Last Look: Cheyenne Tilford

In this series, we take a last look at what some of our 2018 grads are planning on doing after they leave the hilltop.

By: Samantha Klaassen

At Honors Convocation, Cheyenne Tilford was given the Temerlin Advertising Institute Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in Strategic Brand Management and was also recognized for being a member of the Robert S. Hyer Society, Golden Key International Honour Society and Kappa Tau Alpha Honors Society. On top of all of that, she’s also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and served as the strategy planner on last year’s NSAC team.

But being a yoga instructor is where Tilford found her calling.

“Teaching yoga has showed me that I love sharing what I am passionate about with others,” she says. “I have always loved school and been passionate to set high expectations for myself and push myself to be the best I can. I want to share this passion with the next generation, creating life-long learners who are excited to grow and succeed. I want to create confidence in these students, showing them that they can be successful.”

Tilford’s post-grad plans include spending the next two years with Teach For America. “When I found out about TFA, I was really excited about all that they stood for,” she says. “Your zip code shouldn’t define your future. I want to help bridge the gap in education.”

She got her first choice location, Hawaii, and can’t wait to learn about the rich culture. “I know I will learn so much about myself and the world over the next two years and hopefully be able to act as a leader and role model for students along the way,” Tilford says.

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Hometown: Lake Forest, IL

Major: Advertising — Strategic Brand Management

Minor: Fashion Media & Arts Entrepreneurship

SMU LOOK: What are you most excited about post-graduation?

CHEYENNE TILFORD: I am most excited to get out of my comfort zone. I feel like I have somewhat lived in a bubble my whole life. I think it is important for me to see a different part of the world, and learn from other cultures and other ways of life. Being in Hawaii, so far away from home, will be a challenge considering how close I am with my family and friends, but I know that it will be a big growth opportunity for me.

SMU LOOK: What will you miss most about SMU?

CT: I will miss my friends so much. Since I will be so far away in Hawaii, it will be hard to visit, and I have made such great friends here that I know I will have for the rest of my life. It will definitely be weird not having them around!

SMU LOOK: Top 3 pieces of advice you would give a freshman at SMU:

CT: 1. Take advantage of all the resources here. Your teachers are some of the best resources. They want you to succeed and they want to get to know you. Take the extra time to make relationships with them. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help for things that aren’t just for their class. So many of my teachers happily looked over my resume and cover letters, helped me with the job search and just gave me great advice.

2. Work hard. Some students fall into the trap of doing the bare minimum amount of work just to get by, but I encourage you to really push yourself to excellence. It will pay off and make your education here all the more valuable.

3. Get out of your comfort zone. Whether you join a club at SMU, take on a new hobby or try out a new job, your time in college is a time in your life you actually have free time to do just that. For example, I ran a half marathon this past fall. Having been a competitive dancer my whole life, this is something I thought I could never do considering I had never really run, but it’s exciting to try something different and new.

Samantha Klaassen

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