John Malik '96 B.A.

Editor's Note: John Malik is one of several international alumni profiled in ASU Magazine's May 2012 issue.

Which groups or activities were you most involved in at ASU? What did you gain from that involvement?

I was ASASU (Associated Students of ASU) vice president for a couple of years, and that took up a lot of my extracurricular schedule. The Leadership Scholarship Program and Devils' Advocates filled in any remaining gaps. Those experiences were great. ASASU toughens you up; you won’t find mild-mannered folks in a room full of aspiring politicians. LSP brought together some of the most thoughtful and outward-looking people I’ve ever met. And, of course, thanks to Devils' Advocates, I picked up that backwards walking and talking skill that's been useful ever since.

How did your education at ASU prepare you for your current job or business?

I work as a banker in London, focusing largely on clients in emerging sections of Europe and the Middle East. Much of what I feel I bring to the table from a professional perspective are personal attributes reinforced by my time at ASU. The culture at ASU is uniquely diverse, with an emphasis on inclusion and collaboration that really stands out in comparison to my experiences elsewhere, and the size of the university works to its advantage in this respect. I'm really glad to have been a part of that.

Which ASU professor(s) made a lasting impression on you and why?

It's not obvious, but I picked up a lot of what you need to navigate a professional commercial environment in a philosophy course called Symbolic Logic, taught by Brad Armendt. It became clear pretty quickly that philosophy wasn't about meandering through ancient texts at leisure in padded leather armchairs. This was painstaking stuff, translating the relationship between language and mathematics and really testing your ability to think rigorously. It was my worst grade at ASU, but the most useful class in my four years there.

Why have you chosen to be a member of the Alumni Association?

It can be a bit awkward, but I’ll happily confront anyone on a London sidewalk who's wearing ASU merchandise – I clearly like the idea of serving as one of the many touch points in Europe for the Alumni Association and the university. There are more than a handful of alumni in the region, and we've recently engaged with both the association's and ASU's leadership regarding connectivity and communication. The results could be exciting, both in terms of university initiatives and for each of us from a personal and professional perspective.

What current development at ASU do you find most exciting? Why?

What has happened at the College of Law since my time at ASU is really extraordinary. I went to law school a couple of years after graduation and recent developments at the school would have challenged my thought process around this at the time.

It's also exciting to observe the remarkable impact that the new campuses are having on the urban environment, particularly in downtown Phoenix.

What are three "can't-miss" ASU experiences every Sun Devil should participate in?

  1. Enjoy the Arizona outdoors. It's easy to overlook when you're there, but there's nothing quite like it anywhere else.
  2. Live on campus for some part of your ASU experience. It's a big place in many ways and there’s nothing that personalizes your experience as quickly as living in a residence hall.
  3. Spend some time with our neighbors to the South. Make some friends in Tucson, get down south for the Big Game, cross the border and get out there. Who knows if you'll have the chance to do it again?
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