Lizeth Hernandez, MBA’20, believes deeply in education because she knows how transformative learning can be. When she immigrated to the United States from Colombia with her mother shortly before her 13th birthday, they arrived with little money and no English.
“Walking into school, I discovered the most surprising thing about not speaking English: I couldn’t understand what my teachers were saying, and I couldn’t communicate with the people around me,” she says.
In two years, Hernandez tested out of the English as a Second Language program. In two more years, she was in the Honor Society, and by the time she graduated high school, Hernandez was valedictorian. She says the title was never something she strived for; she simply wanted to earn a college degree and knew it was an expensive privilege she’d have to earn with hard work.
After a bachelor’s degree in engineering, she was hired at Eli Lily and Company in manufacturing. She’s currently pursuing an Evening MBA at the Kelley School of Business on the IUPUI campus—with the goal of growing her leadership capabilities.
“Seventeen years ago, I was broke, uneducated, and didn’t speak English,” she said. “But I understand how to succeed, meet expectations, and add value by leveraging education.”
Hernandez loves making medicine. She understands how she fits into the supply chain that brings life-saving pharmaceuticals from the laboratory to the patient, and she is proud to be a part of that team. But she recognizes that she needs more education to continue providing added value to her company.