Patrick Acuna '19

Aerospace parts inspector finds the right fit with Redlands

University of Redlands South Coast Metro campus student Patrick Acuna ’19 attended a few universities before he found the one that felt right.

As a quality inspector for Hydraflow, an aerospace parts manufacturer, Acuna inspects different components of airplanes to ensure they are up to code and will guarantee maximum safety. He learned about a partnership between the University of Redlands and Hydraflow that allows him to earn a degree while working.

“The partnership offered full tuition reimbursement and I wanted to take the opportunity to get my education,” he says. “I'm very passionate about learning; I see it as adding value to myself. An education gives me the tools become creative in the field, especially in business.”

At the end of the workday, Acuna clocks out and attends class with his colleagues. “Going to school with my coworkers is great because we get to communicate and collaborate outside of work,” he says. “We all know each other and I’m used to seeing their faces, which makes it more comfortable.”

Acuna also says that he has gotten to know his professors on a personal level and that University personnel have heavily contributed to his success.

“The professors I've been introduced to so far have been very flexible with their time, and I communicate with them on a regular basis even outside of class,” he says. “I'm surprised; I've been to many schools and I've never felt so supported."

In the workplace, Acuna is already witnessing the benefits of his education. He notes the writing portions of his classes have helped him write better emails, and, overall, he feels he is learning to be more professional. In addition, his confidence has received a big boost.

“This partnership adds value to every Hydraflow employee,” Acuna says. “It's a good feeling knowing that your employer is investing in you, and it's driving me to become the best person that I can be.”