Ashley Osborne, the bubbly, quirky and bright soul, is the person you want to know if you want to explore all things photography, art and entertainment. Osbourne is a December 2015 graduate of Ohio University and has proved to all the haters that it is possible to pursue not one, but all of your passions.
The Middletown, Ohio native is currently working as a consultant for boss girl, Jess Weiner in Los Angeles. It is here that she helps create content for Weiner’s blog, producing podcast scripts, and other tasks related to digital media and production. But luckily, Osborne has also been able to set aside time for herself to still feed her other hobbies and interests, such as producing art of her own, photography, and dance.
Los Angeles, California via Instagram
I first met Ashley through a mutual friend when I was a sophomore. I had attended an event she put on called #OhioConnect, put on by Amplified, an organization Osborne helped create and presided over. This event featured young professionals on a panel discussing their careers. But perhaps the first thing that I noticed when I met Ashley was her energy and ability to help put on a program that clearly required so much hardwork and dedication. She was energetic and full of excitement even in the midst of being busy. But what I found baffling was that her love for life and the unknown is how she always is. She remains an optimistic person, and most importantly a goal digger even when she is fortunate enough to be where she is.
The Well, Los Angeles via Instagram
Since arriving in the City of Angels, beautiful LA, Osborne has had two jobs at two very different settings. While both have been jobs in media and digital production, she found that her most recent job has been the best fit.
Her previous job was creating digital media for an entertainment brand, but she found it just wasn’t a good environment and culture for her. Because she felt it didn’t value creativity as much, she decided to leave, and that is when she began working for her current boss, Jess Weiner, whom she feels is a much better fit due to the fact that they share many of the same values.
Jess Weiner, a public speaker, entrepreneur, and author, has served as an ambassador for brands such as Dove for their Beauty campaign, and has long been an advocate for social and cultural change, especially for young women. Her site jessweiner.com is where you can find most of the content and contributions that Ashley has also helped produce.
As far as developing herself professionally, outside of her job as a social media producer, she has taken on photography, art and dance, all avenues of self expression that have made her unique, but also quite marketable in digital media.
“My title is social media but I do so much more, all around I would call myself an artist,” Osborne says.
Hudson Loft, Los Angeles via Instagram
I asked Ashley a few questions about what it’s like to not only have a new job, but to be in a completely new city across the country. Often times, we’re afraid to move far out because of the close relationships we have with our loved ones, but she provides insight on not only her professional journey, but her personal one as well.
SXSW, Austin, Texas via Instagram
What is your favorite part about being in this field?
“My passion lies in having more positive representation of women of color in media, I think representation is so important. It shapes not only how we see the world, but how we see ourselves. If you grow up without seeing someone who doesn’t look like you won‘t feel a connection, or it may have a negative effect on your self esteem. That’s why I like being in media because I get to create. I think when I was growing up I didn’t see a lot of people who looked like me, and if they were they weren’t showing [audiences] the full scope. Black Women are multi-dimensional. That’s why its very important that I create.”
NOHO Arts District, Los Angeles via Instagram
How has post–grad life been so far?
“Honestly it has been great. College is so restricting in a sense. It‘s good for learning how to take care of responsibilities, but it can be very Eurocentric, and I hate being graded. I like that now I can make what I want and know that if you don’t like it I won’t be penalized, other than my job. I have the freedom to do what I want. I love not being in school. I think it’s a good ticket, [and] I would not be where I am today without it, but I’m glad that it’s over. I think it’s helpful to feel that freedom. You can move across the country, you can move across the world. I like feeling like the world is open and I can make whatever decision I want to make.”
The Grove, Los Angeles via Instagram
Do you feel as if you have to have a degree in this field to receive the maximum amount of opportunities?
“I believe anything is possible. There are plenty of people who went to school and dropped out. Sometimes I feel like when you don’t go to school, you‘re forced to make things happen on your own. School or no school I think you have opportunities. With school you get more time to figure it out, but that doesn’t automatically get you a ticket. I think a degree helps if you want to get into management, but if you want to be a creator, you don’t have to have a degree. A degree is a bonus accolade. Anything is possible in the field of media, especially now since people are able to make their own media. You [just] have to be self-motivated.”
Los Angeles Trade-Technical College via Instagram
Do you have any advice for graduating students? And what advice do you have for other college students who are looking to pursue a career in your field?
“For graduating students, I would say don’t stress too much. I had a lot of anxiety, because I had so much I wanted to do. Whatever is going to happen to you is going to be the best for you, the other part of me was used to being a go-getter. After graduation, I worked at Starbucks, just to keep working. I went through anxiety (senior year), but didn’t let it weigh my down. Don’t be so anxious about the next move. Look at all you’ve accomplished by graduating. Whatever is coming, has already happened.”
L.A. Live, Los Angeles via Instagram
“For other college students, I would say pay attention to the things that interest you naturally. Even if you don’t know exactly, we’re all pre-filled with a purpose. Create your own experiences; the internships may not always fulfill what you have in mind. That is so much more valuable than working at anyone’s office. I encourage everyone to do that in college because you do have the resources and the equipment, but some people completely overlook that. Nowadays in media, you have to create your own stuff and have your own personal brand.”
SXSW, Austin Texas via Instagram, Photos by Ashley Osbourne
Is there anything you know now that you wish you could tell a younger Ashley?
“That it’s okay to be crazy and weird. I feel like I’ve always been crazy and tried to tone it down and change who I was, but then in college I realized who I am isn’t going away so I need to love it. Take the time in college to try to get to know yourself. Dig deeper into your interests. Even if you don’t have it all the way. Use this time in college to get to know yourself, or start to get to know yourself.”