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Celebrating Our 2021 Graduates: Justin Eng

Justin Eng, GraduAsian 21

Major: M.S. Marketing, McCombs School of Business, ‘21/International Relations & Global Studies/Chinese Language & Culture, College of Liberal Arts ‘20

Hometown: Spring, Texas

Programs & Activities: University Campus Events + Entertainment; Terry Scholars Student Association; Taiwanese International Student Association; Global Professional Training: East & Southeast Asia; Asian Business Student Association; Rotaract; Asian Desi Pacific Islander American Collective (ADPAC)

Celebration time…Eng is one of several members of the ADPAC student agency who are leading the much-anticipated GraduAsian event, a virtual celebration honoring this year’s AAPI graduates. “I am really excited to celebrate the many accomplishments from my fellow AAPI graduating peers! I am stoked that we were able to revive GraduAsian because I think it is important to recognize the impacts and accomplishments AAPI students have on campus throughout their time here.”

Finding his calling…Eng found his passion for helping others while participating in a post-high school year-long study abroad program in Taiwan, where he fell in love with Taiwanese and Chinese culture. Inspired by his experiences, he later took on a research assistantship position within the Steve Hicks School of Social Work that allowed him to help low-income Texas families gain access to childcare services. “These two experiences combined made me want to help those in need in Taiwan and China.”

Helping families in need…During his junior year, Eng jumped at the opportunity to study abroad in Shanghai, where helped families in rural villages in a variety of ways—from fixing houses to educating children to providing communication resources for families. “This really inspired me to continue this line of work—and hopefully I can have my own non-profit organization in the future.”

An eventful experience…Of all his accomplishments, Eng is especially proud of his work with University Campus Events + Entertainment. His efforts were recently rewarded when he was named a recipient of the Shirley Bird Perry Leadership Award, a $5,000 scholarship given to students who dedicate their time and talents toward supporting campus life at UT Austin. “I have been part of this organization for about three years and have helped create some of the coolest events on campus, such as Lunar New Year, Crushgrams featuring David Archuleta, ChillFest and Forty Acres Fest. I am especially proud of how successful our events were this year because of how we adapted to the online environment and safely brought events to UT students during this difficult time.”

Life after UT Austin…After graduation, Eng will be moving to Los Angeles to work as a data analyst for Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the biggest advertising agencies in America. “I always enjoyed exploring how everyday products affect the lives of everyone. I also like advertising because of how it can move people and be the reason for someone to do something. Most importantly, I hope to find a job where I can couple business and philanthropic work to drive social change.”

Eliminating barriers…Ultimately, Eng hopes to start a nonprofit aimed at improving the lives of underprivileged communities in Taiwan and China. “I hope to provide social services and financial resources for those groups. My undergraduate thesis was around poverty and the ‘left behind generation’ in China, where I thoroughly researched the struggles and barriers face by many families.”

Advice for future Longhorns… “Try to take as many opportunities as you can and say ‘yes.’ I have been blessed with so many things such as meeting the love of my life, getting scholarships, making lifelong friends, and so much more because I got out of my comfort zone and took a chance on a lot of things. UT has a lot to offer, so take a bite out of it as much as you can until you find your home on campus. Looking back, you’ll be thanking yourself that you did.”