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A diligent, trailblazing future businesswoman, Samantha Ferraro is taking ASU by storm with ambitions to jumpstart her own business after graduation and empower women like her not to be afraid of standing out in a male-dominated field.
Samantha is a freshman majoring in Finance with a minor in Spanish. She selected ASU specifically for the business program offered by W.P. Carey. “Looking at schools across the country, I realized that ASU was right in my backyard and one of the best out there.” An Arizona native coming from Pinnacle High School, she also looked forward to continuing to take advantage of Arizona’s ideal climate and geography for her favorite outdoor hobbies, which include hiking, running, and road cycling, as she transitioned into college.
Her ambitions in the business world arose from her upbringing in a family of a lot of small and large business owners, with the help of one popular ABC TV show. “Like a lot of other entrepreneurial-minded people, I was easily drawn to Shark Tank from a super young age, and that was just the beginning.” Watching Shark Tank surrounded by a family that encouraged her to set big goals and be her own boss, it is no surprise that Samantha saw great success in the DECA program at her high school.
In her senior year, she single handedly produced a 40-day marketing campaign for the company Beyond Meat, ultimately winning first place in the state. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic devastatingly prevented her from competing in the national competition, but she did not let this curb her ambition.
She headed to ASU soon after, joining the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institution and planning to apply for the SIM fund program, where she would gain hands-on finance experience helping manage ASU’s investment portfolio. After her sophomore year, she hopes to take on an internship to further explore finance.
Before she graduates, she hopes to study abroad in Spain, with the goal of becoming fluent in the Spanish language, which she is also studying here at ASU. “I have such a passion for the culture there, and the social culture, too, it’s completely different and I want to experience that level of welcomeness and community.” After graduation, Samantha is “going to own [her] own business, and finance will be a great foundation to start from the ground up.”
With aspirations and the skillset to become a business owner soon out of college, Samantha faces the unique challenges that come with being a woman excelling in a male-dominated field. But the additional challenges of this career path are part of what drew her to business: “One of the reasons why I really
like business and specifically going in the finance direction is because it’s very male-dominated, and making my own way and being a woman in that is very empowering to me, to do something different and to stand out in that way. I definitely want to empower other women to pursue male-dominated areas, too.”
Before she goes out into the world of business, Samantha is enjoying her time here at ASU. “I think ASU specifically has some of the kindest, most welcoming and outgoing students. I think you could walk onto campus and make friends with anybody and they are equally welcoming with open arms. It’s so inclusive and there’s so many ways to get involved. The positivity at ASU is so attractive, and that’s definitely one of my favorite things about the community here.” Her favorite spot to hang out on Tempe campus is the SDFC, where she occasionally attends the grind fitness classes.
Outside of her studies and her outdoor hobbies, Samantha plays guitar, an instrument she has been playing for 11 years. She has also picked up the bass and the ukulele. “Music has been a huge part of my life to destress, and it’s just a new challenge for my brain and a way of thinking, so it’s my favorite way to take a study break.” She reminisces growing up listening to classic rock with her dad, who was the one to encourage her to learn an instrument when she was in third grade.
To her fellow students here at ASU, Samantha says, “Be bold in every way. Reach out to every opportunity and take every chance to meet people, for sure. That is what college is. ASU is the perfect place, but also with the people here, the connections you make, you never know what new ideas you’re going to be introduced to.”