Ruben Aguilar discusses RFI-Funded Project, technology, leadership on Rural Futures Podcast


March 6, 2019 — Problem-solving and leadership work hand in hand, according to Ruben Aguilar, a computer science and engineering student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Aguilar was an undergraduate mentor for the RFI-funded Rural Youth Entrepreneurship Clinics (YEC) which recently earned $493,560 in funding from the United States Department of Agricultural National Institute of Food and Agriculture. YEC was created by strategically connecting three RFI-funded projects.

Aguilar shares his experience with YEC during the Bold Voices student segment of the Rural Futures Podcast Episode 22 at 16:23. This episode features Robin Jourdan, an information technology futurist who recently wrapped up a 25-year career in the automotive industry, and it is available across listening platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

During his segment, Aguilar digs deep into his participation in YEC and his love for solving problems. As an undergraduate mentor, he helped a group of high school students with pre-stage analytics and guided them through data collection and transfer. “My biggest takeaways were definitely my problem-solving approach and the community that we had,” he says.

Based on his experience as a YEC mentor, Aguilar shares his vision for leadership. “My idea of a leader is just being able to convey the vision and getting people together to work toward that vision,” he says.

Aguilar also encourages listeners to integrate problem-solving into their leadership styles. “When you begin to work on a project, you’ll begin to realize that there are a lot of very small problems that will add up if they’re not resolved,” he says. “So I think being a leader is all about being able to give those solutions, because it’s so easy to get lost on a project with so many details.”


About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.