JA Alumni Story: Martine Garcia

Posted in: Alumni Stories

What did you want to be when you were little? When Martine Garcia was growing up, he wanted to be a truck driver since that’s what his father did for a living, but Junior Achievement of Arizona (JA) opened his eyes to other possibilities that were more aligned with his passions and interests. Now he’s come full circle and works at Arizona State University (ASU), helping countless students find the right career paths.

Martine’s career exploration journey started in 5th grade when he received in-classroom JA lessons on important financial concepts, including what paychecks and bank accounts are. During a recent interview, Martine said the experience made him want to learn more, recalling that he surprised his mother with his newfound ability to write a check. These lessons prepared him and his classmates for a field trip to JA BizTown, which was called Exchange City at the time.

Martine and his peers got to be adults for a day in a student-sized town, learning what it’s like to work, earn a paycheck, pay bills, and spend your money wisely. He landed a job at the radio station, which he not only enjoyed, but found extremely eye-opening. “It was a fun experience because it forced me to think about my skill set and what I like to do and what I don’t like to do.”

He realized that he likes talking, helping others, and he’s good with people, so in the future, he’d want to find a job aligned with those interests and skills — and that’s exactly what he did! Martine is now the Assistant Director of Strategic Initiatives at Career Services With ASU. He’s making the most of his passion for helping others by encouraging students to discover and pursue their dream jobs.

“Career exploration needs to be starting at a younger and younger age,” he explained. “Throughout their formative years, students should be thinking about their skills and strengths, and building on others … [JA] helps students explore those concepts in an understandable way.”

He went on to say that finding the right job isn’t just about making money, but about feeling fulfilled, making an impact, and having the right skill set. At JA, we offer programs that inspire students to dream big and find the right career path for their unique interests and skills. We’re so glad that Martine’s experience with JA not only helped him find a great job, but also led to him making such a big difference in the community!