During this time of the year, Aria is heavily involved in tradeshow outreach, an activity that encourages us to collaborate with colleagues outside of our account teams. While in collaboration mode, I wanted to keep the conversation going and get to know our newest Senior Account Executive, Ashley Richardson, a little better.
Anisa: Hi Ashley, thanks for “sitting down” with me! As a start, could you share where you are from and where you live now?
Ashley: I’m from Pensacola, FL and I now live in Apollo Beach, FL.
Anisa: Great to have another colleague from Florida! What about school – which did you attend and what was your major?
Ashley: I went to the University of South Florida and majored in Mass Communication.
Anisa: Sounds like you had a great sense of your career plans early on, and I understand that you have strong PR industry experience as well. What draws you to healthcare IT, specifically, and what invigorates you within the world of PR at large?
Ashley: Healthcare IT is interesting in that it’s so broad, yet it touches most of us in many ways. I like that it’s an industry in which I feel like we, and our clients, are really making an impact in people’s everyday lives. What invigorates me is positive feedback from clients; I love hearing that they’re happy with the work we’re producing for them.
Anisa: I know that travel is really important to you and you have been on some great trips thus far. Exactly how many countries have you visited?
Ashley: I’ve been to 14 countries so far (Iceland, Japan, Norway, Denmark, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Dominican Republic, Germany, the Bahamas, Greece, Mexico, and Switzerland). And many more to come! Over the next couple of years, I’m planning to travel to New Zealand for my honeymoon, then France, South Korea, and Italy.
Anisa: Wow, that’s quite a list! What has been your favorite country to visit thus far? And why?
Ashley: This is SUCH a hard question to answer! It’s really a tie between Japan and Ireland. What I love most about Japan is the food (of course), but also how clean and orderly life is there. Everything has its place, it’s spotless (you’ll never see garbage on the street) and everything is super punctual. With Ireland, the people are so friendly and welcoming that it feels like a second home to me. I’ve been there twice and can’t wait to go back; it’s one of the few countries I could see myself moving to in the future. It’s also incredibly beautiful, which I feel we don’t get to see enough of. Ireland is so much more than pubs and Temple Bar. The countryside is breathtaking.
Anisa: Have you learned any important lessons through travel or discovered anything surprising?
Ashley: I feel like I’ve learned so many lessons through traveling, especially because most of my travel has been solo. Fending for myself and figuring things out on the fly are skills I’ve picked up over the years. One thing that has surprised me though, is how similar we all are; yes, there are cultural differences everywhere you go, but at our core, people are the same regardless of the language we speak, and the lives that we lead.
Anisa: Jumping back into the States. What’s your go-to comfort food?
Ashley: A slice of NY-style cheese pizza.
Anisa: How about one movie that you’ll never get tired of rewatching?
Ashley: This is a tough question and one you’d probably get a different answer to any other day of the week; but if I have to pick one, it’d be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Anisa: What’s your best productivity trick?
Ashley: I have a hard time working in total silence, but I also can’t have anything too disruptive playing in the background, or I get distracted. So, my compromise is to play classical music. I find an hours-long YouTube video or Spotify playlist and have it playing while I need to be head down working.
Anisa: If I asked your friends to describe you in three words, what would they say?
Ashley: Dependable, laid-back, and adventurous.
Anisa: If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?
Ashley: Acting! I’ve always wanted to be an actor and plan to start taking classes soon.
Anisa: If you could only have three apps on a smartphone, which would you pick?
Ashley: Spotify, YouTube, and Yelp
Anisa: Final question. What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?
Ashley: Probably my stubbornness; I think it’s a good quality to have in the PR world because you’re often up against tight deadlines, unresponsive reporters and other obstacles that can make it difficult to get the result you’re looking for. Being able to keep going and push past those barriers is invaluable.
At Aria, we are always looking for passionate PR professionals to join our talented team. If you are interested in the flexibility of working from home while supporting healthcare IT clients who are transforming the industry, consider joining the Aria team. You’ll also enjoy our expanding offering of great perks like anniversary incentives, Summer Fridays, and working with a collaborative team that values a healthy work/life balance. Please email your resumé to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.