Aguirre Reese was always putting his SCTCC degree to work, but when he took over as the Bookstore Supervisor, it closed the loop on his time as a student.
Aguirre grew up in St. Cloud, and he chose SCTCC for the same reasons a lot of students choose SCTCC: it was close to home, it was inexpensive, and he wanted to get out in the workforce more quickly.
The good thing about choosing SCTCC is that he got a lot more than that. In addition to a degree in Accounting, Aguirre was also on the Cyclones Basketball team, a workstudy, and was a part of clubs. Community was a big part of his time as a student.
“The Athletics Department made everyone feel like family. Them keeping me accountable to my studies was a real benefit to me,” said Aguirre when asked about his time at SCTCC.
After he graduated in 2007, he started working full time, but also wanted to further his education. Southwest State had a program where he could take their classes at SCTCC, so he finished up his bachelor’s degree in five semesters, while also holding down his full-time job, a part-time job, and as a newlywed with a baby on the way. In 2009, he had a bachelor’s in management.
When the Bookstore overwent a remodel, Aguirre saw an article in the St. Cloud Times and was impressed with how the Bookstore had gone from a small store to a much larger place for students to get books, apparel, and more.
Then, shortly after that, he saw the job opening for the Bookstore Supervisor. He jumped on it. Aguirre had worked for ten years at Viking Coca-Cola primarily in accounting, but also had a part-time job in retail, which he also enjoyed. He was ready for a change, and he knew the SCTCC Bookstore was the place where he could combine the two parts of his jobs he liked.
What he really likes about working at SCTCC is the people.
“I like my bookstore staff. We have 30+ years of experience, and we do a great job bouncing ideas off each other.”
And as an SCTCC employee, it’s a different environment from his time as a student. His old instructors now see him as a peer. When he connects with students, instead of sharing a story to relate, it’s more like he’s giving advice.
“Seeing current students and hearing their stories makes me feel old,” he laughs. “To share my story, then it comes off as advice versus a personal conversation.”
But what doesn’t change is Aguirre’s dedication to SCTCC and his sense of community at the college.
These days, he’s able to get out from behind his desk, interact with students, and be a part of one the more visible parts of the college. He enjoys chatting and working with the Bookstore student workers, seeing what their hopes and dreams are. Then in another moment, he’s choosing apparel to sell and designs that will go on them. And representing SCTCC! “It’s rare that you see me outside the college without some SCTCC gear on.”
The combination of his working with people, using his management degree, the skills he uses from his accounting degree, and how much he enjoys working in retail have really come together at the Bookstore.