Figuring out your career path at an early age can be a daunting task. For Jolan Jolivette, he always knew that he wanted to center his career around serving others. Jolivette '15 works as a Special Assistant for Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. In this role, Jolivette has gotten to work on specific initiatives to help better the state of Louisiana. He is currently focused on the 2020 Census. Besides working in the political space, Jolivette is also a member of the Air National Guard. Throughout his life, Jolivette has always made it a priority to focus his work around service. As a student at UL Lafayette, he learned knowledge inside and outside of the classroom that helped him grow into the leader that he is today.
Originally from Lafayette, Jolivette grew up surrounded by Ragin' Cajun culture. He loved how involved the University was with the community and knew that he wanted to be a part of the UL Lafayette family. "It was a place that I always wanted to go," said Jolivette. As a student, Jolivette didn't hesitate to get involved with campus life. He became president of both the Political Science Club and the UL Lafayette College of Democrats, served on the Student Leadership Council, was a member of the Student Government Association, and was a columnist for the Vermilion. Besides these organizations, Jolivette really loved being a mentor for SOUL Camp, a camp designed to provide first-time freshmen with the skills and networks to help them develop leadership skills and Ragin' Cajun spirit. "I would urge anyone to attend," said Jolivette. In 2015, Jolivette graduated from UL Lafayette with a degree in political science and a minor in history. From there, he immediately put his degree to use and jumped headfirst into the world of politics.
After graduation, Jolivette became the campaign manager for former State Representative Stephen Ortego. Once that election was completed, he moved on to his next big endeavor: becoming the Regional Coordinator of the Acadiana area for John Bel Edwards in the 2015 Louisiana gubernatorial race. Both of these positions were filled with long days and late nights. Still, each gave Jolivette lots of experience in the political field. After John Bel Edwards won the 2015 election, Jolivette became a member of his administration and eventually became a Special Assistant to the Governor.
Outside of his work in politics, Jolivette wanted to fulfill another one of his passions: serving his country. After working a few years for Governor Edwards, he decided to join the Air National Guard. "I've always wanted to serve," said Jolivette. He enlisted in August of 2018 and attended basic training. This training put Jolivette to the test, but it also taught him that he could accomplish anything. "At the end of the day, I know I can tackle whatever is coming my way," said Jolivette. Soon, Jolivette will be attending the Air Force Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base to become an Intelligence Officer.
As he moves further into his career, Jolivette wants to continue to set the bar higher for himself. "I always want to aspire to be better and be greater," said Jolivette. His ambitions include a possible run for public office, furthering his education, and possibly going to flight school. Regardless of where his journey takes him, Jolivette feels incredibly blessed to be where he is in life currently. He is confident that no matter where his future leads him, he will continue to serve his country, his community, and always make his Ragin' Cajun family proud.
Photo: A headshot of Alumni Spotlight, Jolan Jolivette