Ashley Elgin is the kind of college student we wish more millennials aspired to be. This jill-of-all-trades has taken an entrepreneurial approach to her education and has created a personal brand for herself as a reality tv expert all while going to school, working and interning. She has experience in blogging, public relations, marketing, writing, social media, graphic design, development and special events. She started a blog about a reality TV show, The Bachelor, after her freshman year of college and since has been on press calls with national press, interviewed former contestants and built her social media following to 3,500 followers. She has freelanced for publications on a national and local level, even interviewing A-listers on the red carpet at Derby parties. All of this experience has given her a competitive edge over her peers and as a senior at University of Louisville, she has held nine internships and six professional experiences. We are sure she won't have any trouble landing a job after graduation.
Read more about her below.
I am 50% writer and 50% public relations, the balance gives me a greater understanding of each field. I can be found tweeting, blogging or working. If you need a blogger, press cover or perfecting words into 140 characters, I am your girl.
Current position and your typical work day
Blogger - BachelorExpert.com Blogger - AshleyElgin.com Public relations intern - Lexington Public Relations Social media intern - Booya Freelance writer Typical Day: Wake up around 6 a.m. Work or finish up homework Go to classes from 9-12 M-F Then I go to work on-site and then go home Work at home Do more homework Then live-tweet TV shows Usually fall asleep on the couch with my computer on my lap
How have you developed your brand?
Well it is tricky because I have two brands which are Bachelor Expert and Ashley Elgin. Bachelor Expert came first and showed me there was a need for the Ashley Elgin brand. I always loved "The Bachelor" and people told me my thoughts on it were entertaining so I created the blog and thought a few people would see it. I like the show for what it is and needed a name that people would remember, it had to be catchy but easy to remember the URL, so Bachelor Expert was the winner. It was easy to develop both brands because they are parts of my personality. I must admit that creating the Ashley Elgin site was more difficult, because I am the site and not hiding behind a blog. I share things that I tell people in my everyday life and make the same jokes but it is just on a much bigger level.
Explain the role that your personal brand played in getting you to where you are today.
I created my site BachelorExpert.com in July 2011, which was my first blog. I had just finished my freshman year of college and wanted internships, which required experience so I came up with a blog. I thought maybe a few people would read it and it grew into something more than I could have ever imagined. It is invaluable the people I have been able to network with because of the site. Then I created AshleyElgin.com to balance the professional and personal side of me.
Personal brands attract opportunities. What has been the greatest opportunity you have gotten?
The greatest opportunity I have had so far is getting to interview influential people/celebrities.
Who are some of your mentors and why?
I have a lot of former bosses I look up to, but the best mentors I have are definitely my parents. I always joked that I was going to be an astronaut and silly things like that, in which I never wanted to do or could do (I am terrible at math) and they would say, "If anyone could pull it off, it would be you." Regardless of if it was extremely unlikely, they never placed a glass ceiling or said so and it resulted in me pulling off some impossible things.
What were the steps you took in college that impacted your professional success?
I am still there until May, but working, interning and blogging. The most unlikely thing that has impacted my success is tweeting about TV shows and blogging about them. It is one thing to say "I tweet" or "I blog" but it is another to say, my tweets made it on the Huff Post or ABC while the show was airing. Doing things you already like to do, can have great rewards.
What would you say to a young person who wants to work in your industry?
Public Relations, social media, blogging and entertainment are difficult fields to get into, so you must find your voice. Intern to gain valuable skills and blog to find your voice, then use social media to network and promote yourself. Be different, which can be difficult after being so used to conforming to other groups of people throughout school. Find people who share your interests whether it be at a local club or Twitter.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
I will graduate college in May (I have not mentioned that nearly enough already.) Until then I will keep working, blogging and tweeting. If you like the show, "The Bachelor" Juan Pablo's season starts in January and I can only anticipate how entertaining that will make my tweets/blogs. Also, the company I am helping with social media, Booya launches in January. They are at-home boutique fitness videos for busy women on-the-go and you should definitely check them out at Booya.com. I will also be blogging at Lexingtonpr.com where I intern in pubic relations. I guess you can just expect everything.
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