Leadership Studies Alumni Spotlight: Hector Aguilar

Hector Aguilar

Role: Union Representative 
Industry/Sector: Warehousing and Processing Industry
Year graduated from Cal Poly Humboldt: 2023

Please tell us about yourself.

I am the son of Mexican immigrants who made a good life for themselves in this country through hard work and luck. I grew up in Los Angeles and currently live in the city’s East Los Angeles neighborhood.
For the last ten years I have been a Union Representative for a warehouse local of the longshoreman’s union. In this role, I am responsible for negotiating and enforcing labor agreements and contracts on behalf of warehouse workers in many different locations in Southern California. The job is stressful, and at times overwhelming – but the feeling of making a small difference in the lives of working people in an often-exploited industry is fulfilling.
Some of my interests include running, biking and swimming. Currently, I am training for my second Malibu Triathlon.
What motivated you to enroll in the Leadership Studies program?

At the onset of the pandemic, I decided to complete a once abandoned goal of earning a bachelor’s degree. The Leadership Studies Program was convenient from a scheduling aspect, because it is available completely online. Additionally, the courses that make up the program align perfectly within my career goals.
How has the Leadership Program positively impacted your personal and/or professional life?

Professionally, the program has given me many more tools to help streamline the processes in our organization and help to fulfill its mission of helping working people. Every project provides me with new material I can leverage professionally.
What are your goals after completing the Leadership Studies degree program?

Goal # 1: Finish the Malibu Triathlon and Goal #2: pursue my Master's Degree in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding. 
What do you think people who are considering this program should know before they start?  Any advice for prospective students?

Establish a good, well-rounded schedule. Because the semesters are divided into two 8-week schedules, the semesters move fast. There is a ton of interesting and useful material, as well as amazing non-major courses, which take time to digest. A well-balanced schedule consisting of work, self-care, studying, and leisure will go a long way in your success.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?

The Leadership Studies advising staff, instructors, and fellow students are supportive, helpful, and are a great resource along the way. Whenever possible, make time to get to know all the amazing folks you will meet in this program.