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Getting Involved

Alumnus took full advantage of BSU experience

When he first arrived at Bridgewater State University to study business management, Raul Vazquez, ’11, was admittedly shy. 

“I was a very introverted person, nervous about spreading my wings,” he said.  

Instead of letting his nerves get the better of him, Vazquez decided to get involved. He joined a fraternity, became a residence assistant and orientation leader, studied abroad, and was even elected student body president his junior year. As a senior, he served as student trustee.  

“I began to really open up and developed leadership, communication, and organizational skills. I found support from a variety of staff and faculty that helped me grow. I don’t think I would be the leader I am today if I didn’t have those experiences at Bridgewater,” he said.  

Today Vazquez works as a managing director in enrollment operations for Noodle, an online network of universities, corporations, and learners.  

The goal of the company is to make higher education more accessible, transparent, and collaborative.  

“We help with recruitment, marketing and try to help institutions move online in innovative ways. Our team comes in and provides consulting work,” Vazquez said. “I get to build relationships and collaborate with people across the United States.” 

He chose to pursue this career path because the things he learned at BSU inspired him to make higher education the focus of his life’s work.  

“BSU allowed me to see a world of opportunity and endless growth,” he said.  

This was especially true, Vazquez said, during his study abroad trips.

Prior to BSU, he didn’t do much traveling.  

“I was a first-generation student, raised by a single mother. We didn’t have a lot of funding for travel,” Vazquez said.  

Thanks to scholarships, Vazquez was able expand his view of the world.  

His first study abroad trip took him to Paris sophomore year where he soaked in the culture and was able to explore places he’d only seen in pictures, like the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum.    

Vazquez then signed up for a study tour to China and participated in service trips to Belize and Cambodia.  

“Without Bridgewater facilitating my first experience and making it affordable, I wouldn’t have been able to broaden my horizons. I now love to travel and see other cultures and am thankful to BSU because travel is now part of my life,” he said.  

So much so that every year Vazquez takes a trip to explore someplace new; so far, he has traveled to over 40 countries across six continents. 

“My goal is to reach the seventh, which would be Antarctica,” he said.  

With a new group of students getting ready to step on campus later this summer, Vazquez encourages the latest Bears to try new things.  

“Spread your wings,” he said. “Transform who you were in the past. If you really allow yourself the full experience over the next four years, you will be a different person by the time you leave Bridgewater. Get involved, join a club, an association, try any opportunity, sign up for a service project…you don’t know the avenues it will lead you.” 

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