2021 Best & Brightest MBAs: Dewin Hernandez, Boston College (Carroll)

Dewin Hernandez

Boston College, Carroll School of Management

“A scrappy, tenacious, and hardworking queer Afro-Latino focused on building community and enacting social change.”

Hometown: Lawrence, MA

Fun fact about yourself: I’m the lead singer of a professional nine-piece corporate band with a killer horn section.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Berklee College of Music; Bachelor of Music (Music Business and Professional Music)

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Before business school, I worked as a Therapeutic Training and Support Specialist at Riverside Community Care, providing in-home family therapy and therapeutic mentoring services in the Greater Boston area.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? New Profit, Summer Associate – Portfolio Investments team, Boston, MA.

Where will you be working after graduation? Deloitte GPS, Senior Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Executive Director, Boston College Graduate Student Association
  • Alumni, Harvard Rappaport Public Policy Fellowship
  • Founding Member, Future Leaders Advocacy and Advisory Group (FLAAG) at the Carroll School of Management
  • Co-Facilitator, Carroll School of Management Inclusive Leadership Forum
  • Committee Member, Inaugural Forum on Racial Justice at Boston College
  • Member, Schiller Center for Integrated Sciences Environmental Racism Committee
  • Advisory Board Member, JRI’s Youth Harbors Program
  • Member, Massachusetts LGBTQ Youth Commission
  • Alumni Steering Committee and Selection Committee Member, The Harvard Rappaport Public Policy Fellowship
  • Residency Coordinator, Lawrence CommunityWorks Residency Program

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My proudest achievement has been utilizing my community organizing skills to enact meaningful social change on the Boston College campus. I managed to organize the student body and appeal to the Carroll School administration and senior leaders of the Graduate Management Association (GMA) to ratify changes to the GMA constitution, vision, and mission statement signaling our commitment to advancing social, racial, and economic justice.

I was also instrumental in creating a new GMA position of Vice president of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I co-founded the Future Leaders Advocacy & Advisory Group (FLAAG), a taskforce of graduate student leaders who will drive a more equitable environment at Boston College. The advisory and advocacy group acts as thought partners with the administration to support social and racial justice initiatives at the Carroll Graduate School of Management.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My entire life, I have been compelled to serve my community and make a difference. I joined Lawrence Community Works (LCW) and their youth center early in my adolescence. I had the privilege of engaging with extraordinary members and staff as a member, a music instructor, and later as a residency coordinator. At LCW, I was tasked with transforming their community builders program to a fully functional and financially stable lead program. In addressing this challenge, I spent months working with executive leadership to build cross-functional capacities by learning each employee’s core responsibilities to enhance residents’ professional development. I was so grateful to work with an organization that gave me so much as a young man.

Why did you choose this business school? For me, it was critical to find a program that enabled me to pursue both my MBA and MSW degrees concurrently. I applied to the MSW/MBA program at BC, knowing that I wanted to take the next three years to begin my transformation into a social sector leader who can engage effectively in business decisions and change systems. I chose BC because I appreciated the social impact component of a Jesuit education and the interdisciplinary approach. The education I received at the Carroll School enabled me to learn about public-private partnerships while exploring social work values and traditional business principles to maximize impact in the social sector. Carroll’s focus on management science helped me view data differently and hone my analytical skills to tell more impactful and compelling stories. Understanding social policy and the interrelated conditions that impact both the public and private sectors gave me a renewed perspective on using data to disrupt systemic inequities.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? I loved Professor Pilar Opazo’s course on Managing People and Organizations. Professor Opazo’s teaching approach was engaging and innovative, integrating the latest research and teaching methodologies making the course content digestible and fun. What I appreciated most about the course was how Professor Opazo connected with each student to ensure we not only succeeded, but gained mastery on how to be an impactful and inclusive leader. I liked this course because behavioral science research drives business decisions and how organizational culture forms.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? One of my favorite traditions at BC, hands down, is the BC tailgates. Before COVID, the entire University would light up, ready to cheer on the BC football team. The whole class would meet up at the BC parking lot with some cold brews, good talks, and fantastic tailgating food before the big football game. For me, this was a brand new experience and a memory I will cherish.

What is the biggest myth about your school?  The biggest myth is that the Carroll School focuses solely on finance. This is not true. BC is a phenomenal place that promotes interdisciplinary learning and takes a liberal arts approach that caters to and centers student voice and choice. The career paths are endless, especially for those hoping to advance their career and/or pivot. My career advisor went above and beyond to connect me with alumni that shared my passion and guided me in selecting complementary courses aligned with my career aspirations in the social impact space. What I found most helpful was the career arc my advisor helped me develop and refine to ensure I reached my career goals within the time horizon I specified.

What surprised you the most about business school? What surprised me the most was how much I relied on my cohort. The late night study sessions, case interview prep at the height of the recruiting season, the pep talks, and encouragement: I don’t know if I would have made it through that first year of business school had it not been for my fellow Eagles. I found myself spending more time with folks from my cohort than my own friends, which speaks to the strong bonds and community nurtured at BC.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I led with my “why.” It was vital for me to stay authentic and genuine to who I am. I think my authenticity and lived experience helped me stay grounded during the interview process to articulate how the managerial perspective and social work values are critical to drive impact in the social sector.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Teilachanell Angel from Boston University. We met at the Deloitte GPS Case Competition where we competed against each other (my team won!). I was blown away by her business presence, grace, and sharp wit. Since that time, we’ve developed a great friendship and continue to inspire and cheer each other on as we both have aspirations to make systemic change in our communities.

Ryan Schultz is an incredible ally and friend. He’s someone who taught me the definition of teamwork when he assisted me for hours with consulting case prep. Ryan is committed to ensuring the team always comes out on the other side winning. He’s incredibly bright, hardworking, and compassionate, and as a fellow social worker MBA student, he understands the importance of leading with the community.

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? We all faced challenges adapting to this virtual environment, but the disruption to my learning was minimal. I also acknowledge the privilege that I have, as many others are disadvantaged by the digital divide, mainly those from lower-income communities of color and rural communities. Many students don’t have the connectivity, which is widening the disparity in education across America. For myself, the biggest challenge has been finding creative ways to remain engaged with peers in and out of classes. Still, luckily, our student groups are supportive and intentional about creating spaces for building community.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mother is a mentor of mine, and she inspired me to pursue a career in the social impact space. I like to think I inherited her scrappiness and “hustle” mentality. A phenomenal woman who defied all odds, my mom is the embodiment of self-determination. Despite the challenges of being a single parent, she ensured that each of her children had the opportunity to pursue higher education. Her resilience, strength, and spirit inspired me to pursue my dual degree to be a change maker, advocate, and leader.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I am a social entrepreneur at heart and hope to one day launch my own non-profit providing holistic behavioral health care services in underserved communities.

I would also love the opportunity to be a board member for a national philanthropic organization focused on addressing health inequities.

What made Dewin such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Dewin epitomizes what it means to be a Renaissance man. With a Bachelor of Music in Business and Management from the Berklee College of Music, he has found success in the New England music scene. He is also an active leader in both his local community and the wider world of social impact organizations in Massachusetts. He is heavily involved in campus initiatives around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. And he does all this as he pursues a dual MBA/MSW degree.

Dewin has been a student leader every step of the way. He is Executive Director for the Boston College Graduate Student Association, which supports graduate students across the University. This past summer, he co-founded the Future Leaders Advocacy & Advisory Group (FLAAG), a Carroll School graduate student group that seeks to drive a more equitable environment at Boston College. And over the course of the year, he has been instrumental in co-leading and setting the tone for the Inclusive Leadership Forum Series, a yearlong series aimed at the Carroll School graduate community, created in the wake of renewed struggles over systemic racism in the United States over the summer of 2020.

Dewin’s success and impact stems from his core passion to help others and advocate for progressive social causes. It is this passion that will carry him far, not only at Deloitte’s Government Consulting Practice, where he is headed after graduation, but also in what I am confident will be a significant career of service to others.”

Marilyn Eckelman
Associate Dean, Graduate Programs
Carroll School of Management



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