Nothing brought Butler’s promise of real-world experience home to Victor Aguilar ’21 like the Detroit Trek. His first of four Treks set him on a path to a new city, a new career, and a new connection to his alma mater.

Aguilar was a sophomore when he joined the 2018 Trek.

“It was way too early to know what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be, but going was a stroke of luck,” he said. “This year (2022) will be our fifth year for the Trek but the fourth in-person year because of COVID. I’ve been in all four of those as a student or an alumni. It’s a program near and dear to me.”

Thanks in no small part to the Trek, Aguilar is now a PPCO (product program cost optimization) Finance Analyst at General Motors who lives full-time in Detroit. And no one is more surprised at these facts than himself.

“There wasn’t a big Butler alumni presence at GM. But ever since 2018, I really enjoyed my time in Detroit, so it was always in the back of my mind to investigate once I graduated,” he said. “When I went again as a junior, that just cemented it even further. The city is going places. It’s a nice place to start your career.”

Earlier this year, Aguilar was part of GM’s first on-campus visit to Butler for a recruitment event, glad to personally get the company connected to the University.

“The Trek program is the main entry point for new finance employees at GM,” he said. “What I’m trying to create is a couple of executives doing the recruitment presentation, but with entry-level analysts there, too, to talk with students and answer questions.”

He’s also part of the GM team that works with students on the Trek. This year, the usual one-and-a-half-day program will expand to two full days—and Aguilar couldn’t be happier.

“The Trek is a jampacked experience that’s heavily scheduled with plenty of meetings with recruiters, meetings with companies, meetings with alumni who work at those companies, plus others just for general networking, general discussions,” he said. “Detroit alumni are one of the more involved and enthusiastic groups out there. They’re the reason the Trek started.”

Why does he stay involved?

“It’s the exploration and insight the Trek provides. Butler is always emphasizing real work: experience, examples, meeting alumni. That’s what the Trek is: deep insight and connections you can rely on through college and your actual career. The program is just really cool, and I’m glad it’s expanding. It’s a good way to connect to potential opportunities.”