Andrea Shaver, a third-year graphic design major, brings entrepreneurship experience to her role as the new Student Government vice president at RIT. Shaver manages her own graphic design business, Flaming Squirrel Design. The Frisco, Texas, native is also a student ambassador for admissions, student in the entrepreneurship scholars program, member of Gamma Epsilon Tau and percussionist in the pep band.
Question: What brought you to RIT?
Answer: My junior year of high school I was a part of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy and the national competition was held at RIT that year, so I happened to get exposed to the school. The competition was during Imagine RIT and the thing that sold me was talking with students and seeing their work. I really liked how RIT provides graphic design students with a mixture of technology and art. After the competition, I never came back until move-in day of my freshman year.
Q: What is the entrepreneurship scholars program at RIT?
A: Basically you take five classes with a cohort of students and graduate with an entrepreneurship minor. One of the classes requires you to start a business and I created my own business called Flaming Squirrel Design. It is the shell company for my freelance graphic design work.
Q: Why did you decide to get involved with Student Government at RIT?
A: As a student leader in high school, I wanted to get involved with Student Government and make a difference. When I got elected for CIAS senator in the spring of my freshman year, I had no idea just how much Student Government can actually do.
Q: What were some of your accomplishments as a CIAS senator?
A: Last year I was the chair of the Zipcar committee and brought the car sharing program to campus. Within CIAS I worked on trying to get a restaurant and improving career fair opportunities. I can’t specifically say there was an end goal to any of these because a lot of the work rolls over year to year and continues building.
Q: What are your goals as vice president this year?
A: As vice president, my job is to make sure students are sitting on committees and addressing issues. My biggest goal this year is to fill up committees and get students involved as much as I can. My personal SG project is redesigning student ID cards. We hopefully are going to have a contest to come up with a new design and have the ID cards by next summer.
Q: What is your favorite part about being vice president so far?
A: I really like getting the opportunity to work with so many people and making sure everyone in Student Government feels empowered. I love working with my team because they are so diverse and everyone has different ideas. I also like talking with students about some of the issues that are happening on campus.
Q: What is your biggest take away from your involvement with Student Government?
A: Getting involved with Student Government has helped me become a better person. I have made really great friends and I have improved myself. At the end of the day it’s great to accomplish goals and we’re here to advocate for students.
Q: What are some of your fondest memories at RIT?
A: Watching my best friend from California experience the snow for the first time was fun. Late-night studying in the library with Java’s hot chocolate and hanging by the fire in Global Village are also some good memories.
Q: As you get closer to graduation, what do you want to achieve?
A: This year is my big internship summer so I hope to do some agency style work for companies. I’d also love to travel.
Traci Turner compiles “Student Spotlight” for University News. Contact her at email@example.com with suggestions.