From Criminal Justice to MIS: How Aaron Reyes Redefined His Career Path


“For the longest time, I thought the military was for me,” says Aaron Reyes ’24 BSBA (MIS and Finance).

In high school, he was in the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC). When he began his path at the University of Arizona as a criminal justice major, he also elected to join the Air Force ROTC program.

But after one semester in AFROTC, he had a change of heart.

“I realized my vision for the life I wanted to lead wasn’t what the military life was like,” says Reyes.

Still, he wanted to make a positive impact on the world. Reyes had been volunteering for Camp Kesem, a nonprofit for which he later served as director. Through summer camps and other programming, the organization supports children affected by a parent’s cancer diagnosis. Not only was it a meaningful experience, but Reyes also came to recognize Camp Kesem operates as a business.

As he began to reconsider his major, Reyes met with his criminal justice studies advisor, who said he seemed like a business-oriented person and recommended the Eller College of Management.

After a bit of research, he knew Eller was the right place for him.

When it came to selecting a major, Reyes was influenced by a quote Dr. Bill Neumann repeated in one of his MIS courses: “‘MIS is about solving real problems for real people.’”

Now an MIS and Finance double major, Reyes has enjoyed getting involved at Eller. In addition to completing a sports analyst internship at TechCore this summer, he was part of the Zipperman Scholars program.

“ZipS was so influential,” he says. “It opened my eyes to what the business world was like.”

The program was an opportunity not only for him, but also for his family. As a first-generation college student, Reyes was able to bring his grandparents to the Zipperman Scholars Family Weekend Brunch last fall, where they learned about MIS and its applications in the real world.

Reyes is now a member of the Advanced Zipperman Associates, which builds on the ZipS program by offering an advanced track focused on careers in tech consulting.

On top of his involvement in clubs, he has found it beneficial to connect with his advisors.

“Having that relationship is invaluable,” he says.

After graduation, Reyes hopes to either pursue his MBA or work for a company like Deloitte or Raytheon.

No matter what, he’s confident in his choice of career path.

“Eller does a phenomenal job of keeping us in contact with companies we might work for one day.”