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ASU graduate combines his passions for policy and energy

January 03, 2018

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2017 commencement. See more graduates here.

Antonio Joan, a recent graduate from Arizona State University with a degree in political science, is far from your average student.

Joan originally went to college to study industrial engineering in Spain before withdrawing due to medical issues in his family. He aided his father with the family business, which involved logistics and transport, before being able to return to school.

However, Joan found that he didn’t wish to pursue a career in industrial engineering, and after discussing what he wanted to study with friends, he decided on political science. Having studied abroad in his high school years, Joan knew he wanted to study again in the United States, so he began searching online for universities.

“One day I was looking for universities and sending applications. You know that these websites once you start to look for something start to send you banners. So one day I saw one banner from ASU.”

After receiving an acceptance from ASU, Joan decided to move to the southwest for school. Once he arrived, he found that ASU was very different from what he had expected.

“My very first impression was that ASU, despite being in the West of the U.S., is very well connected to the world. It took me just a couple days of walking around campus to see students from everywhere.”

Since coming to ASU, Joan has found political science to be his passion.

“I realized in my first week [at ASU] that this is the place. I’m on the right track. All of my classes have been really interesting.”

While attending classes, Joan learned about the Capital Scholars program offered by the School of Politics and Global Studies. Thinking it would be a good opportunity to get ahead in his professional development, Joan applied and was accepted into the program.

Once in Washington, D.C., he worked for the National Defense University as a research assistant. There he used his two passions, policy and energy, to immediately get to work.

Joan remarked that not only was the experience incredibly rewarding, but that it also gave him many opportunities to explore, network, and grow. He remarked that networking with people in government that wanted to see students like him develop and flourish was amazing.

“[We] didn’t want to go home.”

Joan had some advice to offer those interested in enrolling in the program: “Do not assume you know everything. The world is much bigger and (more) complex than we think; therefore, any piece of information is a little treasure.”

Wishing to further his education, Joan is looking for programs that link his interests of foreign policy and energy.  It’s a combination he wouldn’t even have considered until he received mentorship within the Capital Scholars program.

“[ASU] is a vibrant place. It is a place that is growing. It hasn’t reached its full potential so it’s [rewarding] being a part of that. I will be a Sun Devil for the rest of my life.”

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