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"I thought I had high expectations when I left my country, but my experience at Roosevelt has increased them even more."
For fourteen years, Milo Aguilar was a successful CEO of an architecture and planning firm in Mexico, offering integral design services like marketing, interior decoration, architectural design and construction. However, when he learned of a real estate scholarship to Roosevelt University through the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, he came to the United States to pursue his Master of Business Administration in Real Estate.
“I've always been interested in real estate, but in Mexico we don’t have real estate specialization. I was looking to learn things that would complement my architecture degree, like real-world situations by teachers who are professionals in the field.”
As the first international student in the Walter E. Heller College of Business working toward his MBA in Real Estate, Milo feels privileged to be a part of such a world-class institution. “Roosevelt’s power is not just its faculty and location, but its huge name recognition and reputation. The school has amazing relationships with other organizations, which isn’t very easy to find in a college.”
Milo studied on the Chicago Campus and graduated in December 2010. While he missed his family in Mexico, they knew he was following his passion at Roosevelt. “When I first came here, I was picturing myself studying all the time, just waiting to finish so I could go back and do what I was doing before, and offer better services to my clients. But I've been taking advantage of everything Roosevelt offers, like leadership courses. I’ve met the faculty, attended industry events and even took a free course in my field through one of the University’s partnerships. All this opened my eyes wide, and now I don’t want to go back to my firm. I want to learn more.”
There’s another reason Milo came to Roosevelt: “green building.” Though he’s been fascinated by developments in this area for years, there are few opportunities for green construction in Mexico. Currently working on his Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, he’s thrilled to have better access to organizations like the U.S. Green Building Council and the American Institute of Architects. “More companies are interested in how to save energy, save money and protect nature. As an architect, it’s important to know that you’re building something that won’t negatively affect the environment.”
During his time here, Milo made invaluable connections with a large number of industry professionals. Through networking opportunities and campus resources, he’s interned with Tropic Construction, the Urban Land Institute and Hispanic Housing Development Corporation. “These organizations help you understand the importance of what you are learning.”
He also attended the CoreNet Global Summit, conferences sponsored by the leading professional association for the corporate real estate industry. “Because you’re from Roosevelt, you’re treated like an important part of the real estate industry, not just a student. This makes you challenge yourself to be able to fill the professionals' expectations.”
While Milo continues to focus on environmentally-sound architecture, he’s looking forward to new career opportunities with his master’s degree. “I want to either work for a company that supports national or international investors who want to develop real estate in the United States and `other parts of the world, or I’d like to create a firm here in Chicago that offers these services. It would be a place where international and local students from Roosevelt could be involved and work together.”
Though he’s not sure about his plans to return home, he is sure of one thing: “I really miss the weather.”
Last updated 11/13/2013