All of the quotes used in this article were from former iGniTe students serving on the iGniTe advisory board! For more information on the board, click this link: https://oue.gatech.edu/meet-201819-ignite-advisory-board
1. There are non-iGniTe activities on campus
If you decide to come to Georgia Tech for the summer, you won’t be coming to campus just for classes and iGniTe activities (even though they are fun!). Because older GT students take classes on campus and work on and off campus over the summer, clubs still host events even though the entire student body isn’t there. Jalen Borne (iGniTe 2018) said that his “favorite thing to do outside of class was the SCPC sponsored dance lessons!” SCPC offered different dance lessons over the summer so students could distress while learning different styles of dance. Jalen really enjoyed going to the dance classes and was excited about the opportunity because “they got many people interested in joining the clubs and I have even been able to go to some of the social dances.” In addition to attending iGniTe activities, Jalen was able to get involved in a club before school even started.
2. You experience Atlanta
As an iGniTe student, you get to experience Atlanta and see more than the tourist attractions. While reflecting on his iGniTe experience, Avnish Dalal (iGniTe 2018) said that “[iGniTe] was a great experience for some of [his] friends who aren't from Atlanta to see that the city is much more than the airport, aquarium, Coca-Cola museum, and CNN Center.” While these attractions are fun as a tourist, Atlanta has so much more to offer. As an iGniTe student, you’ll only take a few classes, allowing extra time to explore and live as a true Atlantan!
3. You transition mentally and emotionally
As a high school student, there are a bunch of unknowns as you pick a college and then begin preparing for the year to come. This transition as you gain independence is monumental. iGniTe helps new students adjust and gain confidence at Georgia Tech. Former iGniTe student, Devarsh Pandya (iGniTe 2018), “greatly enjoyed the iGniTe launch program since it helped me transition from high school to college mentally and emotionally.” In addition to support from teachers and GT 1000 instructors, the iGniTe staff is always available in the summer sessions office when students have questions or just want to come chat. Also, the older students living in the residence halls over the summer (PLs) plan events for their residents and are eager to meet and form connections with iGniTe students. The iGniTe program offers countless resources to promote health and well-being over the summer and to help first year students with the transition to college life.
4. Meet campus leaders through GT 1000
The only required course over the summer for iGniTe students is GT 1000 and students have really enjoyed this 1 credit hour, first year seminar. Through this class, students are able to connect with a GT faculty members and Team Leaders (students who help the professor teaching the course). Last summer, Dr. Colin Potts, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, taught a GT 1000 and the students raved about him. These students were able to connect with an incredibly important campus leader in their first semester at Georgia Tech! When asked about her iGniTe experience, Mel Weaver (iGniTe 2018) said that her “favorite iGniTe class was [her] GT1000 class.” She loved that “[they] learned how to actually live as an adult” and “worked through resumes, cover letters, etc.” Mel proclaimed that this class gave “necessities.” Jalen’s favorite class was also GT 1000 because “[the] class helped [him] meet some great friends that [he] talk[s] to on a daily basis.”
5. Get to know your professors
Over the summer, iGniTe students are able to connect with their professors in a way that fall students cannot. Because of the smaller class sizes, iGniTe students are able to develop deeper relationships with professors, arguably making the learning experience over the summer more enjoyable. Additionally, if you decide to get involved on campus or want a job during the year, these teachers will be able to write personalized recommendations. Jackson Caruso (iGniTe 2018) pointed out that, “the courses taken during iGniTe were a great way to get core requirements completed that allow you to move on quickly to major classes.” With the larger core requirement classes out of the way, you are able to move on to smaller, major-specific classes.
6. Resume boost!
Hello college, goodbye high school resume! One of the first things you learn in GT 1000 is that as a college student, you will need to begin removing all of your high school activities from your resume. If you come to Georgia Tech over the summer, you immediately have a college activity to put on your resume: iGniTe! You gain experience in a specific area through your track and have the opportunity to pursue your passions on a college level. Following your iGniTe experience, you could consider serving on the iGniTe advisory board or even becoming an iGniTe intern.