Posted on June 24, 2020 by Wendy Frost

Realizing the value of an MBA degree, Andrea Fernandez , MBA ’20 enrolled in UTSA’s program to be a part of the growth and energy occurring at UTSA.

Working in public health at UT Health San Antonio, she was asked to sit on an executive committee by her boss. While reviewing the backgrounds of the other committee members she began to notice a pattern—most of these individuals had an MBA.

“I was very taken by the responsibilities they carried and the positions they held. I knew that if they had MBAs, I needed one too,” said Fernandez, who holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from UT Pan American and a MPH from the UT Health Science Center Houston.

Making the foray into business from her previous background in the health sciences, Fernandez came to love learning about quantitative fields such as accounting, finance and economics. “It was interesting to learn how economics and finance affect so many things,” said Fernandez, a native of Edinburg.

She also valued how UTSA faculty members brought their personal work experience to the classroom, not just teaching from a textbook.

“I had a really good time getting to know all my professors,” she said. “Professors such as Dr. Linthicum, Dr. Phillips and Dr. Smith applied academic concepts to current events in business. I think all the professors in the College of Business do a good job of doing that with the students.”

Although she was working throughout the program, Fernandez found the time to get involved in experiential activities. She was one of 12 students selected to attend the annual Prospanica conference in the fall semester.

Because of that experience, she was inspired to form the first UTSA student chapter of Prospanica.

“Prospanica is an organization that advocates for the Latinx community to pursue careers in business,” said Fernandez. “It is important because people of color are underrepresented in business, and they are especially underrepresented in positions of leadership.”

Forming the student chapter was a way for Fernandez to share the empowering nature of Prospanica with other business students. The student chapter was approved in February, but unfortunately, the coronavirus outbreak prevented them from hosting their first planned event after Spring Break. Fernandez is confident that her peers will lead the organization in her absence.

“I’m very grateful to the UTSA MBA program,” said Fernandez. “As soon as I became an MBA student, my LinkedIn profile views increased and, within a matter of months, I got promoted to a senior-level position at work.”

Looking to her future, Fernandez wants to continue building her skills and obtain a leadership position in the not-for-profit industry. Her next step is to obtain her certification in project management.

“The UTSA MBA increased my marketability considerably and took my professional potential to a whole new level.”

— Wendy Frost