CEE Senior Aaron Butler grew up in Maxton, North Carolina, in the Sandhills region of North Carolina near Lumberton. One of his first loves, dirt biking in the sandy trails around his parents’ home, led to an enduring connection to the outdoors. Following a recommendation from his high school guidance counselor, Aaron enrolled in East Carolina University’s pre-med program in August 2013. Unfortunately, Aaron grew disinterested in the seemingly endless amounts of memorization required for medical studies. He started wondering if his analytical nature might be better suited for a career path that would also allow him to work outdoors — civil engineering.
Aaron started in the CEE program at UNC Charlotte in August 2015. The natural beauty of the campus and new facilities appealed to him, but he was also drawn to the growth potential in the Charlotte metro area. In time, he got involved with student organizations like ASCE and ITE. Making Chancellor’s and Dean’s Lists led to being inducted into Tau Beta Pi. During the summer of 2017, he interned with Norfolk Southern in Atlanta. Even with a busy schedule of classes and extra-curricular activities, Aaron makes time for family, especially since the passing of his dad. Aaron is driven to pass on a love of the outdoors and dirt biking to his nephew. Aaron graduated in May 2018. His sights are set on being an engineering manager one day. “If you apply yourself,” he says, “you can achieve [anything].”
Years ago, he’d heard that studying engineering was too hard. Stories about the high failure rate had turned him away. Thank goodness, he made a connection with a career path that suits him well. Best wishes, Aaron.