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Ashleigh Sorrell Rose

Sociology & Criminal Justice, 2007


Director of Campaign Operations, United Way of Central Oklahoma

Briefly describe your career path. 

I started as the Assistant Director of Project Transformation during my last semester at OCU. About eleven months later, I was given the opportunity to serve as Executive Director. I served in that capacity for about 2.5 years before I left to focus my attention on fund development. 

At the Oklahoma Brain Tumor Foundation, I was privileged to work in honor of a dear childhood friend who had lost their battle with a brain tumor. After OKBTF I had the opportunity to join the staff at United Way.  I had interned at United Way as a high school student and fell in love with their mission. I knew I wanted to come back some day, and in 2010 I was given that opportunity. I started as the Director of Research, where I spent a lot of time writing and, well, researching community needs. Then I transitioned to the Director of the United Way of Logan County and had the opportunity to lead a "mini" United Way and all that it entails—separate campaign, separate community investment process, separate board of directors, etc. 

I transitioned to my current position about two years ago and love it. I supervise part of our resource development team, oversee our online giving, and manage the logistical details that come with raising $19+ million dollars.

Describe what an average day looks like. 

I have the daily opportunity to dabble in a variety of things and help people at the same time. I'm learning that the more responsibility I'm given, the less time I have to focus on "my" job duties and the more time I spend coaching others -- and I love it. I also spend a lot of time speaking to a variety of audiences across central Oklahoma about United Way and our Partner Agencies, and the needs that exist in our community.

What advice would you give your college self about pursuing work in your current industry? 

Seek out more mentors in your field. Take a finance class while you're still in college!

You'll be happier and more fulfilled if you stick to what you care about the most.

What is a lesson learned at OKCU that you have been able to apply to your career? 

Being selective about the things I spend my limited spare time doing. Or, choosing to do just those things that I'm really passionate about, and not everything that comes my way because it might look good on my resume. You'll be happier and more fulfilled if you stick to what you care about the most.

What is the most significant thing that’s happened to you since graduating? 

I've had a couple of opportunities that I've felt were significant. Being the Executive Director of a nonprofit (albeit a tiny one) was a huge opportunity for me that I still can't believe I was given. I was so green! So inexperienced! It shaped me as a professional and really helped me understand my weaknesses and strengths. 

I've also had the opportunity to be the program co-chair for Youth In Action, a program of Leadership Oklahoma City's Youh Leadership Exchange. I was in the same program as a high school student, and that's how I was able to intern at United Way as a teenager. I credit that program, and the people I met as a result of my involvement in it, with getting me where I am today. To be given the opportunity to go back to the program as an adult co-chair and pay it forward was a tremendous gift.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

Leading a nonprofit. Mentoring young professionals and/or high school students. Encouraging my daughter to be strong, independent, and compassionate to others.

What is your favorite OKCU memory? 

Meeting my husband for the first time at a picnic table outside of Banning Hall. Working in Financial Aid with BrieAnn Johnson. And, just about any day in Amy Cataldi's or Lloyd Musselman's classes produced great memories.