Ashton Phillips was relaxing at home when news broke of Lamar Odom’s trade from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Dallas Mavericks. As a senior strategic communications major at UNT’s Mayborn School of Journalism, Ashton recognized a rare opportunity.
“The minute I heard the news of Lamar being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, I instantly knew I wanted to try and catch their attention,” she says of Odom and his reality-star wife, Khloe Kardashian. Ashton quickly created a blog called Khloe and Lamar’s Dallas Assistant and promoted it on Facebook and Twitter.
“With my degree in Strat Comm (Advertising and PR) as well as my minor and three years experience as a Marketing Communications Coordinator, I could not only assist, but project manage all of the insanity that comes with Khloe and Lamar’s careers,” she wrote on the blog.
Her endeavor quickly captured the public’s attention. Her site garnered 1500 hits within 24 hours and she soon found herself on NBCDFW.com. “Just to have that printout in my portfolio made me satisfied with the entire endeavor,” she says.
News of her campaign continued to spread and she soon heard from people all over the U.S. – from New York City to New Orleans – who were interested in her tale of an audacious job application.
“This was my little 15 minutes,” Ashton says.
She thanks her professors at the Mayborn for inspiring her, especially Senior Lecturer Peter Noble and Associate Professor Jim Albright.
“[Professor Noble] just really keeps up with current events,” she says, noting that he goes to great lengths to engage his students.
“[Professor Albright] just astonishes all of us by…how much he knows,” she says.
Ashton chose to attend UNT so she could remain close to family and study in one of the largest media markets in the country. “Everything’s here for me,” she says.
She plans to become an account manager or planner when she graduates in May, and she dreams of leading a major company’s social media, strategic thinking and web strategy.
Thanks to Ashton’s achievements thus far, that dream may be approaching reality. Her former boss, Nancy Lecroy, the former VP of marketing at Beryl Companies in Bedford, Texas, said she would hire Ashton no matter where she was.
And as Ashton prepares for graduation this May, she continues to forge new paths in the media industry. “I [continue] to advocate Twitter. If you know how to leverage it…the Internet makes advertising such a small world.”