Editor's note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2016 commencement. See the rest here.
Bobette Makelele counts as one of her greatest college accomplishments becoming an ASU Transfer Student Ambassador (ASU TSA).
Transfer Student Ambassadors give potential ASU transfers a student-to-student perspective of what it’s like to be a Sun Devil.
“As an ASU TSA, we have become the face of ASU and have been a driving force behind giving back to the community,” said Makelele, who will be graduating in May with a degree in business with a concentration in global leadership after transferring from Mesa Community College. “We play a major part in connecting other students to ASU, and I am proud to take part in that.”
Makelele, who is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has also been part of the W. P. Carey Mentorship Programs and has the dean of W. P. Carey School of Business, Amy Hillman, as her mentor.
“I enjoyed having her as my mentor because she has taught me the importance of being a great leader in order to be an incredible manager in the future,” Makelele said. “Dr. Amy Hillman has taught me so much and was always there whenever I needed her. She is a phenomenal and hard-working person, and I am so glad that I had the pleasure of having her as my mentor.”
Makelele took some time to answer questions about her time at ASU.
Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?
Answer: My “aha” moment when I realized I wanted to study business was at the age of 17 while working for a beauty-supply store. On one particular day, we were short of staff and I was left with the responsibility of managing the store. On such a hectic day with no one to really watch over me along with the little help that my coworkers were able to provide me, I was truly drained. It was not until late that night after closing down the store I thought to myself that, that was not so bad and I would not mind doing that again. That’s when it clicked. This is the moment when I realized how much I enjoyed managing the store and would actually like to study business and how to effectively manage a store.
Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you that changed your perspective?
A: Something that I learned while at ASU is that you have the ability to negotiate your salary. The day I learned this my whole perspective changed on how to conduct business. You have the ability to exercise the art of negotiating to make sure that they keep you.
Q: Why did you choose ASU?
A: I chose ASU because of the business school (W. P. Carey). It’s rated amongst one of the top business schools in the nation. Well-known companies come to W. P. Carey because of their reputation.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?
A: Always plan ahead. If you plan on changing your major, do some research on that major, the potential job available, etc. Not just with your major but with anything, you should always plan ahead.
Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?
A: My favorite spot on campus had to be the seats outside the MU (Memorial Union), across from the school of W. P. Carey. Those seats are a bit secluded from everything and from everyone. It’s in a shaded area, it has outlets, it’s close by the restaurants in the MU, and it’s a calm area.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: My plan after graduation is to travel for the remaining three months of summer and then to work full time.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: I would tackle the hunger crisis that not only affects third-world countries, but more economically developed countries as well.
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