Ruben Aguilar

Class of 2021-2022

University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2021
Economics/Computer Science

Why I chose ESTEEM ?

There are a handful of reasons why I chose ESTEEM, but in short:

The first has to do with my first run in with start-ups. After having launched a small (and failed) start-up initiative my sophomore year of college, the entrepreneurship spirit within me was sparked. It's a feeling that's difficult to describe until you feel it, and I knew I wanted to feel it again. Although I was attracted to the salaries of traditional roles encompassed within my Computer Science & Economics dual-degree, I was starting to question the impact I wanted to have in my life: regular 9-5 analyst/software engineer or possibly a greater pursuit.
The second has do with how I never thought I'd ~actually~ be able to complete a Computer Science & Economics dual-degree program. Being the first in my family to go to college, I had no idea how the whole college thing worked. I enrolled figuring if I biffed one degree, maybe I'd still be able to get the other one, haha. However, by some pure miracle (and lots of hard work), I managed to pull both of them off.
These things coupled together, I realized I wanted to try and pursue something with a greater meaning, and I had nothing to lose. I was already at a place I never dreamed I'd be.
So, Why ESTEEM? After a few conversations with former students and faculty, it seemingly offered the sandbox to play and fail with unbelievable resources, at an amazing institution, and strong alumni network. It all turned out to be true, and is the best decision I've ever made.

My capstone project and why I'm excited about it ?

My capstone project is sponsored by Avanade, which is a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture: Intelligent Applications that Transform the Enterprise
At first glance, I was fairly intimidated by the project because I didn't know anything about Intelligent Applications. However, with some noted bias, I will now say I got the best project out of all of them.
I am extremely excited about my capstone project because the subject matter allows me to dive into the emerging field of artificial intelligence and application infrastructure. Everyday when I wake up, I'm tasked with discovering and validating innovative ideas that could -- not only bring value to Avanade -- but potentially revolutionize the field of artificial intelligence and application infrastructure! From desk work to interviewing PhD researchers and industry professionals, my own research/ideas have the potential to deliver actual impact, and I have an amazing company and faculty supporting me every step of the way. If that doesn't cause excitement someone who likes to learn, I don't know what would.

What I hope to do after ESTEEM ?

I am not entirely sure what I hope to do after ESTEEM yet. I simply hope to end up in a position that enables me to explore my natural curiosity and deliver impact in an area that I am passionate about.

What I like to do when I'm not working ?

When I am not working, I like to run, swim, and bike. I'm currently training for some upcoming triatholongs in Spring, so that takes up majority of my free time (and free energy). I also love the Notre Dame tailigating experience and hanging out with the amazing friends I've made here!


Don't be afraid to take risks! Life is truly too short to not do what you want.