exposition
Advice for new students: How many times have you heard teachers are your friends? No teacher wants any student to fail. Here at GGC professors are invested in how well each student performs. Early in my collegiate studies, I once made the mistake of not approaching my professor when I discovered that I was having trouble completing a major assignment, which was worth 40% of my grade. I carried on hoping things would work out. In the end, all I managed to achieve was a tremendous amount of stress. I came close to flunking the course because I was struggling so badly, that I was about to miss my deadline. It was only when I was ready to give up on that class and subsequently, giving up on my education when I decided that I had nothing else to lose and approached my teacher explaining my dilemma. With some firm guidance and great advice from my teacher, I managed to pull myself together and finish the course.
So my advice to each of you is, “do not go through your collegiate studies never taking a chance to reach out to your professor.” I am the mother of a fifteen-year-old daughter and ever since eighth grade, I have heard it all. "My teacher doesn’t know how to teach. Everyone is having trouble in that class" and, "it’s not me. I study all the time. My teacher picks on me and points me out in class," and so on and so on. The first thing I always ask them, “have you spoken to your teacher about your concerns?”
If you are struggling to keep up in class, don’t be quick to assign the blame or assume that the subject matter is beyond your ability to learn it. Approach your professor and carry on an intelligent conversation, gearing the discussion towards what you are struggling with, how this impacts your career choice and ask if there is something else that can help you achieve your goals and ultimately do better in that course.
Simply stated, you will get out what you put in. And believe me, it gets easier the more you do it. Just remember, as you go through your life there will always come a time when it seems that someone or something appears to be a roadblock or obstacle, which is prohibiting you from achieving a task or goal. Take the same approach, if you can be non-confrontational (not assigning blame), be logical in defining the problem and evaluating alternatives and be reasonable when others do not have your same viewpoint so you can negotiate the issues. You will find that you will go further and achieve more in your life.