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Ashlee Armsby Kicks Butt!

You might call Ashlee Armsby the crème de la crème of Fordham University’s graduating class of 2012. Why? This Francophile never stops! When she isn’t working her butt off at the gym or in her Cardio-Kickboxing class, she is working her butt off at her internship with Alison Brod Public Relations in the city! Full of energy and enthusiasm, Ashlee does everything with passion, from her semester spent studying abroad to her involvement with Fordham’s Fashion for Philanthropy club. If you do not know Ashlee, you can easily become inspired by her ambitious spirit and friendly encouragement just by taking a few of her upbeat kickboxing classes (trust me it is a great workout and totally worth it!). Ashlee is a force to be reckoned with; she knows where she wants to go and has the drive to get there. When she graduates early this December, she is sure to take New York City by storm!

Where are you from? Schenectady, NY but I’ve lived in Latham, NY (both near Albany) since I was 12.

What year are you? I am a senior!! I’m graduating early in December.

What is your major? French language and literature with a minor in communications specializing in public relations.

What activities are you involved in? I am the cardio-kickboxing Instructor, AFAA certified 3 years running. I teach class twice a week at Rose Hill, I am heavily involved in Fashion For Philanthropy, the non-profit club on campus that combines Fordham student’s love for fashion, creativity, service, marketing, PR, advertising, community, crafts, organization, and outreach. It’s an amazing club that has several fundraisers to raise money for the annual spring fashion show. I am taking five courses this semester to finish in December while interning two full days a week at Alison Brod Public Relations on Park Avenue South. I am learning so much and it has truly been an amazing experience!

Favorite movie:  Shawshank Redemption, Jeux de Deux Enfants, Under the Tuscan Sun, Almost Famous, The Notebook, Sex and the City I

Favorite band/musician:  Bringing it back: (I love Jazz) Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, or Peggy Lee, and Sara Bareilles, Dropkick Murphys, Mademoiselle K, Britney Spear s for working out, and summertime country!

Favorite book:  The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain, it tells the story of Hemingway’s first wife, their relationship and what it was like to live in Paris at the height of its Renaissance in Saint-Germaine Des-Pres. Its The Great Gatsby meets modern day. For any Francophiles, it name drops like crazy and the nostalgia-provoked experience is simply delightful!

Favorite TV show: Mad Men, Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls.

How did you decide to come to Fordham? I always wanted to be in New York City, it was the perfect blend of “campus” and “city.”  I’ve always wanted to study abroad ever since participating in an exchange program in high school and on the first accepted students day, a study abroad fair was going on in McGinley. It was amazing to speak to actual representatives of various programs that I knew were right for me. That sealed the deal.

What’s your favorite thing about NY? Waking up and not knowing what the day will bring, the excitement, possibility, and the city’s uncanny ability to lead you into an endless realm of opportunity.

Do you have any tips for students who are trying to balance schoolwork, extracurriculars, and other obligations like internships? Be organized and be diligent. However, it’s easy to lose yourself in all of the things you need to do. You can make list after list after list- but the bottom line? Your to-do list will never truly be completed. Don’t forget to live in the moment and enjoy your time. Don’t be afraid to indulge, and do it willingly, without guilt. You’ll never be younger than you are today. Words to live by. You’ll get it done, you always do.

What’s your least favorite thing about NY? Being away from my family, but I know they’re just a train ride away! I only go home on holidays, but it’s great to know they are only three hours away.

Do you have a favorite Fordham memory? Spring Fashion Show 201o, I was the most involved I’ve ever been without technically being on the E-Board. I went on go-see’s, secured “clients” brands donating/loaning to the show, came up with creative solutions to minimize costs, and learned necessary communication skills in outreach and leading activities. We also went on some really great “field trips” with the club such as the Fashion Exhibit at the National Museum of Photography.

Do you have a favorite NYC memory?  Sanatacon 2010! Every year two weeks before Christmas, there is a Santa Convention featuring thousands and thousands of New Yorkers dressed head-to-toe in Santa Clause garb.  The bar crawl starts at 9 am and is designed as a scavenger hunt with 12 different starting locations in all of the Boroughs. As you follow the candy canes and the “Santa’s” tweets leading you to the next bar, you eventually end up at one central location point. Last year it was Central Park!

What’s your favorite class you’ve taken at Fordham? An upper level French class called Women on the Margins, a 19th Century course that explored women excluded from society. It read as a historical narrative of various positions ranging from prostitution to mysticism.

What’s your least favorite class you’ve taken at Fordham? Scriptures of the World, second semester sophomore year! Theology never was my thing; I had three midterms in one day and failed this one, after having studied for a week! I had to drop the class, however it gave me the amazing opportunity to take Church and Controversy with Dr. Brenna Moore- an amazing opportunity to examine issues both past and current dealing with the church and its role in society. We discussed everything from Latin services to the death penalty.

Where’s your favorite spot on campus? I love the Walsh Library. One of my teachers in High School, Mr. Basile told us that one of his professor’s in college said to “Get Lost in the Stacks, It’s good for your soul.” I really took that to heart. It’s therapeutic!

What’s your dream job? My dream job would be to work for a beauty company such as Estee Lauder, Coty Fragrance, or L’Oreal, acting as a beauty liaison in PR/Marketing to French clientele. I want to combine my passion for creativity and beauty with my passion for French! I want to be speaking French on a daily basis, based out of New York City. I want to travel for the next four years. 

How did you get interested in kickboxing? Freshman year I saw flyers for the class and thought it would be great to take and mix up my work out schedule! The instructor was a senior and was looking for a replacement and I guess my enthusiasm showed because she asked me if I’d like to replace her! I took the initiative and took the course to get certified! Best decision ever.

When and why did you decide to become a certified kickboxing instructor? I became certified in the Spring of 2009 with AFAA. I took a course and at the end was tested in the forms of both a physical and a practical exam. I love being fit and working out! It’s as much of a mental escape as it is great for your body, longevity, and overall health.

What are your best tips for working out and staying fit/healthy? Find something that works for you, but keep your body guessing! Don’t do the same thing all the time. Your body needs “muscle confusion” to get results. I was never a runner but learned to be and now I LOVE it. I never leave the gym without running at least a 5k. I’m not fast, but I have built endurance. Stretch before and AFTER your work out! Pilates is great for flexibility and abs also! In terms of diet, give yourself one cheat day, eat lots and lots of veggies. I’m not a vegetarian but I’m not a big meat person. I love chicken but don’t make enough of an effort to cook it. If you’re craving something, don’t deprive yourself! Save it for your cheat day. I also eat at least two yogurts a day, I love Activia for breakfast and Chobani as a part of my lunch. In general, watch your portion size. Once you develop good, healthy habits, you won’t have to think about any of this!

If you could give one piece of advice to Fordham collegiettes™, what would it be? Network, network, network.  Start a conversation. Build a list of contacts. Study abroad second semester junior year. Have at least two internships. Just the other day I met a very nice woman, a cashier at the Container Store, while running an errand for my internship. We started chatting after she commented on the way I arranged the baskets I was purchasing. It turns out she worked as an international director for 19 years with Estee Lauder. Jackpot.

What’s on your NYC bucket list? Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Grimaldis, NYC Marathon… I could go on, and on…

What do you think the best part of a Jesuit education is? The emphasis on service. It’s truly an enriching part of the education that in modern society, often gets over looked.

Who is your favorite professor at Fordham?   Dr. Lise-Segolene Schreier.

What’s one thing everyone would be surprised to learn about you? I speak French and teach cardio-kickboxing!
Pick One!

Bronx Zoo or Botanical Gardens? Probably the Botanical Gardens, it’s a great place to go and get lost in. It’s amazing to run through with awesome exhibitions! Farmer’s markets!
Arthur Ave/Fordham Road? Arthur Ave… can’t get enough of the Italian culture, food! Need I say more?
Cafeteria or Grille? Caf if you’re a freshman or sophomore, it’s a great way to meet people and it really creates a space of community that you will soon learn to miss as an upper classman. The Grille is great for a change-up. Great panini’s and accessible until 1 am!
Conway or Dr. Jay’s?  Conway’s! Great tights selection!
RamVan or Subway? MetroNorth!
Duane Reade or WalGreen’s? Rite-Aid! 
Met or MoMA? I’d have to say the MoMa, but I love the Frick Collection and the Cloister’s museum!
Hot Dog or Bagel? Grilled hot dog in summer and bagel in the fall!
Broadway or Off-Broadway? Both! My aunt and uncle are in a lot of Off-Broadway productions. I go to an even amount of both.
Radio City or Madison Square Garden? Radio City Music Hall. Can you say Christmas Spectacular!
Central Park or Brooklyn Bridge? Central Park! I love it… it’s never ending with great cached places such as the Alice in Wonderland Statue, The CP Boat House, and the Imagine Peace sign.

Alyssa is a senior at Fordham University pursuing a major in Communications and Media Studies, and a minor in Spanish. With career goals ranging from digital editor at a major women's magazine, to writing a best selling young adult novel, she has put her skills to the test in many different areas of the communications field. 
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