Sami Hiatt (left) with other members of the Homecoming Committee. Photo courtesy of Hiatt
Sami Hiatt (left) with other members of the Homecoming Committee. Photo courtesy of Hiatt

Student Spotlight: Sami Hiatt

Name: Sami Hiatt

Year: Junior

Hometown: Ankeny, Iowa

Major(s): Advertising & Dietetics

Why did you decide to major in advertising? Growing up I was always a people person, and I wanted a major where I would be able to have constant interactions. Additionally, I jumped at the idea of a major that let me think outside of the box and encouraged creativity. This led me to begin college as an advertising major.

What influenced you to choose dietetics as a second major? The summer, between my freshman and sophomore year, I spent some time in Pignon, Haiti, doing mission work. I found that I had never been happier than when I was helping others. Realizing this, I knew I needed to reevaluate my career path. I went back to the drawing board, and I decided to combine my passion for nutrition with my love for advertising to educate individuals on how they can live healthier lifestyles. I genuinely believe that when individuals feel good about themselves, they are more likely to perform better in every aspect of their life.

How did you get involved with Homecoming this year? When applications came out last fall, Kaitlyn Habrock, an older member in my sorority, reached out to me. She had been a part of Homecoming Central the year prior and had an outstanding experience. I had been looking for more ways to get involved in Iowa State, so I jumped at the opportunity.

What were your responsibilities as part of the display committee? As one of the displays co-chairs, my job was to work alongside my co-chair Cole Moody to coordinate displays, banners and parade floats for the Greek chapters on campus. Our main event that we put on is ExCYtment in the Streets. ExCyment in the streets in an event for ISU students, staff and the community where Greek chapters get to show off their decorated parade floats and perform a skit on their display for spectators to watch. Spectators then get the opportunity to vote for their personal favorite.

What has been the most challenging part of your position? The most challenging part of my job is it can be very unpredictable some days. It has taught me how to be proactive and respond quickly to problems.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned through this experience? Throughout the past year as a homecoming co-chair, the most important thing I have learned through this experience is to find a job you love. I have enjoyed working on Homecoming, and it has made the job seem less like a job.

What has been your favorite part of working with Homecoming? Without a doubt, the people - the students, alumni staff and the people we get the privilege of working with and serving. It has been enjoyable to work with other students who have a similar passion for Iowa State Homecoming.

What Greenlee classes or experiences prepared you for this role? I could pull something out that has been beneficial to my position as a co-cochair from each class that I have taken in Greenlee. My position requires me to do a lot of communicating and outreach to different groups of people, and I think Greenlee has done a great job enhancing my communication skills.

What other experiences at Greenlee have shaped your overall experience at Iowa State? One organization at Greenlee that shaped my college experience has been the Advertising Club. In my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to serve as the outreach/trip executive. I scheduled tours and maintained relationships with agencies within the state of Iowa and outside. Additionally, I got to meet a lot of other outstanding students in my major. It was nice having a group of friends to discuss all things Greenlee.

How do you hope this experience will impact or shape your future career goals? I hope in the future, regardless of my occupation, I can use the skills I learned the previous year to help me succeed in my chosen career path. One of the big takeaways for me is the importance of finding a career best suited for me, in addition to finding a work atmosphere that challenges, supports and upholds my values.

What advice do you have for other Greenlee students who are looking to get involved? My most significant piece of advice for people looking to get involved is to try as many things as possible without spreading yourself too thin. Truly explore and find what you are passionate about. That’s the cool thing about going to a large university like Iowa State - the opportunities are endless.

Interview by Melanie Van Horn