Graduate Spotlight: Jake McCarthy

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student sits next to pbk plaque
Jake McCarthy

Jake McCarthy, a 2021 graduate of Mercer University‘s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in law and public policy.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to attend Mercer University School of Law in fall 2021.

Who was your favorite professor and why? 

Dr. David Gushee was my favorite professor because of the way he cared for every student. He encouraged participation from everyone and reached out to us outside of class if he was concerned about us. Despite all of his experience and knowledge, he treated us as equals and genuinely cared about our opinions.

What is one of your favorite Mercer memories?

One of my favorite Mercer memories is Pilgrimage to Penfield my freshman year. I had no idea what it was, but I loved learning about all the history of Mercer at the site where it was founded. I thought it was a beautiful tradition that I hope always continues.

What was your favorite class and why?

My favorite class was Legal, Ethical, and Regulatory Environment of Business (Business Law) taught by Dr. James Hunt. I was fascinated to learn how much the business and legal fields are connected. This class inspired me to consider becoming an attorney.

How do you plan on changing the world?

I want to change the world through community. Mercer has been a welcoming community to me that has empowered me to become an influential voice here. I do not know what cities, states or countries I will live in, but I want to become involved in community service wherever I am. Always having had a passion for policy, I want to become involved in government at some point as well. I cannot wait to use all that I’ve learned at Mercer to always change the world, especially that which is right around me.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

Try everything. You only get one chance to be this age, have these friends, join these clubs, take these classes. You may be scared to, but take that leap of faith and go all in at Mercer. You may not love everything that you try or have to do, but even those experiences are chances to learn more about yourself.

How did Mercer prepare you for your future?

Mercer helped me step out of my comfort zone and taught me how to embrace challenges. As a freshman, I had a limited idea of what my capabilities were. I constantly cut myself down and convinced myself that I couldn’t be as successful as other students. The opportunities that Mercer opened for me, however, proved that I was wrong. I learned how to manage my time, make friends out of strangers, deal with stress and build a following. I already know that these skills are going to be so valuable to me in the future.

What makes Mercer special to you?

Mercer is special to me because of the type of people you find here. The faculty I have met are kind to everyone and truly love their jobs. They form bonds with their students and want to see them succeed. The students are passionate about their fields and want to build up their peers. I feel at home when I walk across campus and wave to my friends or see one of my professors and stop to catch up with them. Mercer is special to me because of the people that make it such a welcoming place.

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