Inside OPR

Staff Spotlight – Ashley McDuffie

Summertime means sunscreen, road trips and patio time. In the Obsidian office, it’s also a time when we welcome college interns to our office for the summer! This year, our Level 1 intern, Ashley McDuffie, joins us from Mississippi State. As a rising senior, Ashley has high expectations for her summer internship. Learn more about her PR journey and time at MSU in this staff spotlight!

What drove you to study PR?

I honestly don’t know what drove me to decide to study PR. I have always wanted to be a wedding planner or do something with weddings, but I was also interested in branding and marketing. I don’t really think I knew exactly what PR was before deciding to major in it, but I thought it would be a great, very versatile major.

Why did you choose Mississippi State?

Both of my parents graduated from Mississippi State, so I have grown up an MSU fan my entire life. I knew from a very young age that that was where I wanted to attend college.  An official college visit there in the 11th grade sealed the deal and I knew Mississippi State was where I was meant to be.

What do you love about MSU?

I really love the easy-going, laid back atmosphere at MSU. I also love the people in the MSU and Starkville community. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. It has been so fun living in a small town because everyone knows everyone. I also love all the friends I have made while in school at MSU. I am surrounded by some of the funniest and sweetest people and it has been so fun to experience college together.

Is it hard having a sister who went to a rival school?

Not really. Because I went to my parents’ alma mater, I am absolutely the favorite child. Courtney and I are usually pretty cordial about our rival schools. However it gets a little sticky around Thanksgiving. Courtney and I like to mess around and poke fun at each other’s schools, however my dad thinks we’re serious and worries that we’re not getting along. We’ve just agreed not to discuss Mississippi football on Thanksgiving anymore. However, one year I did go to the Egg Bowl in Oxford with my sister and wore my Dak Prescott jersey in the middle of the Ole Miss student section.

What are you most looking forward to in your senior year?

Senior year, I really just want to embrace and enjoy everything. College goes by so quickly, I just want to enjoy every second of senior year.

What field or industry do you want to enter after graduation?

I have always been fascinated with the wedding industry, so I would love to do something with that. I also love music and entertainment so I could see myself doing PR in that field as well. Honestly, I am open and excited to see what opportunities are out there once I graduate!

Any fun vacations on the horizon?

I am going to the beach this weekend for my sister’s bachelorette party and in a couple of weeks I am going to New Orleans for a friend’s 21st birthday. I will probably go to the lake a few times this summer, which is the best vacation in my opinion. I am very excited for the fall and football season because I am the ultimate road dawg. I will travel anywhere to see MSU play! So far I’ve made my rounds in the SEC going to Baton Rouge, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, and Athens to watch the dawgs. This year I am excited to go to Lexington to watch the dawgs play Kentucky and back to Baton Rouge to watch the dawgs take on LSU in the infamous Tiger Stadium.

What advice do you have for PR majors entering college this fall?

My advice to future PR students is to really embrace and invest in this major. It really is so fun and interesting if you dive into it head first ready to learn.  Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions in class because that is how you learn! (I’m still taking this piece of advice myself)