With football season and the ACC in full swing, many students do their part at Tech to show their school spirit, whether it’s attending the games, cheering on the Jackets or wearing the school colors. However, some students from ACC schools showed their support for their team by wearing very little at all, as Playboy recently published a special section in the October 2009 issue titled “Girls of the ACC”, with models from the member schools posing for their respective teams. Included among these young models was Tech’s very own, Ashley Smith.
Ashley Smith, BME ’09, posed for the magazine in April when she was still a student. Smith says that deciding to pose for the magazine was not a difficult decision and she had always wanted to do it but was reluctant to audition because she felt that she was not as shapely as many of the other Playboy models.
Smith explained that the audition process was relatively easy. “A friend referred me to Playboy photographer David Rams. He called me four days before the shoot and asked if he could come over and see me naked without makeup or fixed hair. Usually, when a stranger calls and asks to see me naked I at least ask for dinner first but I obliged. He was at my apartment for about 5 minutes and scheduled the shoot. I was absolutely ecstatic. I called everyone I knew,” said Smith.
The actual shoot took place this April and began by Smith getting her hair and make up done. Afterwords, the photographer spent about 30 minutes taking pictures of Smith. She had to wait months to see what the pictures were like.
When asked about the craziest thing that has happened because of her appearance in the magazine she said, “By far the most interesting experiences I’ve had during this whole thing is the crazy emails and Facebook messages from random people. I used my real name in the magazine so it wasn’t very hard to track me down.”
Smith said her relationship with Tech was tumultuous at times.
“Georgia Tech and I definitely had a love/hate relationship. Every few semesters I would quit and take a semester (or sometimes two) off. Everyone that goes to Tech knows how hard it is to keep going sometimes. I started in August 2003 and just finished at the end of July, so I guess technically I was on the six year program. Including summers, I ended up taking off 8 semesters,” said Smith.
Smith also has some advice for students that are currently working to graduate at Tech.
Smith said, “My first two semesters at Tech I was so homesick I went home after a week of classes. So I really didn’t complete a class at Tech until Fall semester 2004. I had a lot of fun on my semesters off, often too much, and I recommend it to anyone who is able to take a break on occasion. Take advantage of the fun aspects of being in college and get out of the library. The real-world will be there waiting for you whenever you graduate. Don’t be in any rush. I obviously wasn’t and I would not change a single thing about my college life. I’m still in shock that I graduated.”
Smith just recently relocated to New York City and is spending her time there exploring the city. She plans to start looking for jobs there soon and has not been recognized in New York City yet because of her contributions to Playboy.
Smith misses some things about Atlanta including her friends, the familiarity of the city and her dog Lola.
“NYC is great. I really love all the new places to explore and the subway system. I’m nervous about the winters as I’ve never experienced really cold weather. I’m finding my way around easily using Google maps on my iPhone and everyday I find something new and cool to do,” said Smith.
In regards to future modeling work, Smith has been contacted by Playboy to a few more shoots but she does not plan to do any more modeling other than that.
Smith’s future plans include going to graduate school in a year to eventually pursue a PhD in a biomedical engineering field.
“With biomedical engineering I can actually design and create solutions for medical problems… there is nothing I enjoy more than being given an open-ended medical problem and spending time researching ways or designing devices to solve the problem,” said Smith.