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Scotlight: Ashleigh Best

What do you do on an everyday basis in your job?

Officially, I’m 60 percent student advising appointments, so that can either be one-on-one advising or group. The other 40 percent of my role is employer and alumni relations. My primary responsibility is to work with any employers who are reaching out to the College or seeking to connect students to internships or postgraduate opportunities. A component of what I do is  the CityTrek programs. 

What brought you to this job at Wooster? 

My first job after grad school was at Allegheny College where I fell in love with a liberal arts education, but it was like I had found my forever job a little too early in my career. I then worked down at University of North Carolina Greensboro, and eventually my husband and I got married and we had a child and I wanted to get home. I’m from Orville, Ohio, which is just 20 minutes from here. 

Back in Allegheny, I was in a smaller version of Advising Plannning and Experential Learning (APEX) that was focused on experiential learning and I loved how we collaborated, so the fact that APEX allowed me to get back into that world with this integrated advising model was awesome. It’s a bonus that I am 20 minutes from my family, so personally and professionally, it was a nice mix of what I was looking for.

After working at various places, is there anything in particular about Wooster students that you notice is different or that you particularly like working with? 

I think they are, generally speaking, very curious, asking really great questions and they’re bright. There’s a certain level of readiness in terms of being able to have thoughtful conversations. This is generalizing, but there tends to be this underlying commitment to some sense of purpose. It’s very rare that a student comes in and says, “I just want a job.” Usually it’s someone being driven by something deeper than that. 

What do you like to do with your daughters in your free time? 

One of my favorite things to do is to just go downtown on the square, and we just kind of hang out down there. I know people were kind of controversial about the gazebo going away but it gives us more space to hang. I usually go down to Sure House Coffee Roasting Co. and get a coffee and they just kind of walk around and typically stay away from the road. 

What do you like best about living in the town of Wooster? 

I grew up here and Wooster is so different than when I was younger. When I was younger, we had nothing. I know you feel like you have nothing in Wooster but the fact that you have a Panera and Starbucks is huge! 

I like going somewhere and knowing people. I like feeling like people know my kids and that there’s a support network with that. I like that there’s this balance between this quaintness of downtown but then we still have some of the resources now of bigger box stores on the north end. What I think is cool is that on a Saturday, when it’s nice out, it’s busy downtown, and it will be busy on the north end, and it feels like we’re living in this little vibrant community. 

Interview by Eleanor Linafelt, a Chief Copy Editor for the Voice (Photo by Toshiko Tanaka).

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