Carly Thompson

Carly Thompson

Alumni Office, Human Development and Family Science

Experience in Child Life program helped Thompson land her dream job


Child and Family Development with a Child Life emphasis, 2009

Current occupation/Location

Child Life Supervisor, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

What has been your proudest accomplishment since graduating?

Landing my dream job working as a child life specialist in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and now supervising the child life department at the Scottish Rite campus.  

What was your favorite class in FACS?

Hands down my favorite class was Hospitalized Child and Family. This class cemented my desire to pursue becoming a child life specialist and helped prepare me for my child life internship.

Did you have a favorite – or most memorable – faculty member?

Dr. Charlie Wallinga – she was an extraordinary professor who was passionate about child life and cared immensely for her students. I still remember her sitting with me and her calming my nerves as I waited for my internship interview in her cottage office. She believed in me, and I know I would not be where I am today if it had not been for her mentorship and guidance.

How do you think FACS prepared you for your career success?

The partnership between FACS and Children’s Hospital of Georgia in Augusta is one that I continue to be immensely grateful for. Spending my senior year completing my child life internship, learning from certified child life specialists and being immersed in the healthcare environment prepared me for my career and set me up to successfully pass the child life certification exam. 

What inspires or motivates you?

The patients and families that I have had the privilege to work with throughout my career. Our jobs can be emotionally difficult but remembering the reason why we do what we do and who we do it for is what keeps me motivated.

What advice would you give a current FACS student looking to pursue a career in your field?

Soak up every opportunity that is given to you during your student experiences. The child life specialists you will meet along your student journey want you to be successful, so take advantage of learning from their knowledge and skills! Volunteer and get involved. Working for a summer at Camp Twin Lakes, volunteering at a hospital or becoming involved in UGA Miracle are all great ways to make connections. Landing a child life internship is competitive but if it’s what you really want, you will make it happen!

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