Department of Communication Studies - Communication & Leadership
It took me awhile to get my stride.
Purple hair. Red hair. Different shades of blond hair. I had all sorts of colors. I was really intrigued by the process. In fact, when I was growing up, I really wanted to be a celebrity hairstylist and own my own salon.
I’ve definitely drifted from that.
I took a class through the Moody College of Communication, and it was all about fundraising for non-profits. It was on a whim, but it blew my mind. I was like, “Wow. I love this.”
When I was picking a major, it was right around the time the Communication and Leadership major started, and it hit all the things I wanted and values I had. It was good timing. I stumbled upon it.
Leadership is something you grow into, because you’ll find yourself in situations where you realize you can make a difference and make the outcome better. I think just being in situations that need a leader, and having a passion for what you do, evolves you.
Growing up with my dad, Paul, being a coach, and through my own experiences as a competitive swimmer, I have witnessed leadership from an early age. The best leaders are the ones who adapt to those around them and find ways to empower the people they’re leading. Paying attention to what people around you need is a strong characteristic of leadership.
Quinn interned in summer 2018 for Big Swell Fund, which was created by the owner of Austin’s NLand Surf Park, to initiate surf experiences that benefit non-profit organizations.
For instance, right now my dad is coaching my little brother’s high school track team. All of the kids have improved significantly, and I feel like they have a really strong bond with each other. It’s cool to think my dad has an impact, and throughout my life, I’ve seen him impact most any group he’s been involved with for the better.
As a student-athlete at UT, I have developed time management and the ability to handle adversity. Obstacles pop up, and you have to work hard to get better. I think that applies to the real world.
Swimming, specifically, develops you as a person. Swimmers work eight months out of the year for one big meet, when everything is on the line, and you could drop 10 seconds or 0.1 seconds. No matter how much hard work you put in, how much you believe, the results are not guaranteed.
That’s pretty much how life is.
You may not get the promotion you want, or you have to wait a little bit and work a little more to land that dream job. The key is not to get deterred from your goals.