Meet Edge Leader Milan Johnson

How are you connected to the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion (CSDI)?

I was part of OMED’s Challenge program, and I am also a Edge Leader for OMED’s peer mentorship program.

What advice would you give to students on succeeding academically at Georgia Tech? 

I would tell them to make their own definition of success and to not compare themselves to other Tech students. Everyone isn’t going to get a 4.0 GPA, but as long as you improve and learn from each failure and meet your own academic goals, then you have succeeded here. At such a rigorous university like Tech, academics can often be discouraging, but it’s important not to ever doubt your intelligence or why you got into Tech. I strongly believe everyone who goes here is incredibly smart and is capable of doing anything. However, no one has to do it alone. Tech offers so many resources such a tutoring and mentorship for everyone to succeed. Don’t let pride get in the way and not take advantage of them.

What advice would you give to students on acclimating socially to Georgia Tech? 

When I was having trouble acclimating, I joined organizations that aligned with my interests to meet people. I feel like by going to organization meetings and events where people are connected by similar interests makes it easier to interact with others. I would also say push yourself out of your comfort zone. Talk to other students in some of the classes you have.

Where have you worked while at Georgia Tech, and what did you enjoy about that experience? 

I have worked at OMED as a Edge Leader. My favorite part of my job is being able to share with freshmen and transfer students the lessons and knowledge I have gained over my three-year experience at Tech. I especially enjoy working with underrepresented minority underclassmen because I get to serve as representation that despite all odds, we can make it through. Seeing them succeed and do incredible things is so gratifying because I love that I was able to witness and be a part of it.

What has been your favorite Georgia Tech experience? 

My favorite experience has been being able to attend Tower Awards. I grew up with parents that went to Tech, and I remember always admiring their Tower Awards. I was determined to get a Tower Award once I came to Tech. However, my first semester, I struggled academically due to lack of confidence in my abilities and losing family members. I felt defeated and getting the 3.13 GPA requirement to be invited to Tower Awards seemed impossible. During my spring semester of my freshman year, I worked extremely hard to pull my GPA up. I continued this mentality, and by my sophomore year, I was invited to the Tower Awards. Receiving that award just showed me how hard work pays off and that I could do anything Tech threw at me.

What are you involved with on campus, and why?

I am involved in the African American Student Union (AASU), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and Black Women’s Initiative (BWI). I feel as though AASU provides an outlet in which I can be around students that look like me and engage in discussion around political issues faced by my racial community. NSBE provides a network of black engineers in various companies that give me great opportunities. BWI allows to be a part of the fight and dialogue of creating a safe space for black women.