Meet Our 2019 Cohort of Fellows: Ian Hernandez

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Hello! I'm Ian, and I am an incoming first-year Consortium and ROMBA fellow at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. I have always had a passion for consumer products, retail, and customer experience, which has led me into a successful career in the fashion industry beginning from the retail sales floor, up through corporate ladder. Before business school, I led the North American men's division for the global retailer French Connection. Throughout my roles, I have had the opportunity to gain a breadth of knowledge of the industry. However, my customer-obsessed nature led me to sales driven positions. Born and raised in the Midwest, I graduated from Columbia College Chicago with an interdisciplinary major in Marketing and Management. Outside of work, I enjoy international travel, group fitness, reading nonfiction, hiking, dining out, and spending as much time on the water as possible.

What made you consider business school?

My favorite aspects of my career have been the opportunities I have had to positively impact my clients by helping them develop and implement plans to combat the current retail landscape. At this point in my career, going to business school was a natural next step in my career trajectory to develop existing skills further, and gain new strengths, to have the opportunity to impact larger companies moving forward.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?

I am most excited about the knowledge I will gain by working with a diverse group of classmates at Kelley. My background is different from most of my cohorts, and those whom I have met so far are all so talented. I am excited about all that we will learn from each other.

Who are some leaders (in the LGBT community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?

Oprah Winfrey has inspired me my entire life. As a woman of color, she broke down barriers to create an empire during an era when the world said it was not possible. She also overcame a traumatic past and relived her trauma to help countless others move forward in hopes of them having a better future. I admire and am grateful for Ellen DeGeneres for her bravery to pave the way for the LGBTQ+ community in media and her resilience to continue to break the stigmas surrounding our community. With this year being the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, it is crucial to remember our cornerstone leaders, such as Marsha P. Johnson, Harvey Milk, and our other sisters and brothers before us that have fought relentlessly for the rights we have today and allowed us to continue the fight onward.

What's one thing everyone should know about you?

I have a huge sweet tooth and a not-so-guilty pleasure for 2000s Pop. I will always say yes to dessert, and if "I'm a Slave 4 U" comes on, you will 100% find me on the dancefloor.

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