Three languages. Two internships. One amazing MBA experience.
As a Master’s office that sees many students come and go, every so often we have the pleasure of meeting someone with an energy so contagious, even the sunny halls of Rawls seem to be a bit lighter in his or her presence.
2nd year MBA student, Dennis Hernandez, is such an individual.
Originally hailing from El Salvador and having a total of 4 years’ experience working in the global supply chain industry with nearly every continent, Hernandez is no stranger to world-wide operations.
As a Fulbright scholar, Hernandez was selected by the U.S. Department of State to study in the states based on his outstanding academic track record and desire to exchange his talents, ideas and cultural understanding.
At Krannert, Hernandez is heavily involved. Upon his admittance, he was granted a graduate assistantship and holds the title of Vice President of Finance in Krannert’s Business Analytics club in addition to participating in the Entrepreneurship and Student Managed Investment Fund student organizations.
This past summer Hernandez completed two internships, the first being at TVS Motors in Bangalore, India and the second at Blichmann Engineering in Lafayette, Indiana.
At his first internship at TVS, Hernandez helped the company dramatically boost service level with increase in responsiveness to dealers in terms of accessories for shipment. He summarized his experience as ‘hands on’ explaining how success was measured with self-initiated goal achievement, and information was not handed to him- as might be the case in a differing cultural or organizational context. He also explained how there was no hierarchy at TVS- anyone could walk into anyone’s office and ask questions- dinners with management were also a perk.
In terms of how Krannert prepared him for his experience with TVS- Hernandez credits a project he completed in his Operations class with Professor Gemma Berenguer- which was a hybrid of one of his projects with the organization- a winter’s model, or inventory forecasting.
“I always want to keep moving forward, gaining international exposure while understanding different markets that might not be discovered yet.”
In terms of culture, Hernandez enjoyed the new environment, which he described as the Silicon Valley of India. Between trying new restaurants, visiting various landmarks and traveling on the weekends- he was able to maintain a great work-life balance.
In terms of his second internship- Hernandez explained how Blichmann Engineering was nice because it is locally based in Lafayette, but it is also one of the best in home-brewing equipment in the world. With international expansion in the midst, Blichmann worked with Hernandez- essentially gaining an on-site export consultant. Overall he worked with 60+ countries assisting with exports custom regulations, sales tactics, and identifying new markets.
At the end of his internship he created direct sales links abroad, built an Amazon platform and researched how to set up the most cost-effective fulfillment options.
For the future, Hernandez is thinking in terms of his internships-global. Before coming to Krannert, he was interested in international logistics, but now believes his core strength lies in analytics and has learned that this will be helpful to him as business continues to evolve in terms of big data. Although we will miss him in Krannert, we know that he has the ability to not only lighten up, but also build up any organization or role he decides to pursue.