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Business Graduates

Ashley Rockett, PMP

Ashley Rockett

What I do now:
Currently, I am the Director of Operations at CSRA's Integrated Technology Center (ITC) in Bossier City.

My work/job consists of:
I oversee day-to-day operations at the ITC ensuring that the next-gen IT services we support are delivered reliably and cost-efficiently. As the senior executive onsite, I am also in charge of operating finance, facilities, and numerous other tasks associated with growing and sustaining a business.

Path to my current career position (how I got from the past to the present):
After graduation I accepted a position in Washington DC, with Ernst & Young (EY). My first assignment was to build an automated model to track accounting entries for the United States House of Representatives. After a successful introduction of the automated model, I was transferred within EY to the Accounting and Software Practice. There I gained extensive experience operating and developing a wide variety of software platforms. In time, I was again promoted within EY to the Consulting Division where I operated across various industries such as government, healthcare, transportation, and communications. Years later I began working with boutique consulting firms in Dallas, Texas, while planning my return to Shreveport, Louisiana. Eventually, I was able to open my own business solutions and technology management consulting firm, Sheer Technology, in 2010. While owning a thriving, local business that was consulting with CSRA, a permanent need for my role became necessary in March of 2015 and I graciously accepted my current position within CSRA.

How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS):
When I graduated from high school, my parents moved away from Shreveport, but I wanted to stay in the area. LSUS gave me the perfect opportunity to spread my wings a little, and be somewhere familiar and comfortable. Also, the full academic scholarship at LSUS helped tremendously!

Fond memories of LSUS:
My best memories of LSUS revolve around the people I met. The typical LSUS student is non-traditional, and being here exposes you to different sets of life experiences, cultures, and perspectives. My dearest friend and study partner from LSUS was 15 years my senior and was raising a 6-year-old child. We both graduated with honors! It was truly a wonderful time and spurred significant real-world growth in me.

LSUS faculty who helped me:
Dr. Delbert Chumley, the head of the accounting department at the time, pushed me to my greatest potential. He held high expectations and always insisted I sit in the front row!

How LSUS helped me succeed:
The greatest impact upon my success came from my exposure to countless people and their cultures - and learning from their life experiences. It provided me a much wider viewpoint and helped me view all situations creatively, seeking the "big picture" solutions, not only addressing the individual problem issues.

Advice to someone who wants to enter my field:
Working in IT an assumed level of technical skillsets are, of course, required, but what can take you further, and really this applies to any career field, is the understanding of the business behind what you're doing - knowing how the dollars and cents relate to the actual effort. This across-the-board awareness can set you apart and help lay out your path to success. Developing a clear view of where your work fits in the organization and the true value that your work produces is essential.

Tips on choosing a major or career:
Take your time choosing a major or career. There can be a big difference between what you like to study and what you like to do. I began working for a local accounting firm between my sophomore and junior years as I worked my way through college. This not only helped me understand the practical application of accounting, it also solidified within me what I enjoyed doing on a daily basis.

Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life:
-I received a full scholarship to LSUS and graduated Cum Laude.
-While at Excel Communications I won the Circle of Stars Award, which is only given to 1% of their worldwide associates.
-As a result of starting my own technology firm, I was named to the "40 under 40" list of top young professionals.
-I have my Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification.
-I was recently honored as the first female graduate elected into the Loyola College Prep Hall of Honor.

I've learned this from life:
The only thing constant is change.

What I'd be doing if I had all the time in the world:
I would work only until 3pm, so I could be with my kids after school and be more involved in their activities. During the day, I would like to find a way to expand the FAiTH (Flyers Aiding the Hungry) project I founded at Loyola to other schools across the country. It is an outstanding program that helps disadvantaged families while teaching students the merits of charity. During the summers, I would teach waterskiing at Camp Fern.