By Asia Allen
Alyssa Olive is a junior business major from Kosciusko, Miss. In her free time, she enjoys cooking. She says that most of the time, she only has the energy to make one thing, but when she does get to make a full meal, she’s on cloud nine.
Asia Allen: What made you choose Millsaps?
Alyssa Olive: Kosciusko is a small town, and when I visited, I knew that I would get the same atmosphere here, where you’d get to know everyone’s name.
AA: What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
AO: I’m a captain of Millsaps Cheer, President of the Pan- African Student Alliance (P-ASA), Event Coordinator for Millsaps Pathways to Success (MPS), a Foundations leader and I’m a summer orientation leader.
AA: What do you find most rewarding in those activities?
AO: Foundations, because we have a new curriculum that is so extensive and you’re not just reading it from a piece of paper…and we learn from them just as much as they learn from us.
AA: What career field do you plan to go into?
AO: I’m pretty sure some type of marketing or some type of advocating, but I still feel like my path isn’t completely set in stone.
AA: What opportunity do you think Millsaps gave you that you don’t think you would receive anywhere else?
AO: The name “Millsaps” has accountability held to it, like, when I was an Accounting major, we had accounting firms come recruit us every month. People like Tonya Nations would have it in the back of their minds to help us with stuff like that, and find opportunities. If I went to a bigger school, I don’t think they would remember me.
AA: What is one of the best memories you’ve had here?
AO: I’d have to say two. The first one has to be football game days. This past Rhodes game, we finally got to travel with the team. We had so many fans (show up), and the weather was super nice. It was perfect. The second one… was being in My Sister’s Keeper. Being with other women of color we got to check in on each other and work on self-preservation.
AA: What’s the one thing that you’re proud of right now?
AO: I’m proud of my ability to pick myself up when things start falling apart.
AA: What annoys you the most?
AO: When people touch me with wet or cold hands, or the combination of the two. I just think it’s so nasty.
AA: As a student, what do you look forward to attending Millsaps each year?
AO: Probably seeing the upperclassmen in their careers. I think it sets me up to win because learning from them helps evolve me to get ready for the real world. The way the classes are set up, you’ll always end up being knowledgeable in your field. I think it sets you up to have a really nice job.
AA: What do you think is your best quality?
AO: I feel like I can adapt to any type of situation. I owe that to all the people in my hometown, basically. Like my boss at my gymnastics gym, Ms. Mandy. I literally went from being one of her cheerleaders to working for her. And Ms. Antoinette…I had to serve all types of people like children and old couples, and that helped me interact with all types of people differently. My Mom and my nana for getting me into the National Council of Negro Women—we used to do food drives, sing to the elderly at nursing homes, speak in public places… there would be a lot a stuff I wouldn’t be exposed to without it. And my granny…the strength she has gave me mine. She’s a breast cancer survivor. She’s so strong. All my granny wears are pearls, so for her, all her granddaughters wear pearls. I wear mine every day.
AA: What change would you like to see in Millsaps?
AO: Definitely a stronger support of black organizations from black students.
The Purple and White thanks Alyssa for answering these questions!