Nicole Callahan wasn’t always college bound.
As the first in her family to graduate from college, Callahan said her experiences at GW made her want to help others realize their potential to get a degree.
“I’m from a neighborhood where most of my friends don’t go to college, and if they do, they stay inside the state or go to community college,” she said.
GW was “a huge culture shock,” she said. “Anyone who knows me from freshman year, knows me as ‘that’ girl from Boston – I had a really thick accent.”
Callahan has been interning at the Department of Education for the past year, working on social media. She was hired to work full-time after graduation as the new media analyst for federal student aid.
Callahan hopes that working in federal student aid will allow her to help students feel more comfortable applying to college.
“I want to them to realize that it’s not hard. They can get to college and do all of these great things,” she said. “Hopefully by the early fall we will have many social media resources available for students to help them learn how to fill out the FAFSA and get to college.”
As a freshman, Callahan was a founding father of GW’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity.
“Every experience was really new to me, and I didn’t know much about Greek life, but the idea of a professional fraternity where you can have the brotherhood professional aspect but still have a social community was appealing,” she said.
Callahan said, beyond the technical work to start the chapter, she had to build a sense of community among the members and establish relationships with other student organizations on campus.
“It really helped me learn more about GW and business in general. Looking back, it’s been an amazing experience and I have made some of my best friends throughout the process,” the business administration major said.
Callahan eventually hopes to move back to Boston and open up her own social consulting firm, where she will be able to work with small businesses on social media strategies.