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ASU's business school reputation attracts student from the Philippines

Jerome Raphael Cabacungan’s path to ASU was guided by community college transfer program

ASU student Jerome Raphael Cabacungan playing guitar

Jerome Raphael Cabacungan

August 14, 2020

Not every path to ASU is a straight shot. Jerome Raphael Cabacungan’s path began in the Philippines, where he was born and raised. When his parents moved to the U.S. two years ago, he was left with a big decision: stay in his native country and finish college there, or take his chances and follow them to Phoenix.

Ultimately, it was the stellar reputation of ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business that swayed the computer information systems major to choose the latter.

But before Cabacungan could jump into life on the Tempe campus, he enrolled at Estrella Mountain Community College to earn the credits he needed to be accepted to ASU. There, he utilized the MyPath2ASU program to help navigate his way to ASU.

“My ASU transfer specialist and community college academic adviser were able to help me finish the program and earn two associate degrees within a year of my admission at Estrella Mountain Community College,” he said, adding that the experience was “seamless.”

Now, he’s ready to hit the books as an official Sun Devil — and he’s bringing his guitar, basketball and camera with him.

Question: Why did you choose to transfer to ASU?

Answer: W. P. Carey is one of the best business schools in the country, and that sealed the deal for me. I have friends who have graduated from ASU and they mentioned that professors are really accommodating to their students’ needs.

Q: What drew you to your major?

A: I decided to study computer information systems because it is challenging and it covers some of my interests, such as cybersecurity, programming, business and mathematics. CIScomputer information systems is versatile, which means I can have a plethora of choices in terms of career path. I can be an expert in various areas in both the business and computer field. The world of business and technology keeps on evolving, and this is going to sound cheesy, but I would love to be part of that growth.

Q: What are you most excited to experience your first semester?

A: Food, making new friends and attending the events that the university has in store for the ASU community.

Q: What do you like to brag about to friends about ASU?

A: The great hot dog sandwiches at Dave’s Doghouse, the pool tables in the Memorial Union and the awesome fitness centers.

Q: What talents and skills are you bringing to the ASU community?

A: I believe I can influence the community at ASU with my principles and mindset. I can also use my leadership skills inside and outside of the classroom. In terms of talents, I play basketball, I am musically inclined and lastly, I’m into photography. If the ASU community needs extra muscle in those areas, I’ll be happy to help!

Raphael Cabacungan

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your college years?

A: I want to be on the Dean’s List and finish strong in college. I would also love to build a network with my fellow students and professors. A strong network can set me up for a good future.

Q: What’s one interesting fact about yourself that only your friends know?

A: I started college when I was 16, which was seven years ago. I have attended three years of university in the Philippines and one year of community college here in Arizona.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem in our world, what would you choose?

A: I would choose to solve poverty. Solving poverty also helps cover issues like hunger and homelessness. With $40 million, I could invest in some charitable organizations that fight poverty. I could also help build support centers in countries with extreme poverty as safe havens that provide poor people temporary shelter and food. Being able to assist the poor during their struggle can help them get a better chance in life.

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