Alumna Credits M.A. in Communication Technology Program for Advancing her Career Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Meet Ashley Kress
Job title: Member Services Specialist
Employer: Madison Area Chamber of Commerce
Degrees earned: B.A. in English with a concentration in Film Studies, Westminster College, 2012; M.A. in Communication Technology, Point Park University, 2015
Hometown: Baldwin, Pa.
High school: Northgate High School
Now living in: Madison, Ind.
Hobbies/interests: Reading, photography, writing, hiking, drinking tea, laughing over puns, spending time with my boyfriend and friends
LinkedIn: Ashley Kress
How did your M.A. degree from Point Park help you advance your career?
I chose Point Park because I desired a program that would teach me communication theories and how to conduct research (in case I decided to seek my Ph.D.), but that would also give me hands-on experience working with digital marketing programs and situations that I would encounter in the workforce.
My professional experience, paired with the critical thinking and technical skills that I developed at Point Park, allowed me to take control of my future and seek a job that would allow me to manage marketing and digital communications in a larger capacity. My degree really supported and developed my skill sets in social media, digital marketing, design and photography.
What are your key responsibilities at the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce?
I work within the Madison area to support local businesses, while also connecting the community to these businesses, so the economy can prosper. My duties primarily focus on supporting our members through digital marketing initiatives (like social media, email marketing, graphic design and content creation). But, I also get to dabble in planning networking events and festivals for the community. My very first project was to lead the transition of the Chamber's website to a new platform, as well as redesigning the whole site to be more user friendly. The website project led to the redesign of our marketing materials as well.
What's your favorite Point Park memory?
I really enjoyed being in a leadership role for the Graduate Student Association while I was an M.A. student. Through the GSA, I had a hand in connecting graduate students from all of the schools through events like paint night with Paint Monkey and the Grad Gatsby celebration night. But, I also loved connecting with thought leaders all throughout Pittsburgh and making great friends in my industry.
What advice do you have for graduate students?
Chase your passions. Step out of your box, make friends with students and professors, get involved and ask for help (even when you're not sure that you need it). Create a hashtag and tweet your way through grad school or you can blog about it.
What are your career goals?
I am ecstatic to be a digital marketing professional in the non-profit sector. I hope to continue working with the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce for many years to come. At some point in my life, I'd like to work in higher education or open my own photography studio.