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W. P. Carey grad earns job offer through internship with tech company

Headshot of Danielle Ostrop in an outdoor setting

Danielle Ostrop, who graduates this spring with a bachelor's degree in business administration, has already secured a position with Zendesk, a customer support software as a service (SaaS) company. Photo courtesy Danielle Ostrop

May 02, 2024

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2024 graduates.

A highlight of Danielle Ostrop’s undergraduate experience at Arizona State University is an internship that has led to a full-time job once she graduates this spring.

Since last May, she has interned with the Strategic Technology Alliances Team at Zendesk, a customer support software as a service (SaaS) company. She will join the team full time this May after she graduates with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the W. P. Carey School of Business with honors from Barrett, The Honors College.

“I’m thrilled about this opportunity, as I deeply enjoy working with my team and look forward to contributing to shared goals and successes,” Ostrop said.

Ostrop said participating in the Project Excellence program through Barrett was another fulfilling experience in her undergraduate career.

Project Excellence allows honors students to enroll in courses at the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and earn honors credit.

Last fall, Ostrop took a third-year-level intellectual property and technology licensing course.

“I felt a tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment because I stepped outside of my comfort zone and immersed myself in an unfamiliar environment where I was the only undergraduate student and had no prior law school experience,” Ostrop said.

“Despite these challenges, I was able to hold my own in the class and contribute meaningfully to discussions and assignments. This experience not only boosted my confidence, but also provided valuable insights into an area of law that I find intriguing. I am grateful for the opportunities Barrett provides, as they have enabled me to discover more about myself and explore new academic horizons,” she added.

Ostrop, a student at the ASU Polytechnic campus, received the All-Arizona Academic Team Tuition Waiver from the Arizona Board of Regents, which is awarded to outstanding Arizona resident community college transfer students based on academic excellence and community service.

“Receiving this waiver during my last semester at Pima Community College was instrumental in enabling me to continue pursuing my bachelor's degree at ASU,” said Ostrop, who is from Tucson, Arizona.

She also received the Dean’s Business Scholarship, Joseph J. and Cecilia O'Neil Dawson Scholarship, Barrett All-Arizona Honors Scholarship, and funding from the Leon G. Shell Endowment.

Ostrop and fellow honors student and business major Andrea Salazar Calderon worked together on an honors thesis titled “How to Increase the Presence of Leaders Academy at the Polytechnic Campus,” which explored growing W. P. Carey Leaders Academy at ASU Polytechnic by adapting its structure to suit the Poly campus' unique traits.

Ostrop said they focused on student engagement activities, surveys and interviews that showed a need to have a stronger organization for business students at the Poly campus. Findings from Ostrop and Calderon’s work will help in efforts to strengthen and grow the organization at Poly.

In the following Q&A, Ostrop expanded on her experience at ASU.

Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: When I reflect on why I decided to study business, there wasn't a single "aha" moment that stands out. Unlike many others, I didn't follow the traditional path of diving straight into a four-year program with a set major after high school. Instead, I took my time, navigating through various life experiences that allowed me to discover my likes and dislikes.

Business appealed to me because I've always been intrigued by how businesses are run and the strategic decisions behind their operations. Additionally, I've found myself drawn to a diverse range of interests. I believed that delving into the field of business would provide me with a strong foundation, allowing me to explore and expand upon these interests further.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: One significant lesson I learned at ASU that completely changed my perspective is understanding my own capabilities. Throughout my time here, I've actively pursued various opportunities and learned how to effectively manage my time amidst a multitude of commitments.

Balancing a full course load, on-campus work, caregiving responsibilities for family members, navigating my thesis, dealing with a health scare, and participating in an internship simultaneously was no easy feat. There were undoubtedly moments where the challenges seemed insurmountable.

However, through sheer perseverance and determination, I was able to push through and emerge stronger. This experience taught me that I possess a resilience and tenacity that I hadn't fully recognized before, demonstrating that with dedication I can overcome even the most daunting obstacles. It's a realization that has profoundly shaped my outlook on my own capabilities and reinforced my belief in the power of perseverance.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU primarily for its location and the renowned reputation of the university and the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Being situated in a vibrant city with a plethora of opportunities was a significant factor for me. I wanted to immerse myself in an environment where I could easily connect with established companies and professionals, fostering valuable networking opportunities, and potential internships aligned with my interests.

I was impressed by W. P. Carey’s ability in preparing students for success beyond graduation, instilling confidence in me that I would receive a quality education and ample support to pursue my career goals.

Q: Why did you choose Barrett Honors College?

A: I chose Barrett Honors College for its exclusive offerings. The unique opportunities available to honors students, such as specialized courses and access to a wide network of alumni, were particularly appealing to me. As someone who enjoys exploring diverse subjects, I found it exciting to discover the intriguing array of courses exclusively available to Barrett students. I believed that being part of Barrett would not only enrich my academic experience but also provide me with valuable connections and resources to further my personal and professional development.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU and what was it?

A: An important lesson I learned at ASU came from Dr. Wil Heywood, clinical professor in The Design School at ASU, who taught GRA 440: Finding Your Purpose.

This class was a nice change from my major studies, offering a space to explore new perspectives about myself and others. Dr. Heywood covered a range of topics in class, including stress management, personal identity, meditation, and gratitude.

One particular quote he shared from his mentor, Joseph Campbell, resonated deeply with me: “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

This quote struck a chord because it summarized a truth I had experienced firsthand. Despite my best-laid plans, life often unfolds in unexpected ways, and embracing this uncertainty can lead to unforeseen opportunities and growth. This lesson reminded me to approach life with an open mind and a willingness to adapt, trusting that the path ahead may hold something even more fulfilling than what I had envisioned.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: My best piece of advice for those still in school would be to seize every opportunity to broaden your horizons. Whether it's attending events, listening in on panel discussions, or embarking on day trips to new places, embrace these experiences wholeheartedly. You never know who you'll meet or what valuable insights you'll gain, which could potentially lead to discovering new passions or insights about yourself. Keeping an open mind and actively engaging with your surroundings can greatly enrich your educational journey and pave the way for personal growth and self-discovery.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: One of my favorite spots on the Polytechnic campus was this serene outdoor walkway nestled between Sutton Hall and Wanner Hall. It is lined with lush ivy and various blooming trees and plants, creating a tranquil oasis. During my lunch breaks, I often sat there, enjoying the tranquility and watching hummingbirds and butterflies among the flowers. The campus' natural setting provided a refreshing escape from the busyness of school and life, offering a moment of calm and reflection amidst the hustle and bustle.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: If I were given $40 million, I would apply that money towards school lunch debt in the state of Arizona. No child should go hungry or face embarrassment due to financial constraints. By alleviating school lunch debt, we can ensure that all students have access to nutritious meals, enabling them to focus on their education without the burden of financial hardship. This initiative would provide relief to families struggling to make ends meet and promote equity in education.

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