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Ray Hernandez

Exploration Specialist, University Advisement Center

Book: Percy Jackson and the Olympians or Harry Potter
Movie: The Emperor's New Groove
Food: Cheesecake or Cheesy Pasta
Animal: Jaguar
Color: Royal Blue or Forest Green

Exploration Experience?

I liked everything so I struggled to decide on a career path. I wasn’t passionate about anything besides music but wanted to study something new. I met with an advisor for over a year, attended major fairs, interviewed people, took GE’s and intro classes, and read about fields myself. Later, I realized that I was happiest in classes about language, culture, and international issues, and least happy in science classes.

From fields like medicine, arts, education, language, Latin American Studies, international relations, and geography, I discovered Sociology and I finally feel confident in my future: pursuing foreign policy and international development

Why is Exploring Important to Me?

To me, exploring is important because it opens our eyes to incredible opportunities that lie ahead. Each of us has the potential to become successful and pursue whichever career that we want, but often we limit ourselves to explore new opportunities and freely dream about our futures out of fear or other factors. Exploring is important because it increases our awareness of incredible opportunities in the vocational world that we might not regularly see.

It helps us not be as limited in the career choices we make, shedding light on amazing experiences if we have the courage to learn about them and get involved. Exploring empowers students to live a professional and fulfilling life because we are the ones that are discovering and crafting the career that we want.

Looking Back:

I wish I had understood that it's a waste of time to try to pursue a dream that’s not yours. It's one thing to hear that and assume you wouldn’t be like that, but throughout your life, financial, peer, family, and other pressures subtly shape your understanding of what a "successful career" is and should be. I would have loved to understand earlier on how to design a career that is catered to my dreams and goals and that I can be successful while I do so. Understanding that I can do that with essentially any major/career path, and be confident in myself for wanting that is what I wish for every student.

Does Pineapple Belong on Pizza?

The real question is if red sauce belongs on pizza... I think if we switched to Alfredo sauce together the world would be a better place. :D

Boring fact about you: I go by my middle name ;)


In my free time, I love to play the piano and sing! I'm currently a pianist for a band and love to have jam seshes with anyone as well. I also love to go hiking and camping. One of my favorite hobbies growing up was going repelling off rocks, cliffs, and caves with Boy Scouts, and I used to travel to San Francisco with my family every year. I love exploring the world, having fun and meaningful experiences with others, making music, and I love Spanish, Portuguese, getting to know other cultures.

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