Alexandria Hernandez knew from a young age that in order to achieve her goals she would need to continue her education after high school.
“I’m a first generation college student so it was a really big deal that I enroll in classes after high school,” said Hernandez. “I had bigger dreams than the town I grew up in and my family has always been supportive so I knew it was the right choice.”
In 2016, Hernandez graduated from high school in Smithville and headed for Bryan-College Station. She enrolled in courses at Blinn College, opting to study economics, and quickly found a job working full-time at an apartment complex.
“I knew my bigger goal would be to earn a bachelor’s degree in business and to me it just made sense to diversify my education,” said Hernandez. “Economics and business go hand-in-hand so I figured the combination would set me up for success.”
Three years later, Hernandez completed two degrees at Blinn in the fall of 2019 – an Associate of Science in Economics and an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts. She had maintained her full-time job at the apartment complex and worked her way up to an Assistant Manager role. Upon graduation she was faced with a difficult choice though, up-root her life and leave the job she loved so that she could pursue her bachelor’s degree goal or drive back and forth to Huntsville.
“I was at a crossroads and RELLIS really popped up at the right time for me,” said Hernandez. “I really didn’t want to leave the area and it felt like this opportunity was provided because I was meant to go there.”
Hernandez opted to enroll in the Bachelors of Business Administration in General Business program through Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in January of 2020. Despite a short tenure in the program Hernandez has already made history as the first student enrolled in courses at RELLIS to earn the TAMUCC Entrepreneurship and Innovation Certificate.
“I have always felt like if I was going to be enrolled in school I wanted to gain as much knowledge as possible,” said Hernandez. “I had already earned two associate degrees because I wanted to maximize my time, so when I read about the option I knew I wanted to check it out.”
The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Certificate teaches the essential skills and effective strategies for enhancing working experiences and starting new opportunities. Completion requires seven semester hours in classes that are designed to engage and inspire idea generation so that students learn how to solve problems, seize opportunities and move from idealized dreams to tangible ventures.
Hernandez is set to graduate in May of 2021 and plans to continue working locally, with an eye on the long-term goal of opening her own business.
Originally published November 19, 2020.