During his four years at Case Western Reserve University, senior Raul Arturo Hernandez-Gonzalez has been highly involved, leaving his mark in a variety of ways as a student leader.
A major part of his undergraduate experience has been the Math Club, which he led as president for two years, working to bring the university’s math community together to talk about different topics in the field. During his time as president, Hernandez-Gonzalez, an international student from Mexico studying mathematics and computer science, established a mentorship program that matched underclassmen with upperclassmen.
Hernandez-Gonzalez also spent one year as president of the CWRU chapter of the math honor society Pi Mu Epsilon, and helped Dasani Madipalli establish the Girls Who Code chapter on campus. He also helped other students as a peer tutor and teaching assistant.
But one of Hernandez-Gonzalez’ most lasting contributions has been as a champion of a new policy for employers recruiting students from Case Western Reserve.
After a summer internship at Microsoft following his first year, Hernandez-Gonzalez received an offer to return the following summer. But it was only September, and he had just two weeks to accept.
While Hernandez-Gonzalez valued his experience there, he wanted to take time to explore his options. Ultimately, he decided to return to Microsoft after his sophomore year. However, he recognized how such a short turnaround could be difficult for students in similar situations.
“Two weeks—that is nothing,” said Hernandez-Gonzalez. “That’s no time to decide to apply to other companies, see what you like.”
Inspired by his experience, Hernandez-Gonzalez met with what is now Post-Graduate Planning and Experiential Education to work on adding a clause to the university’s policies for recruiters that would allow students to extend the deadline to respond to offers. Now, students have two weeks or until Dec. 1, whichever comes later.
During his first summer with Microsoft, Hernandez-Gonzalez worked in building applications for businesses, a position mainly rooted in computer engineering. Work he completed during that stint ended up being included in a video released by Microsoft.
“It felt like I was actually making some change—it’s actually affecting society in some way,” Hernandez-Gonzalez said.
In his second summer with Microsoft, Hernandez-Gonzalez worked with the Division of Business Intelligence on algorithms, which tapped more into his math skills.
After graduation, Hernandez-Gonzalez will return to Microsoft in Seattle as a software engineer. Eventually, he hopes to return to school to earn a master’s degree.
Get to know Hernandez-Gonzalez ahead of commencement by reading his answers to this week’s five questions.
1. What new hobby would you pursue if you had more time?
A few weeks ago I started making math animations and sharing them on social media. I always wanted to share how cool math was, but I hesitated.
I’d also like to continue learning piano. I really loved playing while I was in high school.
2. Where is your favorite spot on or near campus to work, read or study?
If I’m [studying] alone, I really like the privacy of just being in my room; it’s very quiet. But if I’m collaborating with people, I like the study rooms in The Village.
3. What new place would you most like to travel?
India because, first, my girlfriend is from there so I want to know more about her culture, and second, I also really like Indian food.
Another place I would like to visit is Japan. I have a lot of friends who have gone there, and it sounds like a cool place.
4. If you could learn another language, what would you choose?
I’m actually learning Chinese. I took some classes here at Case [Western Reserve] and was thinking of doing a Chinese minor. I would also learn more German; I learned a bit in middle school but I didn’t have time to pursue it.
5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve?
I really like all of the people I’ve met. Everyone is really nice and welcoming. I guess I’m biased, but I love the math and computer science department faculty; I’ve gotten a lot of advice from professors. They’re always nice and understanding of what you’re going through and will try to do the best for you.