Enrique Sotelo

Dedication. Consistency. Persistence are the adjectives to describe, recent graduate of Cal State LA, College of Business and Economics, Enrique Sotelo.  Currently serving in the Navy Reserves, stationed in Hawaii, Enrique’s final semester at Cal State LA was met with hurdles and challenges. With only 6 units left to graduate, he sought out taking an additional 9 units in various departments within the College of Business and Economics. But, as his ambition and excitement begun, Enrique was ordered back on active duty on February 19th.  This crossroads faced a potential devastating setback for Enrique. 


Met with uncertainty, Enrique’s graduation potentially hung in the balance as time was not on his side. Classes began to get full, with some professor not wavering nor exceptions due to specific academic criteria design for an in-person learning. In search for answers, Enrique reached out to the dean, associate dean and professors seeking assistance, in a final attempt to finish his degree as planned. Fortunately, management professor Ronald Glickman and Dr. Seongwon Choi answered the call, with Professor Choi professing “I had the pleasure of getting to know Enrique through the MGMT 4345 – Healthcare Operations Management course. Enrique reached out to me a couple of weeks before the Spring 2023 semester began, letting me know of his service duty and relocation that was to happen. His commitment to both the service and completing his undergraduate education with CSULA was obvious, so I thought I would do my best to support him”

Joining the Navy, prior to the unprecedent events of 9/11, Enrique was motivated by his father-in-law, who also served but encouraged him of the endless possibilities of serving our nation in uniform. To name a few, the opportunities of education, career advancement, medical insurance, travel, and retirement were provided in the military. Sotelo has made significance advancement in his career, and he desired to finish his degree that would further his career.

Enrique selected Cal State LA, while he was stationed in Port Hueneme, California, professing “wanting to have a hands-on learning experience, while interacting with both his peers and professor and getting a firsthand experience of class curriculum. 

picture Stepping foot on Cal State LA campus, Enrique was a step closer to achieving the dreams, he longed envisioned for himself but most importantly fulfilling his parents’ wishes. As an only child, Enrique enlisted in the Navy, with the support of his family but deep down knew the significance, a college degree and what it meant for his parents, as they have always placed value and emphasis on such an endeavor.

 Enrique set his intentions on an Operation Management degree. An operation management degree grants him the opportunity of advancing in his ongoing career in the navy, while preparing for his next chapter in life, potentially being a college lecturer.  “Having had good professors from both Pasadena City College and Cal State LA, Enrique desire of wanting to give back makes him a natural leader ang giver. He intends to lecture at the collegiate level, thereby putting students needs first and granting them an enriching learning opportunity in the classroom.

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor”, a quote Enrique lives by entailing the ups and downs, we face in life. It is designed to make a person stronger with grit and help prepare for the obstacles in life. Being out on sea, Enrique has experienced his fair share of obstacles and hurdles, but remained focus and grounded, keeping his eye on the prize. Professor Choi articulates Enrique tenacity “Throughout the semester, not only did Enrique stay on top of every aspect of the course requirements, but also, he demonstrated strong leadership and work ethics whenever he had a chance to do so. I feel very blessed to have met Enrique and thankful for him for inspiring me and his peers in the course”

Enrique Sotelo, a 2023 College of Business & Economics graduate is an upstanding navy veteran who has worked hard to get to where he is, putting forth the effort and following through. The tenacity, resilience and dedication Enrique has displayed is just the beginning of a success story that is developed and honed here at Cal State LA, College of Business and Economics. As he sets his sights to obtain his MBA in the next two years, we (at Cal State LA) are grateful to be part of Enrique educational upbringing.