Will Burgess always has tried to live without regrets. He took a risk in leaving his Southern roots and moved up to Boston for law school. This former UGA Student Government Association President is now in his final year at Harvard Law. Read about what keeps him motivated at one of the toughest schools in the country:
1. What's your story? What makes you unique?
I'm a crazy college football fan (Go Dawgs!). It's probably one of the biggest parts of who I am. As trivial as that might sound, though, I do think my love affair with football is a perfect metaphor for my approach to life: I give the same passion I have for Georgia Saturdays to everything I do. Whether that means showing up for games three hours before the gates open to secure Row 6 in Section 109 or working through law school to start my dream career, I leave it all on the field. I was born and raised in the Georgia red clay. And I've been a curious hell-raiser most of my life; sorry again Mom. I have a natural passion for all that I do, but my parents were the ones who taught me how to love. I've been so lucky to be surrounded by people who I love and love me. And I think that's really all we can ever hope for in life.
2. What motivates you?
I live by two main principles. I strive so that I'll be able to look back on my life and say I've made an impact on people in some way. So many people have invested so much in me, and I owe it to them to see their mentorship and sacrifices through so that I can pay my debt forward one day. And I try to always live without regrets. This is easier said than done, but it's a great way to keep myself grounded and appreciative. I remember in middle and high school I was always timid and afraid to take risks. But something clicked one day, and I realized life's too short not to follow your dreams.
3. Who is a hero of yours?
Definitely my parents. They've sacrificed so much for me. My mom gave up a job she loved to take care of me and my sister, and my dad has forgone his many of his own career goals for us. They are selfless, loving, and better than any parents I deserve. I can only hope to be half the parent they are one day.
4. What's your future plan? Your goals?
After law school, I'll be clerking for a federal judge in Dallas, Texas. I plan to practice law at a firm in Washington, D.C., after the clerkship and see where life takes me.
5. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Never stop chasing your dreams. And once you've made your dreams come true, never forget those who helped get you there.
6. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)?
Moving away from Georgia has made me fall in love with my home even more. Its people, its cities, countrysides, its food, are all second to none. I firmly believe we have one of the best states in the country, but we should strive to make it even better.
7. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?
I had the absolute honor of representing students on the UGA Presidential Search Committee that resulted in President Morehead's hiring. The search committee was made up of incredible academics, businesspeople, and government leaders. I experienced firsthand how hard work and diligent preparation can get you further in life than any other trait. And we could not have ended up with a better president.
8. Anything we haven't asked that you'd like to talk about.
Just be true to yourself! Don't get caught comparing yourself to others. Define your own success and your own happiness.
If you'd like to contact Will for mentorship opportunities, you can reach him here.