Raul A. Villamil-OteroBack to Excellence
Ever since Raul A. Villamil-Otero was an undergraduate at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez he has enjoyed helping students.
“When I tutored my friends, they all said, ‘You’re such a great teacher’,” he said.
In addition to tutoring, throughout his undergraduate studies, Villamil-Otero spent a great deal of time helping students through their classes by explaining things further and in ways that were easier for them to understand.
Given his passion for helping students learn and the accolades he received from others about his teaching style, one would believe that his natural next step would be into education.
“I finished school about Dec. 20 and started work at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on Jan. 4,” Villamil-Otero said.
While working as an auditor for two years, he found himself helping new hires and interns find their footing. He found that he enjoyed that part of his job more than the actual job.
“I started telling my friends that I was thinking of quitting my job to be a professor. I said, ‘I think this is for me’, and I decided to pursue academia,” Villamil-Otero said.
Knowing he would need a Ph.D. to become a professor, the San Juan, Puerto Rico-native quit his job to pursue graduate studies nearly 1,500 miles from home at North Carolina A&T State University where his identical twin was already working toward his master’s degree.
Villamil-Otero obtained a master of business administration in accounting in May 2016. He is looking to go on to doctoral studies, but not for another year.
“I spoke with Dr. (Lisa) Owens-Jackson and the chair of the department; they mentioned to me that I could be an adjunct professor. I will apply for an adjunct position,” he said.
He believes the one year of experience before pursuing his Ph.D. will give him a slight edge because many of his peers will not have that experience. If Villamil-Otero is hired as an adjunct faculty member here at N.C. A&T, he will have a head start at his ultimate goal of becoming a tenured professor in the School of Business and Economics.
“The relationship the faculty has with the students is a great thing,” he said. “At some universities, the relationship students have with the faculty is only in class. Here, the offices are always open, I don’t see any sort of intimidation. You feel a sense that if the students have problems and they need advice, they can go to that professor.”
Villamil-Otero is a member of Beta Alpha Psi and is a certified public accountant (CPA) in Puerto Rico and North Carolina.