"Where I Was Supposed to Be"
Kaleb shares in his own words about his life-changing experience at the College.
The College of Coastal Georgia was honestly a very last option for me. At the time, I was planning on going to a private college in North Georgia for an entirely different degree. The only reason I didn't go was because of affordability—and that was after multiple scholarships. Luckily, Coastal Georgia was brought to my attention—about two weeks before classes started—and I knew the second I saw pictures of the campus that's where I wanted to go. I decided to pursue a degree in general business because I didn't really know what I wanted at the time, but I knew I could change if needed. I was very fortunate in having come from the Athens, Georgia area to get the last open spot in the dorms in August 2014. When I learned that I had received housing, I knew Coastal was where I was supposed to be, or it wouldn't have happened.
My freshman year in College was one of the best years of my whole life. I made many lifelong friends and memories, and also met the girl I now get to call my wife—Ashlan. Continuing into the next three years, I was unsure exactly which concentration to pursue. I was torn between finance and marketing. I ended up choosing marketing after concluding that I'm more of a creative person than a numbers person. I think that was one of the best choices I made in my whole life! By the time I graduated, I had been taught by some of the best in the marketing industry, including Mike Tigani, Scott Williamson, and even had the guy who branded Coke Zero has a guest speaker. I was also fortunate enough to be an intern at h20 creative group. When I got to experience those courses junior and senior year, I knew for sure looking back that I had me the right choice.
Fast forward to graduation, I searched for jobs in the local area and had a few different interviews. The job I managed to get was actually at the apartment community I had lived at for the past three years. I was hired as an assistant property manager. I was happy to be able to use my knowledge in marketing and got commercials filmed, had set up professional photo shoots, and ran ads on social media for the apartment community. After about a year, in 2019 my wife and I decided to move up closer to family and the mountains. I was able to obtain a job as a property manager in Athens and managed the operations of over 500 rental properties in the area.
Unfortunately, that job didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. My long-term goal is to grow within a company personally, professional, and financially. I learned very quickly that I wouldn't be able to do that there. After some job searching, I recently earn a position as a project manager for a construction development company that has projects along the southeastern coast—including Brunswick and Kingsland. It's kind of crazy to me how things have come full circle. I would have never guessed that a little over a year after driving out of Brunswick, I would be flying back into Brunswick to check out the job progress of one of the new developments.
Looking back, my experience and degree at Coastal Georgia are what got me to where I am now—and I'm only 24 years old. If you told me my freshman year of college that this is where I would be in life, I wouldn't have believed you! Now here I am, after leveraging my knowledge and experience, and just two years after graduating from Coastal, I am helping to manage the overall development from start to finish for multiple projects in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina worth more than $30 million. Also, my wife is very happy as an elementary special education teacher after earning a dual degree from the College.
Needless to say, Coastal Georgia played a huge part in my life, to the point where I wanted to reach out and thank the school for providing me the foundation it did. I think Coastal is a very underrated school—but it won't be for long. There will continue to be more people like myself, my wife, and our college friends who all graduate and move on to be successful in their fields—all while advocating for the College every step of the way. People are often shocked to find out that I didn't go to UGA, but instead went to the College of Coastal Georgia and already made it this far professionally. I think it's a great sign for the College and what it means to go there. So again, thank you to everyone at Coastal Georgia who helped me get where I am today. I couldn't have done it without you!