Coursework and leadership involvement transition into real-world business experiences for Nicole Hernandez.
Gaining skills through UMassD's Center for Marketing Research
Fall semester I took a marketing research class with Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, which was my first “real-world” experience. In this class, we were assigned a real-life client and in my case, I was assigned BayCoast Bank. My task involved creating a survey based on my client’s needs, collect the data in surrounding areas like New Bedford, Fall River, and Freetown. We ran the collected data through a marketing database to put the final project together.
At the end of this research class, I met with the vice president of marketing of BayCoast Bank. And, as you would do in the real world, my teammates and I presented our findings and recommendations. This research class not only taught me how to conduct marketing research but it also helped me build connections that are helping me right now. My summer internship at BayCoast Bank is an example of that.
Also, I was lucky enough to win a scholarship from the Center of Marketing Research, which also allowed me to meet one of the people I admire the most, a fellow Dominican, David Ortiz.
Engaging in leadership opportunities
As a student at UMass Dartmouth, I wanted to take advantage of all the opportunities the school was offering me to improve my leadership skills. This is why I decided to work as an orientation leader for both domestic and International students during the summer and fall of 2017. In both of these roles, I had to be a guide for the upcoming students that were coming in the fall.
Being an orientation leader helped me get out of my comfort zone and apply my leadership skills to help students and their families adapt to this transition. This experience also taught me how to be empathetic toward others and understand that we all come from different backgrounds but we have so much in common.
During the semester, I also worked as a Charlton College of Business ambassador. I worked with the faculty and staff to organize and run open houses, student acceptance days, and workshops. This experience helped me gain confidence in working in a business environment. I also learned how to organize major events smoothly and efficiently.
I’ve also been part of the Student Government Association (SGA) since my sophomore year. My role in the SGA involved serving as a senator for the Charlton College of Business. I was in charge of representing my constituents by expressing their concerns and questions, and also being a voice for my peers.
Pursuing real-world experience through internships
My first internship was for the nonprofit organization Together We Rise. In this internship during my junior year, I was in charge of creating and running a social media campaign to raise money for the kids in the foster care system. Along with that, I was also promoting this campaign on campus and creating awareness about foster care and seeking ways to help improve conditions for foster children.
This internship opened my eyes to the reality of these kids and allowed me to create my own content on social media platforms to reach out to people around the country as well as the community of Dartmouth.
After graduation, I will be interning in the marketing department of BayCoast Bank during the summer. After that, I will be returning to UMass Dartmouth to earn my MBA with a concentration in International Business.