Making a difference in this world through his leadership skills, Joseph Duano, a junior studying finance and marketing from Springfield, Virginia, shared his project experiences and advice for future leaders from BYU–Hawaii.
He said being involved in business projects and events in school has allowed him to connect with people all around the world. This, in turn, made him feel that he is fulfilling his life’s mission, “Building the [Lord’s] kingdom by building the people.”
Duano said that his loyalty to the Lord motivates him the most. He explained the reason why he continues to serve other people is that he wants to fulfill the Lord’s mission, which to him means building His people.
Coming to BYUH
Duano was born in the Philippines but moved to the United States when he was 12 years old. Duano said he had his eyes set on BYUH since he was a child. He explained that he had an uncle who graduated from BYUH around 2008 and was doing international business, and the way his uncle talked about his experiences made him want to come and study at the university as well.
Duano shared on his mission, he had “a companion… from here, Laie. They offered to have me live with them for the first semester. I thought, ‘Why not?’ That [was] another sign, another push that the Lord wanted me there.”
Throughout his three years at BYUH, Duano has been involved with several projects such as RiceUp, Hamiora, and Pandania. He is also currently the president of the Enactus organization.
Assistant Professor in the BYUH Willes Center David Waite, shared, “Specifically when you think of Enactus, he is our constant. He is the one we rely on. He is [there] for us; when we think of two people we go to, you go to Joseph and Princess. We know that they will get things done. We know that if they say it will get done, it will get done.”
Projects he has worked with
Explaining further about his experiences, Duano shared that the very first project he was involved with was Hamiora with Sam Mangakahia. He expressed his interest in creating business plans and how he liked the whole process of planning how to make a business more sustainable and profitable.
Mangakahia, a junior from Austrailia studying graphic design, recalled he and Duano met in 2016. Mangakahia competed in Great Ideas 2016, and afterward, Duano started helping him with Hamiora.
Mangakahia shared, “He really helped me to organize my thoughts, organize the structure of the company and really helped me to define what I sell in my company and how it can grow.”
For the year 2018, Duano pitched his idea, Pandania, which was a tea made from pure pandan. He explained back in the Philippines, they had a lot of pandan plants and observed it was used for different health benefits, such as healing stomach pain and headaches.
He said it took him a lot of experimentation to develop the product. After a month of research and trial and error, he finally got it to where he wanted it to be.
“At first, it was the type of pandan that I would try to crush and try to blend in the blender, to do all kinds of different things to finally figure out the right formula. I finally got to a point where I can have the pandan leaves, crushed and everything, and when you stick it in water, the whole water just permeates, and you can smell it right away, instantly.”
Currently, Duano is serving as a mentor for the Great Ideas workshops, which are held at HGB 275 every Wednesday at 5 p.m. The workshops involve other mentors as well, such as professors. Enactus invites teams who want to work on their pitch to come and get coaching before the finals.
Waite shared, “Joseph knows when to lead, and he knows when to follow, and I think that’s another gift he has. There are times when he has to step up and take control and lead the group, but… when the time comes for him to step back and just [follow]… he’s also good.”
One of the challenges Duano has faced this semester is time management. He shared, “We’re coming to the end of the semester, and a lot of things are happening all at once. I’m also a part of RiceUp as the Chief Strategist, so I’m meeting with the different RiceUp teams… I’m mentoring a lot of Great Ideas people, so that’s one of the biggest challenges, managing time, really finding a way to just reset and focus on my studies.”
Life outside business projects
Other than the business aspect of Duano’s life, he also is an active participant in yoga and has held several sessions with friends here at BYUH.
“I started yoga last year from the BYUH Outreach class because they had these fitness classes that you pay for and one of them was yoga - that was the only thing I was interested in. My friend Princess invited me to it, and I loved it because it was really helpful with just stress levels and I noticed it was helping me build muscle and it was more of a workout than I thought.”
After going to Washington D.C., a friend invited Duano to her yoga studio and started mentoring him there. He then applied the things he learned from his friend’s studio and began teaching yoga to his friends.
Ephraim Insigne, a senior from the Philippines studying accounting, shared how Duano’s confidence and outgoing personality stood out for him the most. “He seemed very comfortable talking to other people and was overall a very easy person to talk to.”
Plans for the future
“I want big things for the future. I want to have an empire; a business empire and I know that takes a lot of networking. Being part of Great Ideas, Empower Your Dreams, and then business competitions through RiceUp, it’s putting me out there, so I can work with people and their business ideas. That’s why I love mentoring because that’s part of my dream.
“Hopefully one day, I can be a part of their business, and they can be a part of mine, and together, we can all build an empire.”
He said it will take a lot of discipline once he puts himself out in public. “There’s going to be a lot of temptations. I’m not sure what it’s going to be, but I know that I have to be strong. This is the perfect place to prepare, and I think that yoga is another way that I can prepare, control my mind, and be calm.”
His mission and advice
Duano explained that his reason for wanting to build good relationships with people is that he feels he’s accomplishing his main goal of being loyal to the Lord. “Because for everything I do, it goes back to Him, His name and His will. Not only [will I be] able to help a lot of people, but also keep myself safe from the temptations the world throws at me.”
His final advice to the future world leaders BYUH will produce was, “Set your loyalties straight. That’s my only advice. Your loyalties first to the Lord, then to your companion… Make those decisions now so it wouldn’t be hard to make decisions after that because then you know who you’re doing it for.”