Alumnus Profile: Ruben Ornelas-Luna
AQ alumnus, Ruben Ornelas-Luna ‘11, has landed a job that he loves and is actively involved in the Grand Rapids and Aquinas communities since graduating in 2011 with a double major in international business and French. Ornelas-Luna holds many fond memories of the Aquinas community and appreciates the education he received.
He decided to come to Aquinas because it was close to home and he wanted to play college soccer. Prior to attending Aquinas, he did not know much about the school but quickly fell in love. “Every year I found myself doing new fun things, whether it was going to see comedians at the Moose or getting involved in a new club,” said Ornelas-Luna. “I eventually joined BAL [Business and Accounting League], SIFE [Students In Free Enterprise], and SAAB [Student Athlete Advisory Board]. These clubs provided great experiences that I would later use in making myself more marketable for job opportunities.”
As a French major, Ornelas-Luna took the opportunity to study abroad in Angers, France his junior year. The experience was life changing and Ornelas-Luna would recommend it to any Aquinas student.
Associate Professor of French, Dr. Michel Pichot, accompanied students to Angers, France the year that Ornelas-Luna went. “What I remember of Ruben was his commitment to learn the language and discover the French culture,” said Pichot. “As to his personality, he impressed me as being respectful towards all his peers and professors, and pleasant to interact with a good sense of humor.”
Little did Ornelas-Luna know that this trip was going to be the beginning of many trips for him outside of the United States. Just a few short weeks after graduating from Aquinas, Ornelas-Luna, received a job at Bucher Hydraulics, Inc. He holds an international sales position where he handles all of the international accounts and interacts with people from around the world each day. “I have had the opportunity to travel to Switzerland and Germany with my company and look forward to more trips around the world in the years to come,” said Ornelas-Luna. “I enjoy applying what I learned in my international business courses in the business world and am very grateful I was able to find a job so close to what I studied.”
He said that before he interviewed for his position at Bucher Hydraulics, he went to the career center and received help on his resume. The staff there also conducted a mock interview with him so that he could be calm and prepared for the real interview. Ornelas-Luna said, “[At Aquinas] you get to meet and know the profs on a more personal level.”
He believes that the professors at Aquinas truly care about their students and want them to succeed. Ornelas-Luna is conscious of the fact that Aquinas’ professors have helped mold him into the human being he is today even though he may not have always realized it at the time. For their mentorship, he is grateful. Ornelas-Luna said, “Although [Aquinas professors] can sometimes be tough on you, they do it because they care and when you look back you can really appreciate everything they did for you.”
Ornelas-Luna manages to find time in his busy schedule to be involved with the community of Grand Rapids. His love for soccer has not ended since graduation so Ornelas-Luna has taken opportunities to continue playing after college. He coached for the Grand Rapids Crew Juniors, a local soccer club. He also plays soccer himself in East Grand Rapids Recreation leagues and Hispanic leagues throughout Grand Rapids. With the help of Bucher Hydraulics, Aquinas coaching staff and Aquinas soccer players, Ornelas-Luna has held two soccer camps for students of a local Grand Rapids elementary school, San Juan Diego Academy. The camp is free to these students and has been a success.
But Ornelas-Luna’s involvement with the community is not limited only to soccer. “Recently I have pursued a position on the Hispanic Center of West Michigan board that will hopefully help me get more involved with the Hispanic community in the area,” said Ornelas-Luna. “I was also asked to be involved with the Latino Student Association that is new to Aquinas as an alumni mentor and look forward to that once the 2013 school year starts.” As an Aquinas alumnus, Ornelas-Luna is happy to continue to be actively involved in both the Aquinas and Grand Rapids communities.