Jessica Motlow went from a small, all-girls Catholic school in Tampa with fewer than 1,000 students to Florida State University, which has more than 40,000 students. Four years later, she is a graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information, Communication and Technology.
“It was the best four years of my life,” said Motlow, 22. “I was lucky to go to a high school that pushed college; we all had the mindset that we were going to college. If you are around people who think they can do it, you can too.”
Motlow began her college career interested in the communications field, but took some computer coding and programming courses and learned she also likes information technology. Fortunately, FSU offers a major perfectly suited to her interests and strengths; information, communication and technology.
After graduate school, which she plans to attend next year, Motlow wants to use her skills for a career in marketing, information technology or a combination of both.
She wouldn’t do anything differently and thoroughly enjoyed the college experience. Although Motlow knew students from her high school at FSU, she joined the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and made new friends. Through the sorority, she networked and learned about internship and job opportunities.
“I always had a place to go to eat and I met a lot of people,” she said.
FSU is the fifth largest public university in the state, but Motlow was able to get to know all of her teachers, even in the largest classes. She also became part of the community of students in her major, who shared her attitude toward school.
Motlow was glad her younger brother Justin, a wide receiver on the football team, was at FSU with her and said it was nice to have family nearby. She will miss the college lifestyle and the school pride.
“Everywhere you go its FSU Seminoles,” Motlow said. “I enjoyed every aspect of the school.”
But there were challenges along the way to her degree. The biggest was having a leg injury in the spring, which prompted her to take an online class instead of the same one in the classroom.
“It was harder and made it difficult to prioritize,” Motlow said. “When you aren’t going to class every day it’s easy to forget things.”
Time management, taking care of herself and getting the work done were the most important things Motlow learned early on.
“People think college is for partying, but you are there for the school,” she said. “That is the biggest piece of advice I can give.”