Meet alumna and professional writer Ashley Asimakopoulos

Meet alumna and professional writer Ashley Asimakopoulos

Meet alumna and professional writer Ashley Asimakopoulos


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on university students, including disruptions to their academic plans and routines. For Ashley Asimakopoulos ’22, it meant looking around her, realizing she wasn’t happy in her current career pathway and making the decision to change her major to English with a minor in professional writing.

As she recalled in a recent interview, two English instructors, graduate teaching assistant, Austin Van Kirk and Associate Professor of Teaching, Jared Grogan, had a profound impact on her decision to change majors and her ability to thrive in her chosen field of professional writing. Currently a social media manager at EnBiologics and a fund development intern at the Downtown Boxing Gym, Asimakopoulos says she will never be able to repay Van Kirk and Grogan for the advice and guidance they gave her along the way. I had the pleasure of meeting Ashley via Zoom to discuss her experiences at WSU and what she is doing now.

Asimakopoulos started her time at WSU as a nursing major. In her first semester, she took an English course taught by Van Kirk to fulfill one of her major requirements. Seeing Asimakopoulos’s talent as a writer, Van Kirk encouraged her to pursue an English major toward a career in professional writing. As Asimakopoulos recalls, “It was the first time in my life that someone said this is a really big strength of yours and it would be sad if you didn’t let yourself go for it.” Still, Asimakopoulos was initially resistant even as Van Kirk’s advice stuck in her mind.

Then COVID-19 hit, forcing many people to take stock of what mattered to them. Asimakopoulos looked at where she was and realized she wasn’t happy. It was time for a change. She remembered the advice from Van Kirk and decided to trust it. She changed her major to English with a minor in Professional Writing. Asimakopoulos says that while she has a life-long love of reading and writing, Van Kirk’s advice gave her the push she needed to make the change.

Asimakopoulos credits Grogan, who directs the department’s internship program, as the reason she secured her post-graduation positions. In the winter semester of her senior year, she worked as a Technical Communication Intern at TechTown with Grogan. Asimakopoulos remembers feeling directionless at the time and asking Grogran for advice. The pair got to work on her resume and shortly after, she had interviews with her current employers, EnBiologics and Downtown Boxing Gym. Grogan's mentorship extended to accompanying Asimakopoulos to one of the interviews to help secure her the position at EnBiologics.

EnBiologics has strong connections to WSU; its cofounders Ramy Habib and Sean Carroll both earned their master's in biomedical engineering at Wayne State. In her position at EnBiologics, Asimakopoulos manages the company’s social media accounts and creates the brand’s content. Her job demands the ability to write well and write a lot, think creatively and respond with flexibility. She stays on top of trends on social media, creates engaging blog posts and builds professional relationships by networking at tradeshows.

In addition to her work at EnBiologics, Asimakopoulos works as a Fund Development Intern at the Downtown Boxing Gym. She works under their Development Director, Carolyn Geck, also a WSU alumna. Asimakopoulos explains that there are routine parts of her job at the Downtown Boxing Gym, like meetings to check in with everyone or data entry, but she learned early on in her position that working in a non-profit also means adapting to change.

When asked how she enjoys her current employment, she said, “I love it. I love working with a small business and in a non-profit space because they are so different. I learn many different things and I work under incredible people.” She cites her employers, all WSU alumni, as some of the most intelligent people she’s ever met.  

Learning about how these different workspaces operate is Asimakopoulos’s favorite part of both of her jobs. She came to both positions with the idea that she needed to know everything to succeed before even starting, but she soon learned this wasn’t true. She now views starting a new career as an opportunity to learn and thanks her employers for helping to steer her in the right direction. She wishes she could share this message with all those starting something new: “Don’t accept the imposter syndrome. You are meant to be there. You’re fine!”  

Cheyanne Parker