From the Desk of...Julio Hernandez, MBA '13
The youngest of seven children, Julio Hernandez is the first in his family to graduate from college, earning a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of Houston and a master of civil engineering from Rice University. He worked at a consulting engineering firm in Houston, helping design the Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women and the Indianapolis Colts’ Lucas Oil NFL Stadium. Hernandez also helped launch the Houston affiliate of the Architecture, Construction and Engineering Mentor Program of America, eventually becoming the chair of its board of directors.
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A mariachi band is a powerful union. As individuals, we are merely talented musicians. But as a whole, we are a collective influence—reaching hearts one song at a time …
I remember the first day of classes at the Community House Preschool like it was yesterday. Since both of my parents only spoke Spanish, I remember being scared by the language barriers. The only time I felt confident was choir practice. Music made me come alive; on the outside, I appeared to be quiet and shy, but when I performed, my extroverted side came out.
By the time I was eight, I had become fluent in English and began to sing with a mariachi band. One of the most memorable performances was at a community festival in front of 300 people. I was invited to sing with a world-renowned adult mariachi band that I had only practiced with for one day! As I walked up to the stage, I remembered words of encouragement from [my teacher] Ms. Esther: “Julio, you can do it! Just be you!” I recall singing with the playfulness and assurance of a child living out his dream.
Shortly after [graduating from high school] I was offered a record contract and the ability to become a star in the regional Mexican genre. I had to choose between a music career and attending college. I truly wanted to be the first person in my family to graduate from college, and I felt that education could be a medium for achieving goals that would make a greater impact on others.
As a mariachi singer, I gained discipline, work ethic, an understanding of teamwork, and the joys resulting from achievements. These life lessons have been instrumental in molding me into who I am today and have proven valuable as an engineer.
My career as a mariachi singer opened the door to dream the impossible. As an engineer, I have made the impossible come to life by creating effective solutions to concrete problems. I believe that the passion and ingenuity I have learned from my unique life experiences will allow me to achieve distinguishable results at the McCombs School of Business and in my future endeavors.