Collin Hernandez: Challenge Accepted
Collin Hernandez: Challenge Accepted

Collin Hernandez is a big believer in stepping out of your comfort zone. Whether it’s to play a fantasy sport à la Harry Potter, travel 4,000 miles to study abroad or serve as president of Sigma Phi Epsilon social fraternity, Hernandez has not just embraced the unknown; he has flung his arms wide open and wrapped it in a big bear hug.

Now the junior from Goodyear, Arizona, is taking on another challenge: working as a wholesale intern at Pacific Life. His responsibilities include helping with sales events in which the firm’s internal wholesalers present product options to clients and advisors, and creating graphics that illustrate the potential returns of different investment paths open to clients.

“I will get to learn a lot of information about Pacific Life’s products, such as mutual funds and variable annuities,” the finance and marketing double major says. “I believe that this company can teach me a lot about how to invest efficiently and effectively.”

Hernandez first heard about the internship from a fraternity brother who worked at Pacific Life. He liked what his friend told him about the company, but the interview sealed the proverbial deal for Hernandez.

“When one of the internal wholesalers asked me, ‘Who is your favorite wrestler?’ I knew it was a place that I wanted to work,” he laughs.

A career in business was always in the works for Hernandez. When most kindergarteners are building pirate ships out of Legos or collecting Pokémon cards, he was making a tidy little profit flipping products, and he continued to do so through elementary school. It did not matter what the product was – sports memorabilia, stickers, the aforementioned Pokémon cards – Hernandez discovered he had a knack.

“With business, you make your own success, and that is incredibly intriguing,” Hernandez says.

A product of a Jesuit secondary education, he gravitated to Jesuit institutions when applying for college. Being “an all-around balanced man” was important to him, and Creighton’s emphasis on educating the whole person appealed to this need.

He has taken steps to develop this well-roundedness. He attended the University of Glasgow the first semester of his sophomore year, where he took classes in entrepreneurship, statistics and business law. He calls his time in Scotland a “journey” that fundamentally challenged his perspective of himself and the world.

He is also a leadership programming intern with Creighton’s Student Leadership and Involvement Center, which helps students discover their interests and potential, develop into leaders and give of themselves to their communities. As such, he plans leadership events, shares his definition of leadership with fellow students and organizes programming like Jaytalk, which is similar in structure to TED Talks.

Hernandez knows that rejection is part of stepping out of your comfort zone. But that is OK, he says, because rejection means growth, and growth eventually leads to success. It’s no surprise that his favorite quote, attributed to Babe Ruth, is “You just can’t beat that guy the person who never gives up.”

“People give up all the time because they are afraid of fear, they are afraid of rejection, and I love it. I embrace it,” Hernandez says. 

He is also a big believer in starting the day off right, setting the stage for the day’s success. He daily commits to paper three goals and three things for which he is grateful. And with his first cup of joe, he listens to a podcast that piques his interest. “Entrepreneurs on Fire” with John Lee Dumas is a current favorite.

“You’ve got to challenge yourself every day,” he asserts. Even if that means picking up a broomstick and playing Quidditch, like he did this year.

“Who knew that people played a fantasy game and that there was such a thing as a national championship?” Hernandez says.

Who says being well-rounded can’t be fun.