Alumni — College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
CEO and Founder AeroBottle
Explain your career path.
Student in Engineering in Electronic Technologies (ITESM-SEMO) 2009-2014
Network Security Engineer (Dell) 2014-2017
CEO & Founder (AeroBottle) 2017-Present
What was your major at Southeast and how would you characterize the quality of that program to prospective students?
I originally studied Engineering in Electronic Technologies at Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico. I came to SEMO back in 2013 as part of my exchange program during my junior year.
However, I was able to take most of my credits within the Engineering, Science and Technology departments. I was very impressed with the programs, the professors, and the facilities at Southeast Missouri State University.
I remember I had to go through all the related programs of my career before selecting my credits at Southeast, I can say with confidence that all of them were very competitive and with so many subjects that emphasize the application of actual engineering to real world problems and situations.
Secondly, professors are key stone of the learning process of a student and, when I came to SEMO, I was honored to work with highly skilled professors and doctors, that not only did they know everything about the subjects they were teaching, but also their techniques to transfer their knowledge made my life easier during class, while learning the most of every topic and apply it to my engineering degree.
Finally, my degree required a lot of infrastructure, equipment, and resources. With no hesitation I can say that SEMO counts with the most modern amenities when it comes to engineering, especially electronics and automatization systems. Paired with highly rated programs up to date and qualified professors that care for the student, the University and their programs make a very tentative option for engineering school in the US.
If I had the chance to go to SEMO for my entire career, I would have no doubts about choosing SEMO as the best alternative to go to college.
Why did you choose to attend Southeast?
As I mentioned earlier, I attended SEMO for a year during my experience abroad during my junior year at college.
Back home, I really wanted to be an exchange student and decided to apply for a university in the US. My home university still has agreements with SEMO and this was probably one of the main reasons I chose to attend SEMO. However, looking at everything SEMO had to offer in terms of the engineering credits, facilities, sports, and extracurricular programs. I didn’t think twice before applying.
Besides, I found Cape Girardeau a great place to be. I love it so much here that I moved back to Cape after finishing college in Mexico.
Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?
My cousin Karla who also went to SEMO back when she was in college. It wasn’t a coincidence that she also attended Tec de Monterrey and spent some time abroad at SEMO. She mentioned to me how awesome her experience was, so it was already a huge advantage to have her as an ally while living in a different country.
On the other hand, it is hard to mention everyone as I was involved in so many things during my time at SEMO, from former president, the international office and professors, to new friends and mentors that I met along the way. They still influence me to the date. Even Dr. Carlos Vargas, I wish he was the President when I attended SEMO as I see how much he is involved with the community and the students of Southeast.
Share your best college memory.
I really enjoyed working with kids with Autism. This happened when I attended my university in Mexico, it was a great satisfaction to be able to help kids under this spectrum. As a student in engineering in electronics, I applied my knowledge and experience to build electronic devices such as toys and software that helped these kids with routines in a daily basis.
Regarding SEMO, I could say that my best college memory was to play the final intramural soccer league at the SEMO Hawk Stadium. Unfortunately, we lost the game, but I think it was really cool we got to play in the stadium as a finalist.
If you were in Greek Life, the Honors Program, or any other student organization, please tell us about that experience and how it impacted you.
During my time at SEMO, I was Vice-president and President of the Student Organization of Latinos. I did not only connect with students from Mexico, Spain and Latin America, but also I connected with more students and teachers from the US and the rest of the world who were also interested in our Hispanic culture.
How did this impact me? I am very proud of where I come from, being part of SOL was a great opportunity to show other people from many different places what my country is about, our traditions, food, language, etc. It gave me a voice and it was really gratifying seen interest from many American and foreign students in our organization.
I was also involved in the Spanish club, so I had the opportunity to help others who wanted to learn or improve their Spanish.
What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?
Inglés! To improve my English and dominate the language was probably one of the main goals when I came to Southeast.
But outside English, I learned a lot about American culture, leaving in a different country, speaking a different language, and learning about traditions. I learned to adapt to situations when you are mostly by yourself.
During my time at SEMO, I also experience my first internship, working for an American company gave me the understanding of how the real-world works, professionally speaking. I learned a lot through the tasks that I was assigned but it was also gratifying that the knowledge that I acquire while studying, it was also applied during this internship to help the company and other people.
I also learned how to teach. I volunteered to be a Spanish teacher at St. Paul Lutheran School. I realized that I had the skill, and obviously the knowledge of the Spanish language. I noticed there was a lack of teachers in the area and decided to serve and help with some classes in this school.
Overall, my time in SEMO was a very humbling experience, it made me growth in many areas of my life, personally and professionally. The early 20s are not easy, we feel like we know everything and these kind of college experiences show us to be humble, work hard but most importantly, help others and enjoy the process.
Describe Southeast in three words.
Learning, Opportunity, Fun
What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
What I can tell current students and recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in engineering in electronics, is that they must love it and enjoy it. But they also have to be willing to put the time and effort to become a highly skilled engineer. The country needs engineers, it is a very competitive field with so many areas imaginable under any engineering career.
Also, I encourage every student to do at least one internship in a company, exploring options and learning how the outside world works. I was lucky to do another internship at Dell during my senior year, this time as a Network Security Engineer. I had the knowledge about networks as I took a few classes within Cisco programs. I had the base and the challenge was to learn about Network Security Technologies. At the end of my internship, I also graduated, and I was hired as a full-time engineer at Dell. Therefore, I emphasized internships, as students can gain experience, find the area in their career that they want to pursue and, it also opens so many doors for a promising professional career.
Opportunities are everywhere, and life takes so many turns. In my case, thanks to the experience, the connections, and the work that I did during my first internship in Cape Girardeau, I was offered to come back to the US and start a company along with my mentors. These only come once in a lifetime, and it came after a good experience I had during an internship.
College is just the beginning of a professional career, learning doesn’t stop here as I guarantee ever student that they will learn every day, the world is evolving very fast and as engineers, it is our responsibility to stay up to date.