At a school with 28,848 students, it can be pretty difficult to stick out. That is no problem for my dear friend John Kutteh. John and I became friends our freshman year here in Athens and became roommates the following year. Since then, it has been a joy to do life with him. John is a well-spoken guy who is one of the easiest people to talk to I have ever met. John strives to make everyone in a room feel heard and comfortable. He is also very funny and that is not a liberal use of the word very. You will never meet a guy more ready to get to know you and serve you more readily than John. In addition to all of this, he is very actively involved on campus at UGA and in the community of Athens. As such, I decided to interview my roommate and find out a little of his story from his own perspective. So, without further ado, I present to you the John Kutteh Interview.
Q: What is your name, year in school, and where are you from?
A: “My name is John Kutteh. I am a third year studying public relations from Memphis, TN.”
Q: What made you want to come to UGA?
A: “Actually, I didn’t really have a strong desire to come to UGA. It was literally the only school that worked financially and location-wise. I like to say that coming to Georgia was the best decision that was ever made for me.”
Q: Why do you say that?
A: “The people I met here and the organizations I’ve been a part of have all had really big impacts on my life.”
Q: What organizations have you been involved with in your time here at UGA?
A: “I have been heavily involved in Phi Slam at UGA. Phi Slam is a ministry that seeks to give students an alternative to the downtown scene in Athens. Our hope is that, in doing that, students will be able to engage in authentic, lasting community throughout their years in college. I was also an orientation leader this past summer.”
Q: How did you get involved with Phi Slam?
“I got involved with Phi Slam at the beginning of my first year. I met a few of the guys that were already in Phi Slam and decided that it was something in which I also wanted to participate. I applied and went through the interview process and found out in November that I was going to be joining the organization.”
Q: What skills do you bring to Phi Slam that help the overall organization?
“I think I bring a sense of organization to the organization. [Break for laughter] That was a terribly worded sentence. I think that being organized helps us accomplish our tasks in a timely manner and stay on top of projects.”
John and I actually got into Phi Slam together and I can speak first hand to this. Before we became a part of the ministry, it was very common for tools and decorations to go missing and for Phi Slam to be very unprepared for events. John, however, has helped lead in organization and we are running more efficiently than ever.
Q: What made you want to be an orientation leader?
A: “I remembered how scared I was when I came to orientation as an incoming freshman. I applied for the orientation leader position hoping to be able to ease the fears of a student like me, coming into college without knowing anyone or knowing anything about the school at all.”
Q: What was one time you showed leadership during your time as an orientation leader?
“As a group of orientation leaders, we had to show leadership every day. Every week, we had around 60 new students that were looking to us to help them transition either to college as a freshman or to UGA as a transfer student. These students needed strong leadership. They needed someone to show them how UGA works and how they can make their time at UGA successful.”
John has always been good at showing empathy and putting himself in others’ shoes. With his past experience at orientation, I have no doubt that John was able to be as excited as the most eager freshman as well as be there for anyone that was nervous. John is very good at seeing people as people and meeting them where they are at.
In his time at UGA, John has held some competitive positions. There are many good reasons for this, but I think the best one just comes from how he treats people he meets. It’s easy to be nice once. It’s truly impressive when someone can repeat that same care and attention over and over and that’s something easily recognizable in John. Whether you are an employer or just looking for a friend, I guarantee you would love to meet John Kutteh.
Check out his LinkedIn!