ASU mechanical engineering graduate encourages students to get involved

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2019 commencement.

Jun Sasaki is always on the go, whether he is building off-road vehicles or planning events for charity. Originally from Wailuku, Hawaii, Sasaki values giving back to his community and helping other students get involved with organizations that they are passionate about, including through the Programming and Activities Board.

“One of the best parts about coming to ASU is the experiences and memories you make and being part of PAB allowed me to give that to other students while being able to enjoy it myself,” he said. 

In addition to being a member of PAB, Sasaki was also involved with Changemaker Central, Fulton Ambassadors, Undergraduate Student Government, Inferno Insiders and Sun Devil Racing.  Each of these organizations provided him with opportunities to work with other students who shared his academic and personal interests.  

“I got involved in Sun Devil Racing because it was a good way to apply what I learned in class in a hands on-team competition.”

Sasaki was the manager for the Sun Devil Racing team, which designs and builds an off-road vehicle for the annual Baja SAE Collegiate Design Series competition. 

Sasaki is a member of the fall graduating class of 2019, completing a degree in mechanical engineering systems and a minor in business administration. As he closes this chapter of his Sun Devil life, he spoke to ASU Now about what he learned and his plans for the future. 

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: It was during high school when I was part of my FIRST and VEX robotics teams. Working with professionals from companies like Boeing and Maui Electric made me realize that I wanted to become an engineer. I was also always into building things and using my hands so I thought engineering or trade school would be perfect for me.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: In addition to everything I learned in the classroom, there were other things ASU taught me. From various soft skills to time management, everything I’ve learned at ASU will be valuable for my personal development. Being open to all ideas and perspectives was probably the biggest thing I learned. We are all individuals with our own stories, but I think the world would be a better place if we were just a little more open-minded. 

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: To be completely honest, I chose to come to ASU because of the Western Undergraduate Exchange scholarship, which made ASU an affordable option for me. My tuition here is only a little more than what I would have paid if I went to my home institution, and ASU gave me more options and opportunities.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: My thermodynamics and fluid mechanics professor, Dr. Pavlos Mikellides, was probably the toughest professor I’ve had while I was at ASU but he taught me the most in the amount of time I’ve had in his class.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Get involved and make friends. This is one of the last times you’ll be forced to interact and meet new people. Make connections and lifelong friends because these are the people that you will keep around in your life forever.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: My favorite spot on campus would have to be either the union or the SIM building (on ASU’s Polytechnic campus). These are the buildings where I spent the most amount of time and made the most memories at ASU. I also really enjoyed Sun Devil Stadium and being a Sun Devil football fan.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I have several offers for jobs and opportunities. I will be taking the winter break to make a decision on where I would like to be. I would also like to pursue an MBA within the next 5 to 10 years.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: If I got $40 million to solve any one problem in the world, it would be to make education more accessible. It doesn’t matter whether it’s trade school, university or community college. I think if we can make education something anyone can access, it will solve all other problems naturally.

Written by Claire Muranaka, EOSS Marketing