2020 Best & Brightest: Aldo Gonzalez Aragon, New York University (Stern)

Aldo Gonzalez Aragon

New York University, Stern School of Business

A Patriots fan who loves politics, vegan tacos, and Jarritos Mexican soda.”

Fun fact about yourself: I recently adopted a 4-year old Beagle named Quincy.

Hometown: Temecula, California

High School: Great Oak High School

Major: Business & Political Economy

Minor: Public Policy & Management

Favorite Business Course: Business & Government

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • The Gould Standard – Editor-in-Chief
  • NYU Stern Street Team – Undergraduate Ambassador
  • NYU Animal Welfare Collective – Vice President
  • NYU Academic Achievement Program – Mentor
  • NYU Breakthrough Scholars Leadership Program – Scholar
  • NYU Stern Peer Mentor – Tech Industry

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • San Diego County Democratic Party – Political Intern (San Diego, CA)
  • World Leadership Alliance, Club de Madrid – Programs Intern (Madrid, Spain)
  • Kasirer Inc. – Government Affairs Intern (New York, NY)
  • Google – Operations & Transformation Intern (Mountain View, CA)

Where will you be working after graduation? Accenture – Strategy Analyst

What company do you admire most? I admire Beyond Meat because they are leaders in altering how we think of protein and reshaping our food system for the better.

Who is your favorite professor? Professor Corey Blay shaped my college experience early on by teaching me how to identify my values and live my life in accordance with those values. These early lessons shaped my college experience and helped maximize my time at Stern. Particularly, the lesson of embracing Adaptive Leadership as a leading value in approaching problems with empathy, patience, and creativity was very valuable.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? I am fortunate that I had the privilege to live in London, Shanghai, and Madrid during my college career as a Business & Political Economy major. These experiences taught me how to navigate ambiguity and function in different professional settings. Back in high school, I never imagined traveling the world as an essential component of my college career. These international experiences globalized my network by introducing me to people around the world who taught me valuable lessons about business and friendship. Thank you to Julia, Harvey, and Sonia in London! Thank you to Alejadro and Rodrigo in Madrid! Thank you to Candice and Siwen in Shanghai!

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? In studying anti-trust policy and Teddy Roosevelt my freshman year, I found this quote:

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

Don’t be afraid of mistakes. This is the best time to make them, and it’s truly how we learn.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? The business world can feel restrictive at times. Don’t fall into that trap. It truly is a path you can mold to your liking. We’ve all worked hard to get to where we are as undergraduates, and it’s a privilege to study at an institution like Stern. Maximize that privilege and pursue your passion now. If finance is your thing, do it! If not, don’t be pressured into pursuing something outside your wheelhouse. Look into consulting. Look into tech. Look into the world of politics and policy. The Stern undergrad experience is not the average experience from an opportunities point of view. Because of this, take your time to learn what you truly enjoy, what you’re good at, and where you can maximize your impact.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was surprised by how diverse and interdisciplinary my business education has been. Majoring in business lies at the intersection of understanding and analyzing problems beyond spreadsheets. I am currently taking a class on Entrepreneurship & Sustainable Proteins. When I first applied to Stern’s Undergraduate College, I never imagined taking a course that analyzed how plant-based proteins can upgrade our food system to be more environmentally-friendly, healthier, and innovative. I used to think business was about spreadsheets, deals, and quarterly earnings reports. It’s so much more than that.

So many business problems lie at the nexus of political issues, social dilemmas, environmental issues, and international affairs. I was pleasantly surprised to build a diverse skillset of holistic analysis and problem-solving.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my time at The Gould Standard, Stern’s undergraduate newspaper. It’s a rewarding opportunity where I can cooperate with talented Stern students. We all help each other grow and bring our ideas to life in our articles.

Which classmate do you most admire? Rowan Linehan has been my classmate and best friend since high school. She embodies the confidence, elegance, and curiosity needed to succeed as a business student and as a kind person.

Who would you most want to thank for your success?

I would like to thank my mother, Maria, for my success. From walking me to school when I was in elementary school to take me to my soccer games, my mother has been nurturing and instilled guiding values in me that guided how I approach life. No matter how unorthodox or stubborn my approach may be, she always respected my decisions, offered counsel, and supported my progress. She represents strength, confidence, and empathy in so many ways, even when she thinks she doesn’t. Thank you, mom!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Win an election for a California Congressional District
  2. Run for Governor of California

What are your hobbies? I love walking my dog, Quincy, with my girlfriend, playing football, and watching Patriots games.

What made Aldo such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Aldo has been a standout student since he first stepped on campus. A first-generation American student, Aldo went from growing up in a small California town near the Mexican border to studying abroad at several of NYU’s global campuses. As a political economy major, he brings an intersectional, problem-solving approach to questions about balancing economic competitiveness and the public good. Aldo strives to both “do well and do good,” leaving the world a better place in the process.

Aldo is equally invested in contributing to his local communities as he is in shaping a more prosperous and equitable world. He created a summer enrichment program back in his hometown to help youth learn civics and leadership skills. At Stern, he has served as a member of the Street Team, helping families and students get comfortable on campus, as well as a Peer Mentor, where he advises classmates on their career paths. Aldo truly embodies the concept of servant leadership, and we can’t wait to see the transformative impact he’ll have on the world over his career!”

Corey Blay
Adjunct Assistant Professor and Program Director for the Leadership Initiative


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