Each year the David Eccles School of Business invites First Ascent scholars, faculty, and mentors to connect over dinner and listen to an alumni guest speaker. This year, DJ Joune, the official home DJ of the Utah Jazz, spoke at the event and shared how he lives a life of passion and service.
Joune began his inspirational talk with a snapshot of his background. Originally from Haiti, he described his move to Utah as a “second birth.” Joune shared his struggles as an international student, discovering his identity, pursuing his passion for music, and overcoming personal challenges. This process allowed him to channel his passions into reality.
Sharing photos of his early-DJing days, he explained that every year brought new hurdles, and that flexibility is essential to success. Between 2008 and 2020, Joune summed an equation to show how he came to be where he is now:
Time + Perseverance + Risk + Education + Action + Grit + Mindset + Failures + Help = New Me
By first focusing on personal development and then defining his passion, Joune was able to commit to a life plan around his goals. Success to him meant dedication, freedom, and hard work. Gratitude for opportunities, and also being thankful for what you currently have while you work on what you want, is essential. Failure and feedback ultimately lead to growth, and Joune encouraged students to use this lesson to their advantage.
“DJ Joune was great,” noted First Ascent Scholar Edwin Roman. “He was probably one of the best speakers we have had. Hearing him talk about what he learned from failures and triumphs was great. It was also a lot of fun to catch up with faculty that attend the event each year.”