Ashley Manocchia’s Journey from Campus Leadership to Thriving Sales Career

Ashley Manocchia, a recent graduate from the class of 2023, majored in communication and media with minors in business administration, religious and theological studies and public relations. Despite graduating a semester early, Ashley wasted no time, securing a full-time position to begin a mere three weeks after she completed her degree.

Ashley’s professional journey began long before landing her current job, marked by internships and notable achievements such as serving as the President of the Women in Business (WIB) program in the Girard School of Business. Her experience at Merrimack has led Ashley to a full-time role at Planet Technology, a part of The Planet Group in Bedford, MA.

Ashley’s involvement with Women in Business began in her sophomore year, coinciding with the addition of her business administration minor. She saw the program as a valuable resource for expanding her horizons in the business world as a woman. The spring of 2022 marked a turning point when Ian Woods ’23 encouraged her to run for president during the program’s board election. Despite not majoring in business, Ashley decided to run for the leadership position and was elected Women in Business’s president. 

In her role, Ashley brought in alumni to share insights with WIB members. Guest speakers included WIB founder Emily Nolan ’23 and Board of Trustees members Lynne Chase ’90, P ’23 and Jim Scammon ’83. Ashley was very passionate about her role as president, given the opportunity to lead this program, help younger women in business, serve the community and expand her network. Being president of the program became a pivotal experience, marking the highlight of her college career and contributing to her Merrimack legacy.

Ashley always had an interest in the sales industry, starting in high school working as a retail sales associate at TJ Maxx, and that interest only grew throughout her journey. Ashley also took part in two internship experiences that she found through connections at the companies. She completed an internship in sales with The Judge Group in Waltham, MA, and her second internship was in commercial real estate on the sales team at The Stubblebine Company in Lexington, MA. Through these experiences, Ashley loved to drive business goals and set high goals for herself.

After attending the Professional Development Retreat and the Careers in Business Internship and Career Fair in fall of 2023, both hosted by the O’Brien Center for Career Development, Ashley met Executive Vice President Nate O’Keefe and Business Development Manager Jake Russell ’21 from the company Planet Technology. Shortly after this introduction, Ashley secured a position as a sales development representative. She will be involved in a six-month program coaching students on their sales journey.

Reflecting on her job search, Ashley credits Merrimack for laying the foundation for her success. She emphasizes the importance of utilizing campus resources and advises fellow students to “be authentic, be you.”

Looking ahead, Ashley envisions a future in staffing and recruiting, with aspirations to open her own consulting firm, become a real estate investor, mentor younger leaders and contribute to Merrimack College’s development for future generations. Expressing gratitude to all who supported her, Ashley eagerly anticipates the exciting chapters ahead in her career.

By Hannah Gibbs
Hannah Gibbs Marketing & Student Outreach Graduate Fellow