Ashley Elizabeth Martinez: 2016 Best and Brightest

Ashley Martinez Indiana

Ashley Elizabeth Martinez

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Hometown: Henderson, Nevada

High School: Green Valley High School

Major: Entrepreneurship & Corporate Innovation, International Business, and Marketing

Favorite Business Courses: Marketing Research, Marketing Communications, Business Communications, Business Presentations, Business in Turkey, Business in India, Honors ICORE, and Venture Growth Management

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • IU 2015 Homecoming Queen
  • Honors Thesis – predicting the stabilization of the beer industry (Present)
  • Kelley Guides (Fall 2014 – Present)
  • Participant in Turkish Language Study for Doctoral Candidate (Fall 2015)
  • Triad Mentoring Program
    • Undergraduate Mentor (Fall 2013 – Present)
  • Alpha Sigma Alpha (Spring 2013 – Present)
    • Strategic Development Chair (Present)
    • Nomination Committee Chair (Present)
    • Nomination Committee (Fall 2014)
    • Scrapbook Committee (Fall 2015)
    • Sister of the Week (Fall 2015)
    • Ballroom Dance Coach – Dancing with Pi Kapps Philanthropy (Spring 2014)
    • 2nd Round of Formal Recruitment Co-Chairman (Spring 2013 – Spring 2014)
    • Polar Plunge – Special Olympics Philanthropy (Spring 2013, Spring 2014, & Spring 2015)
    • Smiles for Miles Committee (Spring 2014 – Fall 2014)
    • Recruitment Committee (Spring 2013 – Spring 2014)
    • Public Relations Committee (Spring 2014 – Fall 2014)
    • Sisterhood Committee (Spring 2015 – Present)
    • Chapter Secretary (Fall 2013)
    • Founding Member (Spring 2013)
  • Study Abroad
    • Semester Exchange Program – Barcelona, Spain (Spring 2015)
    • Turkey (Spring 2014)
    • India (Spring 2013)
  • Scholarship Advisory Committee (Fall 2012 – Present)
    • Prospective New Member Events Program Coordinator (Spring 2015 – Present)
    • Call-Out Meetings Program Coordinator (Spring 2015 – Present)
    • Social Events Program Coordinator (Spring 2014 – Fall 2014)
    • Membership Committee (Spring 2014 – Present)
  • LeaderShape Participant (Spring 2014)
    • Participant in Multiracial Female Students in Undergraduate Education study for Doctoral Candidate (Spring 2014)
    • Keynote Speaker – Kelley Scholarship Luncheon (Spring 2014)
    • HHART Written and Visual Arts Contributor (Spring 2013 & Spring 2014)
      • Faces of Diversity sketch featured in Indiana Memorial Union Art Gallery (Spring 2014)
  • Management Leadership for Tomorrow (Spring 2014 – Present)
    • Top 5 Performing Fellows (Fall 2015)
    • Campus Recruiting Captain (Spring 2015)
  • Campus Ambassador
    • The Skimm (August 2015 – Present)
    • Revelry Dresses (January 2014 – December 2014)
  • Vocalist
    • Kelley Study Abroad Video Voice Over (Fall 2015)
    • Kelley School of Business Holiday Card (Fall 2015)
    • Kelley Senior Commencement (Spring 2014)
  • Case Competitions
    • P&G: 1st Place at MLT Seminar (Fall 2014)
    • Target: 1st Place at MLT Seminar (Fall 2014)
    • General Mills (Fall 2014)
    • Accenture (Spring 2014)
    • Target: 1st Place from IU Kelley Honors Program (Fall 2013)
    • Altria (Fall 2013)
    • Macy’s (Fall 2012)
  • Kelley’s Got Talent Finalist (Spring 2013 & Spring 2014)
  • Kelley Living Learning Center (Fall 2012 – Spring 2013)
    • 1st Place: Pie-a-Professor Fundraising Competition (Spring 2013)
    • Philanthropy and Community Service Chair (Fall 2012 – Spring 2013)
    • Philanthropy and Community Service Floor Representative (Fall 2012 – Spring 2013)
    • What’s New IU Co-Host (Fall 2012 – Spring 2013)
    • Third highest contributor to since Fall 2012
  • Scholarships
    • William R Fry Scholars Program (Fall 2012 – Present)
    • Hudson and Holland Scholar (Fall 2015 – Present)
    • IU Achievement Scholarship
    • Kelley Study Abroad Scholarship (Spring 2013, Spring 2014, & Spring 2015)
    • Hutton International Experience Scholarship (Spring 2013 and Spring 2014)
    • Alpha Sigma Alpha Wilma Wilson Sharp Scholarship (Fall 2013 – Spring 2014)
  • Kelley Honors Program (Fall 2013 – Present)
  • Civic Leadership Development (Fall 2012 – Spring 2013)
  • O.R.E. Ambassador (Fall 2012 – Spring 2014)
  • Ballroom Dance Team (Fall 2012)
    • Octafinalist International Cha Cha, Purdue Invitational (Fall 2012)
  • Ballroom Dance Club (Fall 2012)
  • Indiana University Dance Marathon 18 Hour Dancer (Fall 2012)

Where have you interned during your college career?

General Mills – Minneapolis, Minnesota (Summer 2015): Marketing Communications Planning

Live Further – Barcelona, Spain (Spring 2015): Business Development & Customer Operations

Discover Financial Services – Riverwoods, IL (Summer 2014): Marketing

IU Office of Scholarships – Bloomington, IN (Fall 2013 – Present): Undergraduate Assistant

Describe your dream job: I walk into the office smiling, eager to get started. Every hour passes unnoticed, every task a challenge. My coworkers are brilliant, passionate, and eager to grow and develop others. The impact I make allows others to achieve their potential and realize their importance. This is my success.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? The challenge. Neither of my parents is in business. My mother is a substitute teacher and my father is an architect. My knowledge of business was incredibly limited when I started at Kelley. This generated a huge learning curve and gave me the opportunity to apply outside knowledge to a business curriculum. Realizing the similarities between my past experiences and business confirmed my interest in this field.

Where would you like to work after graduation? I signed an offer on October 16th to work as a Business Analyst for Deloitte Consulting, Strategy & Operations in Seattle, Washington.

What are your long-term professional goals? At the end of my summer internship, I learned the recruiting team had developed a nickname for me: Ashley CEO. Until this time, I had never considered myself capable of holding an executive leadership position nor did I believe I wanted it. But after I learned of this nickname from General Mills, Management Leadership for Tomorrow started calling me this too, and then the President of my sorority chapter recommended I become a CEO one day. And now it’s my dream. I want to become CEO of a company that makes a significant impact on the world. I don’t know what company yet, but one day, CEO will be in my title. And once I retire, I plan to become a professor in order to train and inspire the next generation of leaders.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I realized the best way to make an impact on the nonprofit industry was to learn the for-profit industry’s methodologies, influence, and involvement.” 

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…a sociologist or urban planner. I’m fascinated by individuals and how different cultures work and live together.”

What was the happiest moment of your life? I was checking my email after school senior year when my dad suddenly came home from work. “Welcome to the Fry Scholar Family” immediately caught my attention. Immediately I did something I had never done before in my life, I sshhh’d my father. I quickly read the email and held my breath. My heart began to pound then tears rolled down my eyes. My father asked me what was wrong and the words came out so easily yet in total disbelief, “I did it. I’m going to college for free.” During my junior year of high school, I made a promise to my parents that I would pay for my education. I didn’t know how but one way or another I was going to earn a full ride to a credited university. Being accepted into the William R Fry Scholars program at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University – Bloomington made this dream a reality. This validated my efforts through high school. Someone believed in me, someone saw greatness in me. For the next four hours, I couldn’t stop cheering and dancing around my home. For the last four years, I couldn’t be happier about my decision. Remembering this story still brings tears to my eyes and my experience at Kelley has far surpassed my expectations. I owe everything to Kelley for having faith in me and taking a chance on a young woman from Nevada.

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? My junior year of high school, I founded a community service organization called C.H.A.N.C.E. (creating hope, answering needs, changing everything). This organization provides financial and volunteer support to local and international nonprofits. It is the only student run community service organization in Nevada and possibly the US. There is no national organization supporting it. When I was President, we had fifty members every year, were sought out by other community service organizations for assistance on how to improve their programs, volunteered over 25,000 hours, and donated approximately $,6000. Creating C.H.A.N.C.E isn’t what I’m most proud of though. I’m most proud of its continued success even after I left for college. I established a self-sustaining organization that develops leaders who go on to make great impacts in the world. I’m proud of every single person who has ever been involved in C.H.A.N.C.E. and amazed by their community impact after graduating from the program.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? A turtle. I chose this animal partly because I’ve been obsessed with them since I was little, but largely due to their nature. In Finding Nemo and other literary works, the turtle is often referred to as being very strategic and wise. This is because they observe and analyze all opportunities rather than making rash decisions. This is why the tortoise beat the hare. This is what makes me unique. I listen to the opinions of others and learn as much as possible about current practices, concerns, and goals. I then leverage this knowledge to make the decisions and suggestions that best leverage current practices, are simplest to enact but render the most results, and answer the concerns of all involved. The only difference between myself and a turtle, I’m not slow in my actions. I’m thorough in my research and analysis, but I’m fast to grasp everything I encounter.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents. I watched my parents struggle to make their dreams a reality. They are both one of six children and came from lower class households. My father’s family immigrated from Mexico and my mother’s family moved to California during the Great Depression. Both had undergone great hardship to become the successful, happy people that they are now. And yet, they dedicated a majority of their time to helping others obtain their dreams. My parents are life-long volunteers. The lessons they’ve taught me about perseverance, authenticity, and responsibility are what make me the person I am today. More than anything, my parents valued education and ensured that I would not only obtain a good education but that I would have the drive to pursue one myself. My managers, friends, mentors, and peers would all call me a ‘student of life’ because everything I ever do is an opportunity to learn and improve. I owe my successes to my natural student instinct, the instinct my parents taught me.

Fun fact about yourself: I’ve tasted the hottest hot sauce on the market and it had no effect on me. Also, it’s delicious!

Favorite book: My Life as a Soldier by Valerie Zenatti

Favorite movie: Lost in Austen

Favorite musical performer: Jimmy Durante

Favorite vacation spot: A cabin or beach house in any small town off the coast of California or in a National Park. Only requirement: Poor internet access. This was my family’s version of a vacation as a child. It was an opportunity to appreciate each other, relax, escape the outside world, and spend hours hiking.

What are your hobbies? Singing, writing, dancing, sketching, cooking, baking, wood burning, traveling, trying new things, hiking, badminton, watching movies, and reading.

What made Ashley such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016?

“It is Ashley’s unparalleled drive and passion for excellence inside and outside the classroom that makes her an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016. I watched Ashley enter the Kelley school of Business as a champion, and now she is leaving Indiana University as our Queen.

CHAMPION: It is Ashley’s community outreach and philanthropy efforts that really help her stand out from her peers. Philanthropy is not something that comes easy to people, as securing donations and gathering support from volunteers is difficult. However, Ashley excels in this environment as she is passionate about the cause and inspiring to others to join in support. I know all of this because, as a freshman, Ashley earned fundraising champion honors within Civic Leadership Development’s annual philanthropic competition. Ashley led my team to raise the most money for our partner organization: My Sister’s Closet, a nonprofit that helps at-risk and low-income women find employment through providing professional attire and career coaching.

QUEEN: It is Ashley’s embodiment of the Hoosier spirit (passion, humility, and a strong work ethic) that makes her a beloved leader in our community. I have judged the IU Homecoming King and Queen competition for eight years now, and the contestants are always the best of the best in terms of campus leadership and community engagement. This year, Ashley thrilled the judging committee with her remarkable resume of accomplishments. However, it was Ashley’s passion for action and drive for excellence that was apparent in the final round interviews and ultimately impressed the judges, leading to her being crowned IU Homecoming Queen.

These two recognitions, along with all her successes in between, did not come at the expense of Ashley’s academic performance, as she has been able to maintain a stellar GPA throughout her coursework. Again, Ashley is the well-rounded leader inside and outside the classroom that every university desires to have within their student body.

Steven Kreft
Clinical Associate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy
Kelley School of Business, Indiana University