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Meet The MBA Class Of 2020: Profiles in Courage

Ever Isaac Hernandez

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

Mission driven, passionate, and determined to achieve full potential helping others do the same.”

Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts

Fun Fact About Yourself: Having come from humble beginnings in El Salvador and being the son of once-undocumented immigrants, I feel very accomplished and proud to have earned the means to see the world in my twenties. I have lived in 5 countries (El Salvador, United States, Spain, Kazakhstan, and Norway) and have travelled to over a dozen others covering 5 continents before I was 30 years old, including a couple around-the-world trips.

Undergraduate School and Major: I attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, majored in Civil Engineering, and completed a minor in engineering management.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: I worked at Chevron for 12 years out of college and interned for three summers before graduating and joining full time. My last job title was Subsea Pump & Equipment Engineer.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My most notable achievement in my career has been delivering multiple 3-megawatt subsea pump stations for Chevron and installing them on the ocean floor 7,000 feet below the surface. I lived in Norway for two and a half years overseeing design and construction of this equipment. I also had the opportunity to lead the successful offshore installation of the same subsea pump systems in the Gulf of Mexico. These were the first subsea pump systems Chevron has deployed on any of its oil fields, and they were the first in the industry of that complexity. Other exciting accomplishments have included leading the execution of an offshore geotechnical and geophysical survey for a subsea development off the coast of Angola and working on the commissioning and start-up of a sour oil and gas processing plant in Kazakhstan.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? I had the opportunity to spend quality time with Consortium Fellows as we prepared for career forums and interviews during a 5-day Orientation Program in June. The quality that best defines my MBA classmates I’ve met so far would have to be a genuine desire to help each other out, and an accompanying maturity and self-confidence that allows for vulnerability in asking for and leveraging help. This was evident as we practiced our elevator pitches and interviews, as well as in participating in team exercises at workshops throughout the conference.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? The key factor that led me to choose Carnegie Mellon University and the Tepper School of Business was my connection with the spirit and values on which the university and school were founded upon and on which they operate today: hard work, passion, vision, leadership, impact on society, collaboration, innovation, education, research, creativity, and entrepreneurship. Being a tenacious student and worker myself, the university’s motto of “My heart is in the work” really resonated with me. In addition, Andrew Carnegie’s and David A. Tepper’s trajectories of humble beginnings, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy are ones I relate and aspire to and thought I would find more people like that among my classmates and alumni.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am excited to join the Entrepreneurship Club, Graduate Finance Club, Asset Management Club, and become involved with Scottie Ventures as I aspire to learn all I can on due diligence and financing for venture capital, private equity, and corporate mergers & acquisitions.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I felt ready for leadership during challenging times in the oil and gas industry, and so I decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship and business development, as well as into exploring opportunities in other industries such as clean technology, renewable energy, and healthcare. I am pursuing an MBA to gain an objective certification of my capabilities and potential in business, and to gain access to powerful networks.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I was part of the 2017 cohort of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leaders Institute, which aims to equip and empower the civic and business leaders of tomorrow. During this program, I was exposed to and learned from local Latino CEOs of thriving business. After hearing their stories that resonated with my background, I was inspired to pursue a C-Suite level position in a Fortune 1000 company. I determined that access to powerful alumni networks, the relationships I would build, and the skills that I would gain from attending a top-tier MBA program, such as Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business, would be invaluable in maximizing my chances of achieving the newly set career objective. Lastly, my ability to become a business executive role model to young Americans who, like I did, come from low socioeconomic backgrounds is priceless.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to Rice University Jones School of Business, Texas A&M University Mays School of Business, Boston University Questrom School of Business, University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, and Harvard Business School.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I first researched schools based on their academic reputation and involvement with diversity and inclusion initiatives, and then based on location. I also attended MBA fairs to engage with admission staff of various programs of interest to get a sense of fit. I then visited the campuses of the schools where I would be applying to be sure the location and environment was right for me, and to engage with admissions staff, faculty, and students for a final assessment of fit prior to submitting applications.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I have had a few defining moments in my life. The first one was when my parents left me in El Salvador with my grandparents at the age of 3 in pursuit of a better future for my brothers and I. The trauma and pain from losing the people who I relied upon for protection and care since conception taught me to be guarded and independent from a very young age. While being guarded and independent served me well growing up in El Salvador, Chelsea, and even in completing college. I have had to unlearn these defenses in my professional and leadership endeavors where trusting colleagues has been paramount.

The next defining moment was when I came to America at the age of 12. In the two years leading up to the move and ever since being informed our residency application was progressing well, I went from being a C student to an A student in middle school, driven by the excitement of a new beginning reunited with my parents and my American born siblings.

The third and final significant defining moment was during my senior year in high school when I was working as a cashier at a Target store. I didn’t have plans to attend college up until I had an epiphany as I repositioned merchandize on shelves one evening and thought about what I would do after high school. I realized then that if I was going to be spending 8 hours a day doing something to earn a living, the task needed to be more intellectually stimulating then the job on hand, the one I had before it, or any job I had seen my immediate and extended family members take on. I also thought about my mother and her journey across the US border hidden under the seats of a car having just left behind her 4 young children in pursuit of a better future for them. I concluded at that moment that finishing high school and getting a job was not enough in doing my part. The next day, I walked into my guidance counselor’s office to ask many questions about the application process, school selection, and financing aspects. I knew my parents could not afford to pay for college and I wanted to be armed with information and solutions before I broke the news that I would be pursuing college. This was new territory for everyone in my family as I was the first one to attempt such an endeavor. I was 16 at the time.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? I am working two paths for my professional occupation after I complete the MBA program at Carnegie Mellon University. One path involves taking a position in Corporate Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, and/or leading into General Management with a company that values employees with an entrepreneurial mindset, who thrive in uncertainty, and who are unafraid to disrupt the status quo. The other path involves continuing to grow my own business, HNDZ Global, LLC, a business development company dedicated to people, business, and technology development for a sustainable future, helping people achieve their full potential.

Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I see myself leading teams as they do amazing things for humanity and the world while turning performance leading profits.