Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2019 commencement.
Connecting with people around the world and finding international internships might seem daunting for an undergraduate, but ASU communication major Abby Perez found it surprisingly simple to take her passions global.
“ASU is one of the largest public universities in the world, and I know that wherever my career takes me employers will know my university and what it stands for,” said Perez, a Phoenix resident, about her decision to attend her hometown university. “I am very proud to belong to a network of Sun Devils — that is another reason I know that ASU was a great choice.”
She has experienced first-hand how the expansive Sun Devil network helps connect students with people and opportunities around the world.
“I never imagined I would be selected from a national program to be an intern in Buenos Aires, Argentina, yet I was,” Perez observed, “and it was one of the best experiences!”
She not only held an internship with Argentina Cibersegura in Buenos Aires, but also another with Piel de Mariposa, in Seville, Spain.
Working for these nonprofit companies, Perez said, helped her delve deeper into her major, and to see how communication and culture combine in real work outside of the classroom experience.
Her advice to others looking for opportunities to expand their own network? “Don't hold yourself back from a job-internship, rigorous class or any opportunity. Ask questions, seek help,” she emphasized. “Try, and don't give up.”
Perez, who combined her communication major with a real estate minor in the W.P. Carey School of Business, recently shared some reflections with ASU Now about her ASU experience and her dreams for the future.
Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?
Answer: When my professor mentioned, "No matter what career you go into, you will need to communicate efficiently because communication is a foundation. You can train anyone, you can teach anyone how to sell a product, but if they do not possess good communication skills then they will not deliver good results," that really inspired me to continue in my field.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I plan to get my master’s in real estate development at ASU.
Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?
A: My Real Estate Fundamentals professor would give us humorous examples in class. Everyone would laugh at these scenarios and they were really helpful to remember the different concepts. The professors who can engage their students using humor and real-life examples, those are the professors who really love what they teach.
Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?
A: Professor Mathew Avrhami has taught me so much about my financial rights, being smart when investing and about opportunities.
Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?
A: I love the courtyard between the BA (Business Administration) and the BAC (Business Administration-C Wing) buildings. Something about seeing and hearing students talk about business really makes me happy.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: I would use it to implement an education and career work program to help those who are incarcerated based on racial injustice. I would want to one day aid the poverty gap cycle that many people face due to factors that were out of their control. My goal is to provide affordable housing for all.
Written by Sophia Molinar, ASU Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication senior; student marketing assistant, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts