MINERVA VOICES

A Conversation with Minerva Alumnus Rafael

Meet Rafael, an alumnus of the Class of 2022.

June 27, 2022

After 18 years of living in a small town south of Mexico City, Carlos “Rafael” Garduño Acolt, Class of 2022, felt like their future was predetermined, mapped out with a straight and narrow path. However, Rafael found a second home with Minerva during their first semester in San Francisco. “Feeling accepted and celebrated for the first time really changed the way I think about myself and my future,” Rafael reflects.

Through its powerful competencies, exposures, and experiences Minerva offers such as world travel, critical thinking, effective communication, societal reformation, etc., Rafael finally found themselves for the first time. “I was finally able to be myself for the first time in my life. Minerva helped me grow personally, professionally, and academically.”

Through Minerva’s financial aid and work-study program, opportunities opened for Rafael that were once unimaginable and unattainable. Traveling the world and being exposed to new cultures and philosophies, while also being challenged intellectually, to think outside the box with like-minded students.

Rafael recalls a Minerva semester spent in London with classmates, describing a moment of realization, one of finally being content in life, a feeling that had been gradually building during past semesters. “As a queer person, for the first time in my life, I felt like I belonged somewhere.”

Even though Rafael and their classmates were in a foreign city, on lockdown, during the pandemic, they created a sense of family among the group. For Rafael, this meant everything. “I think of London as my favorite semester at Minerva because my classmates and community made me feel safe, loved, and accepted. I was able to carry that feeling into my next three semesters, a feeling I plan to carry for the rest of my life.”

Rafael just graduated this month and is in the best position possible to begin their professional journey, both mentally, and academically. “Minerva empowered me to choose my own future, helping me define what success and happiness look like. My experience at Minerva has really changed how I feel about myself and how I feel about the world,” said Rafael.

Minerva University, recently named the most innovative university in the world, offers diverse experiences and exposures to its students through its learning pedagogy and technically innovative learning platform — teaching human learning processes that are often ignored across the rest of academia. Its students travel to seven cities across the globe, applying project-based teachings to local challenges, generating off-the-charts rates of admissions selectivity, social diversity, and professional outcomes.

Quick Facts

Name
Country
Class
Major

Cognitive Science and Economics & Political Science

Social Sciences & Business

Business & Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Computational Sciences & Social Sciences

Computer Science & Arts and Humanities

Business and Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Arts and Humanities

Business, Social Sciences

Business & Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences, Natural Sciences

Data Science, Statistics

Computational Sciences

Business

Computational Sciences, Data Science

Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Business, Natural Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences

Natural Sciences

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Science

Social Sciences, Business

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Science

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Science, Statistic Natural Sciences

Business & Social Sciences

Computational Science, Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Business

Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Arts and Humanities

Computational Science

Minor

Computational Science & Business

Economics

Social Sciences

Concentration

Cells and Organisms & Brain, Cognition, and Behavior

Applied Problem Solving & Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence & Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Designing Societies & New Ventures

Strategic Finance & Data Science and Statistics

Brand Management and Designing Societies

Data Science & Economics

Machine Learning

Cells, Organisms, Data Science, Statistics

Arts & Literature and Historical Forces

Artificial Intelligence & Computer Science

Cells and Organisms, Mind and Emotion

Economics, Physics

Managing Operational Complexity and Strategic Finance

Global Development Studies and Brain, Cognition, and Behavior

Scalable Growth, Designing Societies

Business

Drug Discovery Research, Designing and Implementing Policies

Historical Forces, Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Artificial Intelligence, Psychology

Designing Solutions, Data Science and Statistics

Data Science and Statistic, Theoretical Foundations of Natural Science

Strategic Finance, Politics, Government, and Society

Data Analysis, Cognition

Brand Management

Data Science and Statistics & Economics

Cognitive Science & Economics

Data Science and Statistics and Contemporary Knowledge Discovery

Internship
Higia Technologies
Project Development and Marketing Analyst Intern at VIVITA, a Mistletoe company
Business Development Intern, DoSomething.org
Business Analyst, Clean Energy Associates (CEA)

Conversation

After 18 years of living in a small town south of Mexico City, Carlos “Rafael” Garduño Acolt, Class of 2022, felt like their future was predetermined, mapped out with a straight and narrow path. However, Rafael found a second home with Minerva during their first semester in San Francisco. “Feeling accepted and celebrated for the first time really changed the way I think about myself and my future,” Rafael reflects.

Through its powerful competencies, exposures, and experiences Minerva offers such as world travel, critical thinking, effective communication, societal reformation, etc., Rafael finally found themselves for the first time. “I was finally able to be myself for the first time in my life. Minerva helped me grow personally, professionally, and academically.”

Through Minerva’s financial aid and work-study program, opportunities opened for Rafael that were once unimaginable and unattainable. Traveling the world and being exposed to new cultures and philosophies, while also being challenged intellectually, to think outside the box with like-minded students.

Rafael recalls a Minerva semester spent in London with classmates, describing a moment of realization, one of finally being content in life, a feeling that had been gradually building during past semesters. “As a queer person, for the first time in my life, I felt like I belonged somewhere.”

Even though Rafael and their classmates were in a foreign city, on lockdown, during the pandemic, they created a sense of family among the group. For Rafael, this meant everything. “I think of London as my favorite semester at Minerva because my classmates and community made me feel safe, loved, and accepted. I was able to carry that feeling into my next three semesters, a feeling I plan to carry for the rest of my life.”

Rafael just graduated this month and is in the best position possible to begin their professional journey, both mentally, and academically. “Minerva empowered me to choose my own future, helping me define what success and happiness look like. My experience at Minerva has really changed how I feel about myself and how I feel about the world,” said Rafael.

Minerva University, recently named the most innovative university in the world, offers diverse experiences and exposures to its students through its learning pedagogy and technically innovative learning platform — teaching human learning processes that are often ignored across the rest of academia. Its students travel to seven cities across the globe, applying project-based teachings to local challenges, generating off-the-charts rates of admissions selectivity, social diversity, and professional outcomes.