Adrianna Burton is a University of California, Irvine Ph.D. student in Informatics. Her research interests focus on the intersection of representation, identity-making, and analog games. Adrianna’s hobbies include bingeing Netflix, reading Y.A. fiction, writing poetry, and dabbling in ballet. In undergrad, her time working as a Writing Center Peer Tutor developed her love for teaching, which she carries into her responsibilities as a TA. Adrianna is a Phi Beta Kappa member and graduate of UC Irvine.

Starting a Ph.D. was never a career path I envisioned for myself. Similarly, adding a second BA in Film and Media Studies wasn’t something I planned until well into my college career. Being open to life, to new opportunities, has shaped how I think about myself and what I want. Many people say to do what you love–that’s a tricky line, because working more than 40 hours a week becomes very tempting. Discovering and now doing what I love, though, is well worth it.

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1)  If we ask one of your friends to describe you, what would they say?

If you asked one of my friends, they would describe me as hard-working, motivated, and intelligent. If I asked one of my friends, they’d add stubborn to the top of the list.

2)  What life events or personal mentorships, if any, directed you to the field of study you have chosen for your future endeavors?

My experience with UCI’s Humanities Honors program was the most influential when I was determining my field of study. Before my involvement in the program, I would have told anyone who asked that getting a Ph.D. was a ridiculous idea. However, getting to experience hands-on research in a topic I never thought I could study turned my world around. Additionally, my time as a Writing Center Peer Tutor and a UTeacher at UCI developed my love for teaching and mentoring, which I find vital to my future as a TA and, hopefully, professor.

3)  Did you ever seek information and advice from the SOP advising team? If so, what type of advice were you seeking and what was your experience with them?

In applying for scholarships, I had frequent meetings with the SOP advising team to get pointed feedback on drafts for personal statements. The team’s specific knowledge of each scholarship application and selection process beneficially informed how I wrote. I worked with Rose on my application for the Paul and Daisy Soros scholarship, which I did not receive.

To learn more about SOP and the resources available to high-achieving students visit our website.