University of Central Florida may not be an Ivy League school, but Knights who finally figure out the right major, graduate, and find a niche in the “real world” often prove to be in a league of their own. For one such UCF alumnus, the “real world” is much more than paying off student loans, financial independence, a nine-to-five job and adhering to more stringent societal rules for alcohol consumption. Aaron Rosen’s “real world” is more like, well – the whole world.
Aaron Rosen is an international rap sensation, traveling lion whisperer, undercover agent and speaks Na’vi. If that sounds like the life of a unique dream guy that I just made up, that’s because it is. Still, Aaron’s life is close. When Aaron expressed uncertainty about being a good candidate for this feature, I assured him that any collegiette™ with a brain (OK, that’s a little harsh. How about zeal for intellect and enterprise?) would find this intriguing, unless they didn’t speak English. Actually, make that English, Spanish or German, because Aaron speaks all three languages fluently. Aaron neglected to mention his experience with the language of love, but with a Bachelor’s degree and too many credentials to list, we can assume he gets by. So, it is appropriate that Aaron be Her Campus UCF’s very first Eligible Bachelor.
Though not a lion whisperer or international rap star, Aaron did get to do this in South America and loves some good, underground hip-hop.
Immediately after graduating from UCF, Aaron worked on former governor of Utah and U.S. Ambassador to China from 2009 to 2011 Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign, procuring a “sweet” recommendation letter from Huntsman himself in the process. Around that time, Aaron also flew out to LA to meet with a producer about turning his successful travel blog (yeah, he’s a blogger, too) into a television series. The project was sadly put on hold, because he had to go work on the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs. Besides, he’s currently turning the aforementioned blog into a book, anyway, so I guess we can let the whole TV show thing slide.
For Aaron, jumping on a plane to pitch a television show that is not happening yet was about as inconvenient as me having to stop at Walgreens before going out because the last of my eyeliner pencil broke. He has spent a lot of time in Switzerland, Spain and Germany, and he relishes memories of being able to transport to other countries in no time. “During spring semester, while I was studying in Germany, I had a Eurail Pass, which allowed me to hop on and off any train (and even some boats) throughout the majority of the European continent,” he recounts. “We’ve all heard songs where rappers talk about waking up and not even knowing what city they are in due to the craziness that is touring. Well, that’s how my life felt. I would finish classes, empty my backpack of coursework and fill it with an iPod, an Economist magazine, and some bundled up clothes, and then…head anywhere from Poland to Holland; I would just go, with absolutely no restrictions.”
As a child, Aaron’s thirst was provoked more by what was beneath his sippy cup than what was in it. His parents used world map placemats on their table at home, which he partially ascribes to for an early interest in maps, globes, and flags, which developed into a profound desire to learn about how countries interact. Aaron asserts, “When you really understand war, trade, diplomacy, and international economics, you become one of the select few who are privy to watching history while it’s being written.” In short, his ultimate goal is to “get involved in the international and national discussion over the…direction of the United States and whether it stays competitively innovative well into this young century.”
While gaining first-hand experiences in other countries is a crucial part in Aaron’s quest to influence international relations, his trips involve more than research. Aaron recently visited Cuba, a nation he knew to be on the cusp of economic change. With knowledge of the country’s medicinal shortage, Aaron also passed out medicine, proving that economical interests and philanthropy can coexist. Though Aaron strives for intellectual gain and career progression on his adventures, they are not without leisure (or even a little rebellion). Aside from unexpectedly finding himself riding around in Castro’s old limo while Cuban locals stared on, Aaron may have also crossed the German border using what he refers to as “creative measures” after a friend with an expired Visa was denied entry – a feat which we think only gives him more flair.
You can delve further into Aaron Rosen’s travel chronicles by reading his blog, The American Diplomat. Are you curious about economics and politics but can’t stop falling asleep in your classes on the subjects? Try reading the British publication The Economist, which Aaron credits for much of his current knowledge after starting to read it religiously at age 15.