AdPR Alumni Spotlight - Ashley Stockett Hurst ('06)

Ashley Stockett Hurst currently works in Global Business Development as an Account Director for Social@Ogilvy.

What was your major and when did you graduate? I graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors in May ‘06 with an ABJ in Public Relations.

 What activities were you involved while in Grady/UGA? Just before starting at UGA, I met Dr. Betty Jones and she encouraged me to join PRSSA when I arrived on campus – so I did…and it was one of the best -- if not THE best -- decision of my college career. Throughout my four years I held multiple positions on the Executive Board, participated in and eventually lead Creative Consultants, and spearheaded PRofessional Connection (formerly PR Day). I was also part of the inaugural class of Grady Ambassadors with a phenomenal group of fellow classmates. 

What are you doing now and how did you get there?  I’m currently the Director of Global Business Development for Social@Ogilvy. My career began in traditional PR, but as the industry landscape has evolved immensely in the last seven or eight years, so has my career path. My role – like many others in digital or integrated communications today – tends to blend many elements of PR, marketing and advertising. 

What is your day-to-day like at your job? (Any interesting projects that you can share with us?) When you work in business development, no two days are ever the same. I’m frequently traveling to meet with different agencies within Ogilvy to expand our current business and grow our client roster, creating proposals and presentations, leading account team trainings, and leading or participating in new business pitches – both across the US and internationally. When I’m not focused on business development, I’m leading social media strategy and account management for some of our key global clients – British Airways, Nestle and others. It’s busy, but that’s the way I like it! Work hard, play hard … especially in NYC. 

What part of your Grady experience (classes, professors, etc.) has been helpful in your career today? PRSSA not only opened doors for me to network with alums and industry leaders and have access to many different internships that helped me ultimately choose a career path, but Dr. Betty Jones became a mentor to me in more ways than I can count, and I’m forever grateful for her guidance and friendship. But the curriculum, professors and many of my classmates all impacted my career in different ways, and I’m proud to be a part of such a dynamic community. 

What is your favorite Grady memory? My favorite? I don’t think I can pick one! There were just too many…but PRSSA exec board dinners at Dr. Jones’ house, hosting the Robert Osborne Film Fest with the Grady Ambassadors, being a part of (what I consider to be) the best Bateman team, and my internship with Twilight – for which a Grady contact introduced/recommended me and through which I ultimately met my husband – would certainly be at the top of the list! 

What advice do you have for current AdPR students? 
1) Network –- with everyone you can. Classmates, alums, PRSSA/Ad Club speakers, people you meet at industry events … all of them. You never know where you’ll want to go or how your paths may cross down the road, and the more connections you have, the more options you’ll have. Lend a hand when you can, and the favors will come back to you tenfold. 2) Internships – not only do they give you much-needed experience, but they also help you figure out where you’d ultimately like to end up. Try agency life, try non-profit communications, try event-planning…whatever it is, the more you do, the more you learn about your skill set, your interests and where your passions lie. And the earlier you start (it’s never too early, by the way), the more time you have to test-drive career paths. 3) Leadership roles – it’s great to be a member of organizations – especially PRSSA and Ad Club – but the cliché is true: you get out of it what you put into it. You don’t have to be president, but having a leadership role in any organization will help you achieve my first two points with more ease – and it’s certainly noticed among employers/recruiters.

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