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UCLA student Rose Aguilar empowers entrepreneurship with podcast series

Rose Aguilar smiles for a portrait. The third-year international development studies student hosts the podcast “Student Entrepreneur 101.”(Courtesy of Rose Aguilar)

By Lex Wang

Aug. 13, 2023 3:09 p.m.

This post was updated Nov. 2 at 7:34 p.m.

Rose Aguilar is investing in the entrepreneurial spirit.

The third-year international development studies student hosts “Student Entrepreneur 101,” a podcast oriented toward guiding and empowering aspiring entrepreneurs. With discourse on topics such as the best marketing strategies and raising capital, the series brings in guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds, Aguilar said, aiding her dreams to one day start her own business.

“Most of the time, I’m there to learn just as much as the audience is,” Aguilar said. “It’s great to let the speaker … tell their story and share the lessons that they’ve learned.”

[Related: Diversifying her portfolio, student Stacy Kim fuses content creation and business]

When Aguilar first started hosting the podcast, she reached out to MBA students from the Anderson School of Management, many of whom had established their own businesses already, she said. As the number of episodes she published continued to grow, Aguilar said she was able to expand her network of speakers, cementing her connections within the industry.

While also pursuing a minor in entrepreneurship, Aguilar said the opportunity to feature such a diverse array of experiences on the podcast has been invaluable, adding that she has gained a wealth of knowledge by conversing with the guest speakers. In the ninth episode, in which she spoke to a business card platform’s co-founder, Aguilar said she realized the importance of dedicating time and effort to her goals in order to be successful. Since then, she has often remembered his advice to apply herself in her work, she said.

“His words really stay with me to this day, and I actually have the quote he told me during our interview: ‘You have to live a life most people won’t in order to live a life that most people can’t later,’” Aguilar said. “To be here on Episode 34 and just to remember those words, … it’s a good reminder.”

Third-year bioengineering student Camille Fenson has taken away her own messages from the podcast, she said. An episode with the chief executive officer of a consulting organization taught Fenson the importance of enjoying the entrepreneurial journey more than the destination, she said. Similarly, third-year molecular, cell and developmental biology student Karen Harrison added that she has also been inspired by the series, noting that other episodes have shown her the significance of chasing dreams.

[Related: Student-created Roomble helps UCLA students find ideal roommates]

Although the series has primarily been intended for those with interests in venture creation, Harrison said the ideas presented in “Student Entrepreneur 101,” including adaptability and problem-solving, can serve anyone in any capacity. But for Harrison, navigating the entrepreneurial process with another undergraduate – and hearing Aguilar openly address the imposter syndrome challenges that students feel when starting out – has made listening to the podcast refreshingly relatable on her level.

Aguilar said she occasionally hosts solo episodes, which tend to center around inspiring her listeners. Despite not conducting any interviews during these installments of the podcast, Aguilar said she uses the space to discuss the importance of mentality – whether that involves sharing positive affirmations or a mindset practice she’s recently developed. But regardless of the presence of guest speakers, the contagious excitement Aguilar displays during the podcast always remains, Fenson said.

“She’s so enthusiastic about all the things that she’s talking about,” Fenson said. “If you don’t love what you teach, your students aren’t going to resonate with it, but … it’s obvious that she loves what she’s talking about.”

When recording and editing each episode, Aguilar said she uses a lesson she discovered in entrepreneurship of making the most of the tools she has – including Zoom, Adobe Creative Cloud and GarageBand. In spite of the feeling that she has to constantly reinvent the wheel, Aguilar said she noticed when she has requested guidance in the past, there have been countless resources and people available to support her – all she had to do was ask.

As Aguilar increases the reach and influence of “Student Entrepreneur 101,” Harrison said she knows success lies ahead for the podcast. With the diligence and detail that goes into “Student Entrepreneur 101,” she sees Aguilar on track to inviting household-name guest speakers soon, Harrison said. Meanwhile, Aguilar said she looks forward continuing to use and find creative means of sharing her business-oriented knowledge. With hopes to expand production in the future, she said she aims to leave an impact on those who listen.

“The one thing I want people to take away is that within entrepreneurship, when it comes to starting your own business and launching your own path, there are limitless possibilities out there for you,” Aguilar said. “It’s really up to you to imagine it and create it for yourself.”

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Lex Wang | Enterprise editor
Wang is the 2023-2024 Enterprise editor. Previously, she was the 2022-2023 Opinion editor, and prior to that, an assistant Opinion editor. She is Arts and Quad staff and also contributes to News, Sports on the men's volleyball beat, Copy, Design, Photo and Video.
Wang is the 2023-2024 Enterprise editor. Previously, she was the 2022-2023 Opinion editor, and prior to that, an assistant Opinion editor. She is Arts and Quad staff and also contributes to News, Sports on the men's volleyball beat, Copy, Design, Photo and Video.
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