Outstanding Graduate, Fall 2020
Julia Hughes says she has always been passionate about technology and how it can aid people in both their personal and professional lives.
Hughes, who originally chose to attend Arizona State University through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan and the flexibility offered by ASU Online, is graduating with a degree in technological entrepreneurship and management from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
“I loved that the major included business management elements since I knew it would be very applicable in my professional career path,” says Hughes. “I assumed [TEM] was primarily for those who wanted to start their own businesses. However, the courses taught me that you do not need to be a business startup in order to have an entrepreneurial impact and to use the concepts in a professional setting.”
While a student at ASU, Hughes worked full-time in two different technology-focused positions and volunteered at local charity organizations. Outside the classroom, Hughes was able to learn how to use technological tools to fulfill business process requirements and obtained five professional certifications.
Hughes says she knew she was on the right engineering path when she realized that she was an “intrapreneur” in her current profession.
“I was set on establishing my own business and believed this was the best, and maybe the only, way to put what I was learning into practice,” says Hughes. “Then one of the courses I took mentioned that there were different kinds of entrepreneurs and that there are intrapreneurs who are individuals who act as an entrepreneur within an organization. I was able to look at the work I was completing in a more valuable and impactful way.”
After graduation, Hughes will continue in her current role and stay in her native Washington.
“I would love to continue to develop technologies and processes that help companies and employees grow,” says Hughes. “I would also love to be able to do business consulting to help companies develop efficient processes, obtain and retain invaluable employees, and use technology effectively.”
For Hughes, her degree allows her to serve and help others through engineering solutions.
“Engineering is fun because there is constant problem solving and a sense of reward for solving those problems,” she says. “It has changed how I look at the world. I am more cognizant of pain points and I always look at how I can resolve them to serve and aid others.”