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Student Spotlight

Manuel Aguilar

BSBA International Business Candidate

Naval Aircrewman Operator, US Navy

1.  What is your educational and military background? 

I joined the Navy September 9th 2009, right after graduating high school. I became a Naval Aircrewman Operator. My first two years in the Navy involved a lot of different schools and training. The first school I went to was Naval Air Crew Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida where I received water survival training.  After graduating from NACCS I went to NATTC (Naval Air Technical Training) where I became a student at the AW (Naval Aircrewmen Operator) school, and learned basic navigation, oceanography, and how to track submarines. Upon completion of this school I officially picked up my rate as an AW.  My next school was SERE (Survive, Evade, Resist and Escape) in NAS North Island in San Diego, CA. This school puts its sailors and marines in a prisoner of war situation to train them on how to act and how to return with honor in the off chance that they get put in that position. My next school was at VP-30 NAS Jacksonville, where I learned about the aircraft that I would be flying and working in for the next four years of my Naval career. Upon graduation I joined my first operational squadron Patrol Squadron Four in beautiful Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii in July 2011. I went on two deployments overseas and participated in multiple exercises with military from different nations. My first big military exercise was RIMPAC 2012, and this was my first exposure to the international community. Later I participated in Joint Warrior in Scotland, and worked with the French, Canadian, and UK forces. I left the Navy as a Naval Aircrewman Operator Second Class after 6 wonderful years of service in August 2015. I started school immediately here at CU Denver.
2.   Why did you choose CU Denver?

I chose CU Denver because they offer an International Business degree and I really liked the location. I had never been to Colorado before but had heard good things from friends that I served with in the Navy.

3.   Why did you choose to study International Business?

In high school I was president of DECA, a business club, and got exposed to international business for the first time. When I was in the Navy I was introduced to the international community through my travels. I got to visit 11 different countries around the world and saw how small the world is, and it reminded me of my DECA days in high school. When I got out of the Navy I knew I wanted to get a degree in International Business and have a career that would keep me in contact with the international community. 

4.  How has CIBERVets helped you succeed?

The International Executive Roundtable events have given me more insight on what’s going on around the world in business, and has helped me figure out what I like. The connections I made at CIBERVets also helped me land an internship at the World Trade Center Denver last spring.

5.  Do you have any advice for current or potential students at CU Denver?

Go to every event that you can even if it doesn’t sound interesting. Some of the best events I’ve attended were ones that didn’t have an interesting flyer. The ones that I knew nothing about were the ones that I learned the most, and if you don’t learn anything you’ll at least make some good connections.

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