Skip to main content

Graduate Programs Blog

Graduate Programs Blog

Aileen Acuna

Aileen Acuna Headshot
MILR, '20
Palm Bay, FL
Human Resources & Organizations

Why did you choose the MILR program?

I had been considering multiple programs where I could study Human Resources, but I appreciated ILR’s interdisciplinary approach to the topic.I also fell in love with the campus when I visited one summer!

What was your favorite part about the MILR program?

I made many good memories and even better friends with my peers in the program.  I appreciated the professional exposure we were given, and really enjoyed supplementing my classes in ILR with courses from other programs on campus.

What was your favorite class?

I really enjoyed Nonprofit Management and Finance with Joe Grasso. I learned a lot about how non-profits operate and had assignments that pushed me to think critically and hone my financial acumen. I also enjoyed Human Resource Management with Chris Collins and Brad Bell; the class strongly influenced my mindset for the rest of the program.

What is your favorite part of Ithaca?

I really enjoyed exploring some of Ithaca’s many waterfalls, especially in the fall.There’s a lot of really stunning nature, and it was fun to go hiking with other MILRs.I would also recommend Ithaca Beer Co if looking for a good restaurant where one can spend time outside.

What advice would you give a prospective student?

Your time in ILR will offer you a unique time to fully focus on your interests in the field, take the opportunity to study things in depth that will be harder to learn while you are working.At the same time, don’t lose out on the opportunity that wider Cornell classes provide – take classes in areas that interest you and challenge you – there’s no better time to learn!

What was your summer internship company/location?

I worked as a summer intern for Optum, a UnitedHealth Group company in Eden Prairie, MN, just outside of Minneapolis.

What was the highlight from your summer internship?

I was proud to get feedback from a key stakeholder that one of my deliverables was well-crafted and would make their lives much easier.

Where will you be working full-time after you graduate?

I have started work in an HR Business Partner role for a Mechanical Engineering division of L3Harris, a government contractor, in Palm Bay, Florida.

More about Aileen

Aileen received her undergraduate degree in Comparative Cultures & Politics from Michigan State University just before she joined ILR. She had held summer internships previously with a government contractor in the educational space and did some HR work for a technology sales company.