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Amazing Student: Tyler Haaland

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Name: Tyler Haaland

Hometown: Knoxville, Tennessee. I've lived there my whole life until I came here for school.

Current employment: I'm a full-time student

Degree objective: Finance and sport management

Expected graduation: December 2018

Why did you choose to come to UGA? I applied to seven schools. The real reason why I came here is that it ended up being the best value. It was definitely my favorite campus, too, even though both of the times that I visited before coming here it rained. Probably the biggest draw was just the city of Athens. Athens isn't too small, and it's big enough where there's lots of things to do and you're close to Atlanta. I didn't know anyone when I came here so it was kind of a shot in the dark.

What are some of your university highlights, awards, achievements...? I guess the biggest highlight would be my time as philanthropy chair for my fraternity, Sigma Nu, for two years. We created a philanthropy event called the Classic City Bowl. Both years that I was in charge we raised around $20,000. That was my favorite thing that I've done because we've never done anything of that size before. It was kind of like running your own business in the real world. I really enjoyed my time in that position. I've also been a UGA College of Education ambassador for three years.

Who is your favorite UGA College of Education professor and why? The best overall teacher that I've had would be Dr. (Thomas) Baker. I took him for Sports Law, and he's very passionate about what he teaches. He's still very involved in sport law, and he posts articles on Twitter and he'll have students respond to him about their thoughts on it. He also makes the class relevant to current issues, so it's really interesting.

Michael Slonaker is another one of my favorites. He was my professor and former advisor. I like him just because he cares so much about his students. He makes class more enjoyable and is more about hands-on experience and less about, "Oh you didn't pass this test." It's not just about test grades for Slonaker; he has speakers come to class and we've also toured multiple sports facilities. He's also an amazing advisor; he's helped me so much.

What do you like to do in your free time? Go to concerts, definitely! Any concert at the Georgia Theatre. I also like going to Creature Comforts Brewing Co. I like traveling, too. I have a lot of friends who are out of state, so we'll go to all the away football games and visit different hometowns. Really anything football related I'm going to be there. I've never been outside of the country besides the Bahamas, but I would love to go to Australia one day. I went to California twice last year, once for the Rose Bowl and another time I went to San Diego for a weekend while working in Arizona for the summer. I had a finance internship for the Arizona Diamondbacks. I'd never been on the west coast before then, and I had to drive my car all the way from Knoxville to Phoenix.

What are your plans for after graduation? I've always had a goal of working for a Fortune 500 company. Out of college I want to do something with finance. I'd like to work in finance for a little while, then transition to a sports team when I have more experience. My ultimate goal is to be a CFO for a sports team. I just accepted a job in Atlanta, and I start in January as an account analyst.

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