Make a Difference Monday

When Joe Daufenbach, Arts ’13, Grad ’14, enrolled at Marquette for his undergraduate studies, his initial plan was to make his way to Capitol Hill. Two years since graduating from Marquette, Joe has yet to find himself working in the White House. Instead, after exploring a few different fields through Marquette’s liberal arts core, he found that his interests truly lie in economics which led to a career in corporate real estate and facilities management.

His post-graduate experience has kept him close to his alma mater. He worked with locally headquartered Johnson Controls and survived a corporate acquisition after his business unit was divested to CBRE Group, Inc. During that time he received a leadership award and also pursued continuing education in the facilities management industry. Joe’s Marquette experience illustrates how the university not only arms students for success, but also ensures that students find their passions along the way.

Joe’s shift in concentration from politics to economics exemplifies the broad interests of Marquette students. He recollects, “Marquette really taught me how to think in a multi-disciplinary way, and the emphasis on development of the whole person definitely contributed to my success.”

He began as an intern with Johnson Control’s Global Workplace Solutions (GWS), moving to a full-time marketing analyst role and finally to a position as a commercial manager in their Americas region after CBRE Group, Inc. acquired GWS. He accredits his success to a combination of his own hard work and the impact of a Marquette education. “The lessons I learned, the relationships I made and the values instilled in me at Marquette have helped me to achieve things that would have been impossible with hard work alone.”

Joe remains connected with Marquette as a donor seeking to pay it forward for students following in similar footsteps. “Without [the generosity of alumni] I would have missed out on the truly life-changing opportunity that Marquette provided to me.” Revisiting the importance of his time as a student, he says, “I see giving to Marquette as an opportunity to not only pay back what was provided to me, but also provide someone else the opportunity to elevate their potential for achievement.”

Joe certainly elevated his own potential for achievement, utilizing his talents honed while at Marquette to rise in the ranks within his corporation, completing his Facilities Management Professional credential and receiving a leadership award from CBRE. As to where he sees himself going next, Joe hopes to continue to “learn something new every day, be constantly challenged, work with a great team, and feel like I’m making or ‘being’ the difference.”

Originally published at

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