Ally Kelly joined Vanguard as a communications associate and quickly impressed us with her can-do attitude, creative skills and bubbly personality. She was recently promoted to digital media manager and will join the Vanguard team full-time in September.
You recently graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in communication and gender women's studies. What inspired that combination?
Relevancy. Over my college career I changed my mind multiple times on what degree I wanted. However, as I explored classes in communication and gender women studies, I learned I had a drive to understand how the way individuals communicate with each other played a large role in how individuals treat each other. I found that both of my gender women study and communication classes at Western left me questioning social constructions in our society and challenged me to re-think the way things work. It left me thinking, why isn’t everyone learning about this? As someone who is now knowledgeable in both areas, I hope to use my education to enact change and build a better alliance between all people.
It’s a big transition from student life to professional life. How is that going?
I love it. Where my life is heading now is much different than when I was moving into a dorm my freshman year of college. However, that does not mean I am no longer a student; I am just a student in a different way. I am still continuing to learn the ins and outs of the professional world. There are some major adjustments to get used to but I know I am able to stay persistent in my growth as I move forward in my career.
What do you like about working at Vanguard?
The reason that stands out the most as to why I belong here is that this place of work lines up with my values and principles. The notable work at Vanguard gives me a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and honor. The fact that I am able to get hands-on experience with public relations and work with digital media fresh out of college is mind blowing and a huge achievement. Our progressive agenda and social advocacy allows me to feel like I am doing good work as a citizen of Michigan. Our leader is great. The team is great. The atmosphere is great. The work is great and I am just getting started.
What projects are you looking forward to working on?
I am most excited to share my ability to produce designing elements such as logos, infographics, and website layouts that showcase my creative side. I have always enjoyed constructing brand recognition, professionalism, and inventiveness through the use of graphics. Since I am a communications person, I love how an image can provide ideas that cannot be conveyed with words alone. On top of that, I look forward to enhancing my writing skills and growing as professional in a public relations environment.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Since I am an older sister to three amazing, younger siblings, I enjoy spending time with family in order to watch them develop and grow. My grandparents have a beautiful cottage on Long Lake in Orleans, Michigan where I love to relax and appreciate the outdoors. My friends are also a big part of my life. I love to fill my spare time with their presence and good company by going to the movies or getting a bite to eat. Additionally, I am a cat mom to a furry little gray cat named Zoe and even though she is a cat, I could end up spending a lot of my time with her.
What shows are you currently binge-watching?
It takes a lot for a show to hold my interest. It's really the only thing I am extremely picky about in life. But there is no doubt that you would catch me re-watching all of American Horror Story seasons on Netflix. I am obsessed with that show. I also cannot wait for the new season of Stranger Things. As you can tell, I am into the supernatural fiction genre.
Do you have a special talent we don’t know about?
Ever since I was in fifth grade I have had a passion for creative writing. Whether it is poetry, vignettes, short stories, even songs, I have always found myself gravitating toward writing as therapy and even for fun. I would say I am pretty good at it too. I have an artistic side as well. If you give me art supplies and tell me make something, the outcome might surprise you.
Describe yourself in five words
Thoughtful. Sociable. Dependable. Witty. Strong.