ASU alumna brings powerful voice back to college as an Emerging Leader

By

Rachel Bunning

Since graduating with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Arizona State University, Amanda Ventura has been developing her writing style with a career in public relations and marketing while remaining involved in the university community.

“I think people who are creative are naturally curious so they gravitate toward the sciences,” said Ventura, who started her undergraduate studies as a biology major. “That’s what appealed to me most, but my strengths were definitely in writing and reporting.”

Ventura switched her major after being drawn to the written word and learning how to manipulate language to tell stories. In 2011, she received a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in creative writing from the Department of English.

After graduation, she worked as a freelance writer for many publications in Arizona, including Arizona Business Magazine, Phoenix New Times and PHOENIX magazine.

“I decided to switch over to public relations because you can tell the same story in five or six different ways,” she said. “When you’re working for one publication, you’re confined to their beat, their readership and a certain style. So, in public relations, I was able to get a little more creative and that’s why I fell in love with it and why I’m still doing it.”

Ventura is currently a senior account manager at Evolve, where she helps a handful of clients grow their brand through communication and marketing. She assesses the past and current state of a company’s public relations and marketing strategy and devises an updated plan to take these initiatives to the next level with out-of-the-box thinking.

“I like collecting stories and getting to know everyone, understanding their own route to where they currently are,” said Ventura, when asked about her favorite part of her career. “It’s always varied and I think that’s something creative people need.”

Ventura is thankful she had the opportunity to work with the talented writers in the Department of English. She had courses with T.M. McNally, director of creative writing, and Sally Ball, associate professor of English, who encouraged her to find her voice. Her professors challenged her to be open minded as she was developing her creative skills.

“I would say you really learn how to read when you’re in the creative writing program at ASU,” Ventura said. “Having access to these incredibly accomplished writers who push you to read things that influenced them when they were your age was really substantial”

On top of her accomplishments as a writer, she is also a founding member of the Emerging Leaders program: a group of young professionals who serve on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council to find new ways for the college and community to succeed.   

“I’m really proud and happy to be involved in this program,” Ventura said. “I can come back in a role that helps other people feel connected to their university again. I want to see the foundation of our work give way to a growing network of young alums who are empowering each other and themselves to make the most out of their careers.”

Ventura said she enjoys being able to bring recent graduates back into the support system of ASU and their fellow alumni because most people just want to take the degree and run. 

“The world is a lot smaller than you realize,” Ventura said. “I think it’s really important for ASU grads to understand the university still has something to offer them.”