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Which groups or activities were you most involved in at ASU? What did you gain from that involvement?
I originally chose ASU for what I call the “Three B’s”: Band, Barrett, and Business. I knew I wanted to perform in a terrific college marching band, and the 400+ member ASU Sun Devil Marching Band is one of the best. There was nothing like running onto the field with fireworks exploding and 40,000 screaming fans as the drum major of such a precise team.
I also recognized the unique combination of the personal connection and beautiful facilities of the Barrett, the Honors College at ASU coupled with the resources of one of the largest universities in the country. I quickly learned Barrett students, staff, and faculty are the type of people you want to surround yourself with to be successful – all highly motivated, supportive, and creative.
ASU offered the opportunity to earn an undergraduate business degree from the highly ranked W. P. Carey School of Business, which has always been my focus. While a student, I was lucky to put my business studies to work by adding two more “B’s”: Board Blazers, for the skateboard lighting company I founded in 2012.
How did your education at ASU prepare you for your current job or business?
While there’s debate about whether or not college is important for entrepreneurs, I’m so glad I stayed in school and got my degree at ASU, because it’s helped me grow Board Blazers in three main ways:
The ability to recognize opportunity. We’ve all had an idea for a new business, and higher education has helped me to distinguish between good and bad opportunities.
Tools to act. When I discover an opportunity, college has given me the skills to act upon that idea. Business school, in particular, has helped me to know where to start to take advantage of a new concept.
Relationships. Most importantly, college concentrates all the brightest and most driven people in one place. The lifelong friends, business connections, and supportive community I’ve found at ASU have been the foundation for Board Blazers’ growth.
How did ASU help you achieve your dream?
The spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation at W. P. Carey and throughout ASU have allowed me to pursue my dream of starting and running my own business. This spirit can be found in departments across the campus, where there’s a willingness to innovate, change, experiment, adapt, and evolve. ASU doesn’t just claim to be the “New American University,” it actually pursues that goal, and the university’s support of Board Blazers is just one example.
The faculty and staff at W. P. Carey have provided my business with invaluable business insight and advice. The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative provided us with funding, mentorship, and office space. And my Barrett thesis formed the basis of the entrepreneurship and leadership speaking, consulting, and coaching business I founded, the Beyond Business Institute.
What are three “can’t-miss” ASU experiences every Sun Devil should participate in?