Student Spotlight: Abby Jones

Published February 2020

By Alejandra Carrasquilla, Communications Coordinator

Abigail Jones is a second-year student majoring in Education Sciences, specializing in Schools, Society and Policy, and dual-minoring in International Development & Humanitarian Assistance as well as Innovation. Outside of class, you may find Abby working on a research project called “BEST in CLASS” at the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies and volunteering at PK Yonge Developmental Research School in a 4th grade classroom. She is an Innovation Academy Ambassador, a College of Education Ambassador and Student Admissions Officer. She joined IA Cicerones this year. In the future, she hopes to write education policy and eventually become an Education Policy Analyst.

 

How does it feel to join UF Cicerones?

“It is an honor, and it goes to show that IA is really developing and getting more traction. It’s nice to know that I will be able to spread the word about IA and share my experience, especially on tours where kids might have questions about it. The website is so helpful, but it’s the best to know from a current student – what they think and how it could help a high school student really develop their interest and passions for what they want to do.”

Tell me about the Cicerone recruitment process, what was that like?

“It was intense! I went to a spring forum, which is like an open house. You got to meet all of the people who are on the executive board and the heads of committee, which was super cool. You get to talk to other Cicerones too. It’s a two-round interview process. You do a group interview and if you make it to the second round, it’s an individual interview. All in all, it was about a month-long process” 

So, going forward in your Cicerone career, how do you hope to grow into the organization?

“I think the reason I really wanted to be in Cicerones [is the] great group camaraderie among its members. I felt that I could grow a lot professionally in Cicerones through events and learning effective communication – How to speak to someone that you have nothing in common with. That’s a really important skill to have. But I also felt I could grow a lot personally by knowing so many people from different facets of life and different parts of UF.

 

That’s what really intrigued me about it, originally. I think Cicerones is a great stepping point into really going out of my comfort zone, and finding comfort in discomfort.”

One last question: How do you think your experience with the Cicerones and your experience with IA will change your college experience?

“IA helped me go out of my learning comfort zone, especially in the first year when we had to learn how to code, 3-D print and laser-cut things. That was so far from everything I’d ever done before, and so I think that really brought me out of my comfort zone academically.

 

I think that Cicerones can really bring me out of my comfort zone personally and professionally, and really teach me how to be an effective communicator, how to be professional, and how to bridge the gap between others – especially at UF, which is such a huge school.” 

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