Ashley Barnes, 24, does not know what adventure life may bring, but she is enjoying the ride. A woman of many talents, this 2011 Communication Studies graduate is the Social Media Coordinator for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. This Coalition is a non-profit organization founded by Rev. Jesse Jackson to address social injustices, civil rights and political concerns of under represented communities. She also moonlights as a co-host on WVON 1690 AM. Additionally she is co-owner of Ipsum Chicago Social Media Marketing, which provides social media marketing to small businesses and non profit organizations in Chicago.
Compass: Can you describe your work with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
Ashley Barnes: I’m the social media coordinator. I control and maintain all our social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter and I post on the blog. Our organization works with a range of people from senators to the homeless. All these people are coming to a common place to problem solve which is valuable and I interact with them daily.
Compass: What is the hardest part of your job?
AB: Seeing hurtful posts about the organization and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. It’s a mean world out there and I’m the first line of defense when people post these mean spirited comments.
Compass: How did you obtain your job?
AB: I volunteered here and the Rainbow PUSH needed someone to maintain their social media accounts. So I got the job because I had knowledge of marketing, public relations and broadcasting, which I learned at Loyola.
Compass: How did you choose Loyola?
Compass: What are your fondest memories of Loyola?
AB: Finding what I wanted to do with my life. I took a research class and became a research assistant under Professor Lee Hood. I used to want do broadcasting but you know how sometimes you don’t take dreams seriously. The SOC changed how I looked at my degree and opportunities.
Compass: What advice would you give graduating students?
AB: I would say intern and volunteer as much as you can. It may be unpleasant at first but it allows you to gain more skills. Also, take advantage of the networking opportunities. They may lead you to employment referrals or considerations.
Compass: If your life were a movie what would be the title?
AB: (Laughing) It Never Stops! I’m always busy but it’s a good happy busy.
Compass: Would you like your daughter to go to Loyola?
AB: Yes, I went to Loyola, had fun and good experiences. If she wanted to go too, I would support her no matter what. I adore the School of Communication because it got me on the path I am today and gave me the skills to do many jobs in communication.