Getting Personal

Post-Graduation Feels: Lessons in Adulthood

Timehop has quickly entered the running for my favorite app. Every morning, I read the Skimm, check my inbox, and open up the yellow dinosaur to see what it was I did in the past 10 years on this same date. Most of the time, I’ll see a picture of my dog (obviously a great sign), some college shenanigans, and a Facebook status from the days of “Ashley Glatz is…”

This time of year, however, I see the constant reminder that I graduated from the University of Missouri’s award-winning Journalism school, a semester early, and with honors. The Missouri Method lives in newsrooms across the country, while I sit in my less-than-expected sales role. It’s a rude reminder that my hopes and dreams of becoming the next Erin Andrews or leading the charge for Disney’s global advertising remain just that, dreams.

From the moment I turned 13, I jumped at the opportunity to write for the school paper. In high school, I was promoted to Sports Editor, then Layout Editor. I didn’t even apply for another college – I knew I was going to be a Tiger, and thanks to my high ACT scores, I was placed into the program as a freshman. When I first stepped foot on campus in the summer of 2005 for journalism camp, I knew I found my home. Two summers later, I went to campus for Summer Welcome, where I first heard Profession Cyndi Frisby introduce the idea of “Strategic Communications” – a subsection of the program that taught students about the world of public relations and advertising. As someone who watched the Super Bowl for the ads only, I felt this was my best shot in the successful career I was imagining.

The next 3.5 years were some of my best. You can read that later.

After graduation, I took the first job I was offered – an associate media planner role at an agricultural agency in the city. My first day of work saw 2.5 inches of snow, along with my first “I can’t come in” email thanks to my beloved Mitsubishi Eclipse. Overall, I lasted 6 months. Sorry Professor Frisby – media planning was not for me.

The next three years saw a variety of industry-adjacent jobs, with a focus on social media. I landed a job at the top PR firm in St. Louis, a company that was proactively shoved down my throat during my last three semesters of my program, and gave me the best experience I could ask for over the last three years.

Here again, life happened, and we moved across the country. More on that at a later time. (Seriously. I need to write something about it. It was kind of a big deal).

Looking back now, I’m not sure I would have changed anything, but I would have enjoyed the following pieces of advice:

  1. Adulthood is hard. I don’t know if I thought it would be easy, but when I stepped off the stage at graduation I definitely didn’t think it’d be like this. There are amazing things and horrible things that merge together for a crazy intersection of tears, laughs and growth. Appreciate it, but don’t expect it to be simple.
  2. There is no perfect job. Someone once told me “your job will never fill you up,” and I wish they told me sooner. What matters most is your family, your health, your friends, your hobbies. Not your 9-to-5.
  3. Introduce yourself to alumni. Coming home from the grocery store the other night, I saw a car drive by with a familiar looking license plate cover. I got uncomfortably close to the car to realize it indeed said “Missouri Tigers,” before deciding against honking and screaming M-I-Z across the way. However, it brought me great joy to know that 1,315 miles away from Columbia, MO, there was another person who knew the words to Old Missouri. Plus, without it, I’m not sure I would have been hired at two of my previous jobs. The Mizzou Mafia runs strong.
  4. Lean on each other. I’m a firm believer in the quarter-life crisis, and I’m not the only one. This is why happy hours and brunches and text messages were invented – to be able to communicate with others living similar but different lives. Utilize them.
  5. Don’t stop dreaming big. Why do we stop asking “what do you want to be when you grow up?” At 28, I’m still not entirely sure I know the answer. I know what I’m passionate about – I’m just not sure what path will lead me there. Luckily, I’ve got another 37 years until retirement to figure it out.

Cheers to the class of 2017, and an extra *clink* for those who came before them.

Getting Personal

Greek Pride


Sitting in my graduate class at a small, not very Greek college, I overhear a few students talking about Greek life, and who hazes and what they went through and how their chapter at another school (my alma mater, no less) were “totally snobby.” The room got quiet, and the guy laughed it off and spoke much quieter about his opinions. Good idea, bro.

I was a sorority girl. I am proud that I was a sorority girl. The friendships I made in Alpha Phi are deeper than any I had formed before, and on any given day you’ll see my O Ring, symbolizing my Omicron chapter at the University of Missouri. So yes, I get I credibly offended when I hear others bad mouth Greek life. So let’s clear some things up:

Do sororities and fraternities haze? I don’t know. Mine did not – as new members, we were treated like princesses. But all it takes is one screw up to ruin it for the rest of us.

Didn’t you just pay for friends? Maybe. I paid for a community to belong to; for the confidence to walk around a campus of 30,000 and know I wasn’t alone. I paid to live in a mansion with 80 of my closest friends. I paid for sisterhood events, socials and homecoming decorations (that I also spent hours on). And I promise, not a dime was wasted or regretted.

Well, all you do is party. Yep, partied so hard I graduated with honors a semester early from the best journalism school in the country. Oh, wait…

Look, I’m not going to tell you to join Greek life. It’s not for everyone. But for the lucky few, it’s more than a few Greek symbols on a sweatshirt, or hours spent pomping a house dec(oration). It’s a history of tradition, community and pride.

Would you walk into the Big House talking about how Michigan is overrated? No? Then don’t speak badly about Greeks – you never know when one is down the aisle.


This Is How You Do Advertising: Monsters University & Nike

I love great advertising. Plain and simple. And the Monsters University spot shown during the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl this past week is just that: great.

It fit in SO well with the college football experience (I have teared up at the Mizzou spot a time or two), and the website is fantastic. Plus, it’s Disney-Pixar. They can’t screw up in my mind.

Also this week, Nike released what might as well be ad of the year (to hockey fans, at least).

Is hockey really Nike’s? Not in America. But dammit, it’s not the NHL’s. And the fact that Steve Stamkos is holding a fish and Ovechkin is just hanging out, speaking Russian in Russia is fabulous.

What ads are you crushing over in 2013?

Getting Personal

Journalism: My First True Love

The glory days of journalism, when all you needed was a pad of paper and a typewriter.

I stumbled upon this killer Pinterest board this morning thanks to my former teacher & mentor Mr. Mitch Eden. Scrolling through pages of layout designs and visuals made me remember what really fueled my passion five years ago when I was accepted into the Mizzou School of Journalism – the desire to make a difference.

As an 8th grade student at Oakville Middle School, I already knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life – I was going to be a journalist. Whether I was writing for the back page of Sports Illustrated or designing layouts for Cosmopolitan, I wanted to be first in line with my notebook and recorder. I soared through writing papers and joined the school newspaper team as soon as I could. Playing around after school finding funny things to print seemed so juvinille, but I loved it.

I entered high school on cloud nine, hearing only the best about the Prowl newspaper. After waiting the necessary year, I signed up immediately for Journalism 1 and became entranced with Rick Reilly articles and principles of reporting. I knew I found my niche. That December issue of the Prowl was my first published work – an article about the 2005 NHL Lockout and how it affected fans and local players. It’s still one of my favorite articles.

The following year I took on the role of sports editor. Lucky for me, I went to a school with a pretty killer hockey team, so I was able to pitch stories and assign writers for our State Champion Tigers and more. I wrote the first Prowl article about Facebook, the quiet, college social network that was expanding into high schools. OK – I failed at predicting the future, but I learned the tricks and tips it took to become a real writer.

Towards the end of my junior year, I was pumped to start the following year of the Prowl. My best friend Jackie was Editor In Chief, and I was layout editor. It was going to be the best year yet, until Eden dropped a bomb – “I’m taking a position with Kirkwood.” I’m not sure what emotion took over more in room 234 – shock, disbelief or silent. The man who helped fuel my passion was leaving during the most crucial year of my career (or so I thought). Still, there is no one I respect more.

Senior year began and the Prowl was published as planned. I was unable to be in the Journalism class due to scheduling conflicts, yet I was in room 234 a whopping  14 + hours a week developing layouts, articles and even Yearbook pages. It was this time that I began writing columns – the prequel to Sorry I’m Not Sorry and Glatz & Glamour if you will.

I applied to the one and only University of Missouri without a doubt in my mind, and was admitted to the Journalism school immediately. I took a turn along the way, studying Strategic Communication, however I still learned plenty in my Principles of Journalism class and reporting. I even took a dream position with Inside Hockey covering my St. Louis Blues.

As I sit at my desk, writing up a document on the network I never thought would make it back in 2006, I hope that my passion hasn’t completely died. After all, you’re never too old to dream, right? Who knows, maybe you’ll see my shining face gracing the back page of Sports Illustrated someday.

Parks Picks

Top 5: Things I’m Most Excited for in February.

Although this is the month I cannot spell to save my life (seriously, I’m shocked my spell checker doesn’t pop up a box that says “Seriously, it’s not that hard.”), I’ve got some good things going this month that I must share.

1. DGB signs with Mizzou: OK – This just happened like 30 minutes ago, but it’s pretty awesome that my alma mater got the #1 recruit in the nation, Dorial Green-Beckham. That will be quite a way to start our first season in the SEC off!

2. Visiting Antique Archaeology in Nashville: Does anyone else watch American Pickers? These guys are hilarious, and they find the most interesting things throughout the country to sell at their stores in Iowa and Nashville. And lucky for me – I get to go to the Nashville store! I doubt we’ll come home with an Indian, but you can bet I’ll be proudly wearing my tee!

3. St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators: This is the real reason we’re heading to Nashville this weekend. I’ve been to an away Cardinals game at Pittsburgh, but the rivalry wasn’t there. The Blues and Nashville have just one point separating them in the West. Plus, I’ve got a Backes jersey to wear (with cowboy boots – don’t judge) and a strange urge to hear “I like it, I love it.” But only once.

4. Super Bowl XVIII: If you’re thinking, “why does she care about the game?” You’re completely right – I don’t. But I do love the ads! The ones I’ve seen so far have been awesome, and I can’t wait for more.

5. Valentine’s Day! I know, I know. Completely cheesy, but I like it! Plus, I picked up a super cute dress from Express that I’m dying to wear.

So what are you looking forward to most in February? Any leap year babies? Hopefully it’s a great month for all!