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Ashly Cox

Marketing & Graphics Coordinator at Missouri National Guard

Master's in Organizational Management

Graduated in 2018

Explain your career path

My career path has been full-time military since 2011. I serve full-time in the Missouri National Guard, and I absolutely love it. I couldn't imagine working for another organization right now, nor could I imagine another organization I would like to spend my time and energy, improving and making better.

What was your major at Southeast and what led you to that?

I received a Master's of Science in Organizational Management. I want to be an effective leader and impact positive change in the lives of others, especially in the military.

Why did you choose to attend Southeast?

I chose Southeast because I got hired on by the Missouri National Guard's new program: Guard Officer Leadership Development (GOLD). I was considered an employee of the university, as well as a technician for the Department of Defense (DOD), and was referred to as (what the Army likes to call) a "green-suiter". This means that I wear the uniform, even though I'm employed by the DOD, and still have 1-weekend a month drilling requirements for the National Guard. This is all while completing my normal GOLD program duties. I decided to enroll in school for my Masters at SEMO, since I was working there and originally intended to live in Cape Girardeau for a while.

Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?

I think that my supervisor that originally hired me (Tyson Mele), who was the GOLD program Officer In Charge (OIC) inspired me. He also inspired me to leave that job whenever a higher calling presented itsself. Additionally, the staff at the Military & Veterans Outreach center (especially Amanda Woods), as well as my instructors and adviser (Erin Fluegge).

Share your best college memory.

My best college memory honestly has to be walking across the stage. Although I was an online student, I still wanted to make the four hour drive. Not many people in my family achieved a Bachelor's degree, so I did not want to pass up the humbling opportunity to accept my Masters. Additionally, I focused and stayed on top of my studies despite the stressors of the military, and achieved a 4.0.

What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?

The most important thing I learned while at Southeast is that you are in charge of your life. If you do not try to achieve greatness, you will not achieve it.

Describe Southeast in three words.

Great Customer Service

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

My greatest professional accomplishment would be an assortment of initiatives I've started as a marketing coordinator for the National Guard. Additionally, becoming a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) has also been a goal of mine. I achieved my CPT status immediately following graduation of my Masters.

How did your education at Southeast prepare you for what you are doing today?

My education at Southeast prepared me for the changes in my organization I'm trying to facilitate. It also prepared me for the research I'm doing, how to properly conduct surveys, and how to apply the information I've learned in a strategic manner.

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?

If still in class, I would say to put your studies first, but also put you first. Most of my "days requested off" at work, were to find my "zen" again, or to work on my studies. I had a goal of 4.0 and I achieved it because of my hard work, my time management, and prioritizing myself and school above other things.

What do you wish you had known before graduating and entering the "real world"?

This does not really apply to me, as I am active duty and was before attending school.


(573) 651-2154
Memorial 208A

College of Humanities and Social Sciences
One University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701