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APLU Staff Profile: Jacob Cruz

Name: Jacob Cruz
Department: Office of Finance
Title: Associate
Date you joined APLU: July 2022

How did you end up working at APLU?
Going into my last semester of college at West Virginia University, I didn’t have much of a plan. Due to the pandemonium in recent years, internships were few and far between. I ended up applying to many different places and started rounds upon rounds of interviews. Through all the panic of finding my first “real” job, I ended up accepting this position at APLU. I graduated, and then three weeks later, I was here.

Why did you want to work at APLU?
When I saw the job posting, I thought it was a perfect fit for me. I had just graduated with degrees in Finance and Economics, so I knew I really wanted to work with money and numbers. Also, while attending WVU, the university prided itself in being a land-grant university, so I was quite familiar with the concept and the externalities associated with that. Furthermore, my mother was a professor at a public university, and my father was an accountant working in accounts payable. It is safe to say this job fit right into what I wanted to do and what I was familiar with.

What education or work experience had the greatest impact on you?
As expected as it is, I would say that the Covid-19 pandemic occurring in the middle of my college years really impacted me the most. I had to find the discipline and motivation to attend my online classes for nearly two years even when I felt incredibly isolated due to quarantine. While it was very difficult to initially transition to an online-only environment, I eventually figured out the rhythm and ways of going about things. I think the online classes benefited me, as we are still in a hybrid environment. Working from my computer at home is not as foreign as it may have been if the pandemic never occurred.

What is one thing on your bucket list?
In the mountains of the Philippines, there is a woman, Whang-od, who tattoos for people who visit. In order
to reach her, you have to take a 2–3 day hike through the mountains. Once you are there, either her or one of her students will tattoo you with a traditional Kalinga symbol. This is something that I definitely want to do in my life.

What is the best movie you’ve seen recently?
Everything Everywhere All At Once. I do not even know how to describe this movie, but I highly recommend it.

What’s one thing people would never guess about you?
Most people are surprised to hear that I grew up raising farm animals, and I also used to show them. Somehow, I was particularly successful with rabbits, and one year my bunny won Best-In-Show at the West Virginia State Fair. Nowadays my family doesn’t show, but we still have our fair share of chickens, sheep, pigs, horses, donkeys, and goats. Sadly, I couldn’t bring them with me to DC.

  • Agriculture, Human Sciences & Natural Resources

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