August 7, 2023

YCP@Work: Ashley Zimmerman '09, Northern Central Railway of York

2 Minutes

Ashley (Rohrbaugh) Zimmerman graduated from York College in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. She currently works as Director of Development and Sustainability at the Northern Central Railway of York. 

What made you choose to pursue a degree in this field?

I always enjoyed the process of creating a plan based on feedback and putting it into effect. That is marketing. Because of that, I really enjoyed Dr. [Tom] Lepson’s class at YCP. I loved the research aspect, planning, and measuring. If you get to work with a great product or service, it makes the job a lot of fun. 

Describe a typical day on the job.

There is no such thing as a typical day at the Railroad. From board meetings, event planning, graphic design, working as train crew, and assisting customers—every day is different! We have three full-time staff members–that’s it! So we work closely as a team, which means all hands on the train when needed. I jump into service lunches or as car host. It’s a lot of fun, because you get to see the human side of the marketing work you are doing. 

How have you used your York College education since graduating?

I use my degree when I need to reflect on core business best practices. For instance, when I am writing out marketing plans, I go back to the best practices of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) Goals or the 4 Ps of marketing. 

What is most challenging about a career in this field?

The most challenging thing about working in a nonprofit is balancing all of the business needs. This is the first nonprofit I have worked for. Before NCR, I was with Perform Group LLC from 2008 (Yes, I started as a college intern!) until 2019. I started as a marketing intern and moved to outside sales. I left the organization in 2019 as their Director of Development overseeing customer service, outside and inside sales, independent sales contractors, international sales, and trade shows for their dance and gymnastics division. 

What do you like best about your career?

The people! I love the cast of characters I work with every day! We all have something to bring to the table and a different point of view. Bringing the different roles together gives us an appreciation for each other’s jobs and importance to the organization. We have a great time working together, and we always enjoy celebrating our wins as a team. I also love our board of directors. They trust us to run the day-to-day operations and support us when we need it. 

What advice would you have for a student who is just starting out in this major?

Find a mentor – someone you can trust and receive constructive feedback from to help you grow.