The Final Exam is your chance to get advice and insights from experts in the industry. For the September/October issue, Campus Rec spoke with Jorge Juarez, the executive director at Arizona State University (ASU).
1. How did you get started in the industry?
Jorge Juarez: I had a student job in the rec center at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as I paid my way through school. I thought I was going to be a coach, but Dave Hall and Jeff Dupont saw something in me that led me to this industry.
2. How would you go about describing campus recreation at ASU?
JJ: If I can sum it up in two words: big and busy. ASU has a rec center on each of its four campuses. Programs, services and education is done for all ASU students no matter the location.
3. What has been one of the biggest challenges you have faced throughout your career?
JJ: Having to prove I belong. We as people have prejudices’ whether we admit to them or not. As I move up the organization chart, I continually have to prove I belong.
4. What has been one of the biggest accomplishments of your career?
JJ: Opening a brand-new recreation center for the campus of Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas. Students on this campus did not have their own workout facility prior to my arrival; students shared with the Athletic programs. That building is still running and students are thriving in many of the same programs that our team started in 2007.
5. What is one lesson you have learned that other recreation professionals might benefit from?
JJ: A long-time supervisor once told me, “Please ask for help.” As humans, one of the hardest things is to admit we need help. If you learn to ask for help early, you can more likely save yourself from drowning in work.
6. What is one fun fact about yourself others may not know?
JJ: My wife and I were featured on a television show called, “The Wedding Story.” It was 20 years ago and was on TLC.