I’m the Co-Founder of Ashby and Gabriel, alongside my husband Kent, who is also a PBA alumnus. We’re a full-service digital marketing agency with a focus on social media. In the last few years, we’ve worked with over thirty businesses and organizations to elevate their digital marketing strategy. Currently, one of my main clients is the world’s first data solutions platform for personal growth and development, and I help them apply their data insights to recovery centers and churches.
Immediately after graduating PBA, I worked in the marketing department at Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business. I was recruited out of the firm to work as the Communications Director for the Everglades Trust, a political nonprofit focused on restoring America’s everglades.
When I first graduated, I felt an intense amount of pressure to compete with my peers for those first jobs and accomplishments. If I could go back, I’d remind myself there’s enough success to go around and we all benefit by staying connected and cheering each other on. I’d tell myself that even the people I think are excelling are facing challenges, and I’d give myself a little more grace. There’s a massive adjustment from college to professional life, and everyone you know is going through it. Making the shift from the day to day, close-knit community of undergraduate life can be isolating. Make the effort when it comes to relationships.
PBA provides a substantive academic foundation without sacrificing practical opportunities. The Frederick M. Supper Honors program completely restructured how I think; not only did it develop my logical brain, but it refreshed my ability to contemplate deeply and integrate my knowledge into membership in a community. While I was at PBA, I also completed four internships and graduated with a well-rounded professional network.
Since graduation, PBA has remained an integral part of my life. Our current team includes Rachel Morrison, another PBA grad, who has been with us since the start and made us the agency we are today. I’ve hired interns from PBA because I know they will deliver the highest quality of work.
Guard your reputation. From day one of being a college student, you’re establishing your reputation. It may not seem like the decisions you make your freshman year will affect your opportunities later on, but they can. If you earn a reputation for integrity, hard-work, and enthusiasm, it will make your entrance into post-grad life much smoother. Become known as a person who can be trusted with the small stuff, and the big stuff will follow.
I owe my entire career to mentorship. Two people at PBA stand out: Lisa Herndon, the School Program Coordinator for the School of Communication and Media, and Dr. Stephanie Bennett, Professor of Communication and Media Ecology. Without those women, I would not be who I am today. They’ve invested in my life for nearly ten years, starting my first year at PBA. Not only have they guided my professional decisions, but they have influenced my character and spiritual growth deeply. Since graduation, I’ve been blessed with a series of professional mentors who have opened every door I’ve walked through.