Meet Tyler Ray: Proud Hugh Downs School Alumnus

Spotlight on Tyler Ray, who truly believes that if you are passionate enough about something, greatness will come.

Name: Tyler Ray

Graduation year: 2017

Major: Communication

What's your current job? Ad Operations Specialist at Canvas Worldwide

What made you choose ASU? ASU was the last school I applied to and last school that I visited.  Throughout my high school career, I was told by faculty members once I had that “at home” feeling when setting foot on a campus, it was the one.  When I visited ASU in March of 2013, I immediately embraced that at home feeling.

I have a very ethnically diverse background, so diversity was a huge determining factor in choosing a university to attend.  The number of programs, clubs, and volunteering opportunities available also held a significance in my choice.  Being from Illinois, a lot of universities are in the middle of corn fields and I knew that definitely wasn’t where I wanted to end up.

Tyler Ray

Is there a particular faculty member at ASU who was influential?  Throughout my college career, there were several faculty members that left a lasting impression on me.  Dr. Belle Edson is one of those people.  Dr. Edson is a professor that you can learn a lot from—not only academically, but also in day-to-day life.  She is a wealth of knowledge and is more than willing to share that knowledge to her students achieve greatness.  Dr. Edson is such an asset to have at ASU.

What were the most useful classes you took? Public Speaking, for me, was the most valuable class that I took while attending ASU.  I grew up attending a Catholic grade school and every Friday a different class would lead mass.  When I was in third grade, I spoke in front of the entire church at the altar, whilst standing on a step stool.  I lost my balance and ended up falling off that stool in front of the whole church.  Ever since that day, I found public speaking to be one of the most anxiety ridden things that I could ever do. Suffice to say, taking public speaking at ASU alleviated my fear of speaking in front of crowds. 

Graduation Day!

Were you involved in any student organizations or clubs? Or athletics? Throughout my college career, I was heavily involved with Camp Kesem, a student led organization that works with children who have been affected by a parent’s cancer.  Throughout the school year, Camp Kesem plans a week-long summer camp for these children. Camp Kesem is fundraised by it’s student leaders and is completely free of charge to the children attending.  This was a big passion of mine throughout college.  I served not only as a general member, but also on the Executive Board as a PR/Marketing Coordinator.  I had the privilege to witness the strength, courage, and bravery of the children who may have had to grow up faster than they should due to a parent’s cancer and what a humbling experience that was.  This organization is one I hold near and dear to my heart.

What advice do you have for students who may be following your path? Never let anyone’s opinion, judgement, ridicule, or assumptions stop YOU from achieving your goals.  Everyone seems to have an opinion of the path you may be taking, but do not let them dictate what you.  I truly believe that if you are passionate enough about something, greatness will come.

Another piece of advice is network with everyone you meet! I ended up landing a career at the beginning of my last semester at ASU, which wasn’t easy by any means, but taught me the importance of networking and how crucial those conversations you may have day-to-day can really be.

What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?  Whether meeting friends for lunch between classes, attending meetings throughout the week, or simply just to take a break, I spent most of my time at the MU.  The third floor of the MU was my favorite spot to study during the week; there were hardly any distractions and it was always quiet.