Profiles of Tenacity: Ireland Ashburn

Students pose at a clothing swap event.
Ireland Ashburn (fourth from left) combines her love of sustainability and communications through Fair Fashion at UGA. (Photos: submitted)

Profiles of Tenacity: Ireland Ashburn

February 15, 2024

Fourth-year advertising student Ireland Ashburn is passionate about fashion and creativity. She enjoys the community she has cultivated through campus organizations and Grady College programming.

Why did you choose your major?

Picture this: you’re a high school theatre kid and no one wants to come watch your shows. It’s sad, I know. So, I decided I had to do something and started to create all the promotional material for our productions. From social media to t-shirts to posters, I worked to find out what would get other students in seats. Through that experience, I found my love of using creativity to communicate with others and came to UGA as an advertising major.

What does tenacity mean to you?

Tenacity is what you do between the beginning and end. It’s the work you put in while no one is watching that drives you towards your goals.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to other Grady students?

I would tell other Grady students to jump head-first into every opportunity, even if it feels scary. If someone has given you the opportunity, it means you’re ready, so go for it!

Ashburn pictured in front of The Chicago Theatre.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

My most memorable Grady experience was traveling to Chicago this summer on the Grady Chicago Field Study and Internship Program. I spent the summer as a digital marketing intern while learning about the advertising and public relations world in my favorite city! Chelsea, our instructor, brought in amazing speakers who were all willing to connect with us outside of the classroom and help us to navigate our careers. The best part was the amazing group of Grady people I met who continue to motivate me back in Athens.

What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

The biggest impact on my life during my time at UGA has been my involvement in Fair Fashion. Fair Fashion is a student-led organization that is dedicated to educating the campus and community about sustainable fashion and lowering consumption for a more sustainable future. I have had the privilege to be involved in Fair Fashion since my first year at UGA and have since worked on the executive team as the vice president of creative for the past two years. Through this organization, I’ve combined my passions for sustainability while leading a team of creatives who inspire me daily!

Ashburn poses with Hairy Dawg at a Fair Fashion clothing swap.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

The best piece of advice I have received is to build a door. Building a door means bringing the tools that you have acquired over the years to each new space and using those to build an opportunity that you can walk through. Whether it’s a new job or a new class, you can take your passions and your skills and use those to create a moment for you to shine!

Where’s your favorite place on campus and why?

My favorite place at UGA is North Campus right behind the arch. Every day I walk through that area and get to pass by the chapel, new college, and school of law and it always makes me so happy! Going to 8 a.m. classes is hard, but every time I get to walk through North Campus it just reminds me of the incredible university I am so lucky to attend.

Ashburn (right) is a lead intern for UGA’s Office of Sustainability where she plans and coordinates intern events and projects.

What advice would you give to your freshman self?

If I could talk to my freshman-year self, I would tell her to take in every moment. Walking to class, getting coffee with a friend, eating at Bolton or even waiting for the crosswalk to turn for what feels like hours, is so special. UGA is truly the best school with the best people, so soak it all in! Oh, and eat as many O House chicken fingers as you can, you’ll miss them when you live off campus.

Editor: Jin Lee |