Ashley Drayton, a graduating Print Journalism major and English minor, is one of the reasons that you are able to read this article today! In November of 2014, Ashley, along with Chinelo Okona, came up with idea to bring Her Campus to GSU and it has been flourishing ever since! As we say farewell to our last founding Campus Correspondent, let’s get a sneak peak into who she actually is! Meet Ashley!
HC: What made you choose GSU?
AD: Originally, funny story, I was going to Georgia Southern… but that didn’t work out and I applied to Georgia State as like my last choice. It was literally April of 2011 and I was so stressed out because I hadn’t applied to anywhere else, but I found out that I got accepted to Georgia State and I was super excited. I really applied because it was in the city. I’m a city girl at heart and I figured it would be fun, so I decided to come here.
HC: You are one of the co-founders of our chapter, what made you bring Her Campus to GSU?
AD: It was literally 1:00 in the morning during Thanksgiving break last year. I was on LinkedIn for some reason and I saw a girl who had Her Campus on her profile and I was like, “Oh, what is that?” I looked it up, looked around to see what type of articles they did and to learn about it a little bit more and then I saw you could start your own chapter at different schools. I saw that there wasn’t a Her Campus chapter at Georgia State, so I got really excited. At first I was hesitant on trying to bring it here because I had never charted anything or been president of anything before, but something told me to just go for it. So I asked one of my amazing friends, Chinelo Okona, to see if she was interested in it, since she is also interested in fashion and editorial and she’s a blogger, as well as I. I thought she would be perfect for it. I sent it to her, she loved it. We did the application and 2 months later Her Campus GSU was born in January and officially launched in February. I mainly wanted to do it because I’m a Journalism major with a concentration in print and I specifically want to go into magazine, but Georgia State doesn’t have anything specifically for that. So I figured bringing Her Campus to Georgia State would help me personally as well as college women who love blogging and magazine would benefit from it; as well to get writing experience outside of the classroom.
HC: What have you enjoyed most being Campus Correspondent for Her Campus GSU?
AD: I would say meeting all of the girls that have joined this semester and Spring semester. Seeing how much it has evolved and how much we have done so far, it has been exciting. I love it when people come up to me and they are like, “ohhh, you’re the girl with Her Campus.” It’s weird because I don’t like attention, but it makes me smile when people tell me that they like the articles, they like the website, they like what we are doing. It makes it all worth it!
HC: What has been your most memorable moment while being Campus Correspondent?
AD: I think it would be between achieving a campus level our first semester within our first two months of being a chapter and meeting Her Campus president, Windsor Western. Those would have to be my highlights of the whole year.
HC: What lessons has being Campus Correspondent for Her Campus GSU taught you?
AD: I would definitely say I have to continue to learn to let other people help out because I am definitely the one to do everything. I always want everything to be perfect. When I have a vision I need it to go the way I see it. However, being CC for our chapter taught me it might not go the way I think, but in the end everything is going to work out fine. It was stressful in the beginning, but Chinelo was definitely the more calm one. She helped me out with everything and did an amazing job. She would tell me, “Ash I got it. If you need any help tell me.” She was always saying little things like that to make sure I was okay. Another lesson was to be patient. I’ve always been impatient. I had to learn to be patient with growth and being patient with the girls that were writing and making sure that they gained something out of it, and that they were comfortable with writing.
HC: In addition to Her Campus GSU, what else have you been involved in on campus?
AD: I was involved in a lot actually. I started getting involved my sophomore year, which I kind of wish I started freshman year. I was told don’t get involved my freshman year because everyone older than me would say feel out Georgia State, don’t rush into anything too soon, and get a good jumpstart on your classes. But honestly, I could have started getting involved in things a long time ago. I started off as a volunteer for Campus Events when they were here and then I went to the Membership Committee the next year for Campus Events. I was involved in PRSSA and I was also on the e-board. My Junior year I joined Spotlight and I’ve been on the Membership Committee for 2 years, I was a fashion director for Entermediate, and recently became a Fall 2015 initiate of the ‘Enchanting’ Eta Mu Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
HC: What other organization has give you lesson that you will take into your life after graduation?
AD: Definitely Spotlight. Spotlight is the biggest organization that puts on all of the social events on campus. It definitely taught me how to put on events, how to work events, what goes into the details of having an event and watching it all unfold was very exciting. It definitely made me learn how to work with a huge team as well as making it feel like home.
HC: What has been your most memorable moment at GSU?
AD: My most memorable moment would definitely be becoming a woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. It is something that I have wanted for a very long time and it was such a joy seeing something that I really wanted actually becoming a reality. Gaining so many sisters and joining a sorority has been the highlight of my college career.
HC: Who have been your role models or most influential people in your college career?
AD: I would definitely say Avien Gober. He is my spotlight committee director and is the current VP of Spotlight. We’ve worked together for 3 years now. We were together in Campus Events and we both made the move over to Spotlight. He’s become one of my best friends. You’ll always see us together, pretty much we’re the dynamic duo when working together. Everyone knows we are each other’s right hand. Avien has always been there for me. He has always been there giving me advice, motivating me, and helping me with anything I need and vice versa. He’s done an amazing job at everything he has done here at GSU. His spirit is amazing and is definitely a personality that I needed in my life to help me to continue to grow and get out of comfort zone and shell, and make an actual impact here at Georgia State.
HC: What are your plans after graduation?
AD: Well, I hope to get into the editorial industry. I want to become an editor of a fashion magazine and eventually move to Los Angeles in a few years. For right now I’m in retail gaining fashion experience, weighing my options and hoping for the best.
HC: What is your end goal?
AD: My end goal is definitely to become one of the most recognized fashion editors in the fashion industry. My idol is Shiona Turini, she’s a fashion editor and she is my biggest idol in this industry and in this position. I look up to her and follow everything she does. I definitely want to work my way up to her level.
HC: What motivates you to reach your end goal?
AD: The fact that I am perfectionist and I’m too high maintenance to not be successful. I’m very hard working. Everything I set a goal for I reach for it with full potential, and once my mind is stuck on something I don’t stop until I get it.
HC: How do you want people at GSU to remember you?
AD: Mainly when you hear Ashley Drayton, I want GSU to remember be as the girl who was always smiling, always talking and getting to know people. Always involved, a very hard worker with a great personality.
HC: Where do you hope to see Her Campus GSU go after your departure?
AD: I want it to continue to serve the purpose of the reason of why I brought it here. I want it to grow even bigger. I want Her Campus GSU to be one of the most popular organizations on campus. I want it to be very successful on and off campus. I want it to go viral and be well known outside Atlanta and Georgia State. I also want it to be one of the top chapters for Hercampus.com
HC: What advice do you have for aspiring leaders on campus?
AD: I would say just go for it. Go for whatever you put your mind to. Fun fact: I’m an introvert, so having all these leadership positions really has surprised me. My freshman I was to myself. I had one best friend and we did everything together, it was just me and her. We would go to class and hang out on campus, but it was always just me and her. But growing out of my shell, meeting new people and working up to leadership positions definitely shaped me into the woman that I am aspiring to be. I would say go for what you want. Make a goal list. Write everything down. Don’t stop until you get it. Don’t let others deter you from it. Listen to your heart because your intuition will never steer you wrong.
HC: What is your favorite quote that you live by?
AD: Matthew 7:7 “Continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you.
Favorite Artist? Top 3: J. Cole, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar, but J. Cole is definitely my number one.
Favorite TV Show? Teen Wolf
Favorite Color? Pink
Favorite Restaurant? Tin Lizzy’s
Favorite Past Time? Going to the movies.