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Student Spotlight: Dylan Hicks Juggles Three Jobs in Addition to Studies

By Kaylynn Kennedy, Intern

Dylan Hicks

TAMPA (June 2, 2020) -- Coming to USF as a business advertising major enrolled in the Zimmerman Advertising Program, Dylan Hicks has made his mark. From his involvement in the ZAP Living Learning Community to his role as orientation leader, he has learned and demonstrated what it means to make informed decisions and execute plans. Though a full-time student who recently made the dean’s list, Hicks still finds time to juggle three jobs and remain involved on campus. He works as a marketing intern for Ybor Youth Clinic, is a retail worker at Tampa Bay Sports and street marketing team member with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Having a passion for sports, he’s particularly excited about his work with the Bucs, promoting games at local events around Tampa Bay. He took some time recently to answer a few questions:

Why did you choose USF?

I’m originally from Indiana, but I knew I wanted to get out, to leave. My cousin had recently moved to St. Petersburg, so I toured the USF campus and fell in love. The green of the campus was beautiful and just felt right. I toured other colleges, but I always felt like just a number. At USF, I felt valued as a person.

I liked that the campus was in Tampa. There is a variety of sports opportunities, like the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program and all of the local sports teams. I originally applied to USF for marketing with a concentration in sports management, but then I heard about ZAP. I was really drawn to the business side of advertising and I also liked the idea of the Living Learning Community and the support system it provided.

What has been the biggest obstacle you’ve faced since being at USF?

Even though the distance from Indiana is nice – and necessary – not being able to hop in my car and go home has been a struggle. It did help me realize what I was reliant on, which allowed me to become more independent. I learned how to take responsibility for myself and how to make the right decisions without needing to ask someone else.

What clubs, programs and extracurricular activities are you involved with? What have you learned from them?

Last summer, I became a first-year orientation leader and we had to take a class on leadership which really helped me grow as a person. Learning everything about our campus resources and how to utilize them really put into perspective how much we can do regardless of how young we are. Our impact matters.

Up until becoming an orientation leader, a leader to me was someone who held a lot of power and told people what to do. I viewed them as an authoritative figure rather than a collaborative and guidance person. Now, I’ve learned that it’s not about telling people what to do, it’s doing what you say you will do.

I also participated in the Leaders in Training program for Student Government, was ZAP Family leader and ZAP homecoming captain. Throughout all of my involvement, I’ve learned a lot about time management and balance and I’ve gained communication skills in both public speaking and on the digital landscape.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully, I’ll be working full time for a professional sports team, maybe in Tampa, in some sort of marketing or community-relations field. Eventually, I’d like to come back for a master’s degree as well.

What lesson do you live by?

The quote “Life is 10 percent what happens to you, and 90 percent how you react to it,” is what immediately comes to mind. Life’s always going to hand you setbacks and the only thing you can control is how you react to them. In the future, when looking for an internship or job, I know that if it doesn’t go the way I hoped for I should ask what I can improve on instead of being upset that my expectations weren’t met. In the end, I’m always looking for opportunities to grow.