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Editor's Note: Gelie Akhenblit was featured in the May issue of ASU Magazine as part of the young alumni showcase section.
Which groups or activities were you most involved in at ASU? What did you gain from that involvement?
I’m a very social person, so I was involved in a lot of different things, but when I think about my ASU experience, the very first thing that comes to mind is Pi Sigma Epsilon (PSE), a co-ed marketing fraternity. I joined as a sophomore and stayed involved even after I had graduated. I held various positions on the executive board, including serving as president. Being involved in this group really allowed me to explore my skill sets and get clear about my passions. To this day, in my business and personal life, I use the knowledge that I gained from PSE.
How did your education at ASU prepare you for your current job or business?
When I came to ASU, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in, but I knew I wanted to minor in communications. I have always been fascinated by this subject but had no idea what I could do with it after college. After taking a few classes, I completely fell in love with anything communications-related and decided to major in it.
Today, my online business, NetworkingPhoenix.com, revolves around communicating with people. The site has more than 16,500 members and I interact with them daily via email, social media, or face-to-face meetings. I truly believe that I chose the right major for myself because I followed my passion and here I am today, using the skills of communication daily!
What personal qualities do you think were most strongly developed in you during your years as a Sun Devil?
Leadership, perseverance, determination and self-assurance. My days at ASU allowed me to explore many parts of my personality to really get to know myself better. While I already knew that I was a strong leader and very determined, there is nothing like college to push a person to their extremes. During a few semesters I was taking more than 18 credit hours, because I didn’t want to miss on learning something new and interesting. I packed my schedule with all sorts of classes on top of my major (including salsa dancing, racquetball, women's studies, etc.) to make sure I was taking full advantage of the college experience.
Why have you chosen to be a member of the Alumni Association? What value does involvement with ASU add to your membership?
I had the best time at ASU and wasn’t ready to leave when I graduated! More than anything, I love being connected with like-minded individuals that had the same fun and interesting experience as me at ASU. We can connect on that level and appreciate each other’s journeys in life because we have a common starting point.
What are three "can't-miss" ASU experiences every Sun Devil should participate in?
Students definitely have to Whitewash the "A" on Tempe Butte, take as many naps as possible in the Memorial Union and hang out in the "Secret Garden" on Tempe campus!