Podcast Transcript – Joaquin Soto

Today’s podcast features an interview with UNT alumnus Joaquin Soto. We asked him questions related to his program and a little about his postgraduation career path. We hope you’ll stay tuned.

My name’s Joaquin Soto. My degree was visual arts studies and I graduated in 2015. My current job right now as a 3D director for the high school program at the Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy. What was your main goal at UNT?

When I started at UNT, my main goal was to become an educator and so far as become exactly what I wanted it to be. But now I just I feel like I have a better capacity to kind of lead and get my students ready for college.

What advice do you have for current students as they decide their next steps after graduation?

My biggest advice for any potential students going into the field or going into internships is to be as friendly as possible and also make as many connections as you can. Like, you never know if you’re going to run into someone in the future. You want to make the best impression you can.

How did your program at UNT help you feel prepared for this role? My program at UNT helped me very much to feel prepared and just kind of knowing my contact area. I just learned a lot of stuff from my professors and they kind of helped me feel confident whenever I went into the job interview and then when I got hired.

How did you find your current role?

The way that I felt my current role was through pretty much just connections that I made throughout the years. I actually grew up in a district that I teach in and actually teach class in the same classroom that I had in ninth grade as a student. So it’s kind of like a weird full circle for me, but it was pretty much just kind of like like I said previously, just knowing the right people at the right time.

How has the career center helped you? The Career Center was really influential or helpful for me in getting my resume prepped and ready. That was the thing that I felt I was lacking. I had my ideas of what I needed to put in and the resume, but they helped me kind of polish it up, make it the best as possible. Because when you go into an interview, that’s the first impression. That’s the first thing people are going to know.

They’re going to see your resume and you have to make the best one that you can tell us about yourself and from of Mexico. I came here when I was seven years old, didn’t know a word of English, and I went into my second grade class and I really fell in love with art. So that’s how I got kind of dragged into the art education field. And I took art all the way through middle school, high school. And that’s just kind of like fell in love with the whole concept of it.

That’s why I want to go back to the district I came from. So kind of help out those future generations of future kids, especially the kids that are just kind of like me, that just don’t know much English or learning English, as you know currently. But the funny story about it became a US citizen like maybe two months ago. And that was like the really cool full story, my whole school celebrated the event, it was on the news.

It was really special, like everybody lined up. And as I walked into the school, they were just like cheering and a lot of like, you know, kids celebrating banners, music. So that was like a really cool gesture of them. My job really consists of three means anything in three dimensional sculpture, ceramics. We in my program, I brought in welding personally. That’s my my main field is welding. I like to do a lot of metal work, a lot of just found objects, all of them together make a really cool sculpture of them.

But that’s pretty much what I bring into my program is anything three dimensional? Like I said, just as long as it’s fills up a space, I’m all about it. My biggest advice to anyone doesn’t matter if they’re a student or not. It’s just to kind of be humble, be very know your worth like know what you can do, what you’re capable of doing. Just keep on practicing no matter what it is like, no matter what field you’re into.

Just keep on working. Keep on doing your thing. Even if people tell you you can’t do it or there’s like an obstacle, language, money, whatever there is, you need to kind of keep on doing your thing. And eventually, if you keep on doing that, someone’s going to notice you. Someone’s going to kind of stand out and be like, hey, you matter in that. To me, that’s something that recently I kind of experienced personally as a personal and the personal level as an artist.

I met a really awesome friend of mine. He’s a really well known Nigerian artist. And he pretty much told me when I met him, he saw my artwork and just really wanted me to kind of keep on doing my thing. So every now and then, he’ll just reach out to me, ask me what I’m doing, what work I’m doing, and just kind of keeps me accountable. And then you need someone like that too in your life, not just someone to keep you grounded and, you know, pushing forward.