Getting an Entrepreneurial Advantage

Alumna Vreni Fernandez's entrepreneur-focused education and volunteer work leads to museum leadership role
Vreni Fernandez standing by classic cars at the Kansas City Auto Museum

UMKC Grads are Everywhere.

Our students graduate with much more than a diploma. They leave UMKC with the practical knowledge, real-world experience and skills that help them land jobs they love.

Vreni Fernandez 12

UMKC Major: Business Administration – Marketing
Current job: Museum Executive Director

What did you most appreciate about UMKC?

The professors at Bloch were instrumental in my development as a strategic thinker and effective leader in the business world. When I was a student, there was a large focus on entrepreneurship — professors encouraged us to be creative and network with working professionals in the business community. I always keep these skills at the forefront of my mind when I am heading a new event or project.

Favorite thing to do while you were a college student?

I made many friends during my years at UMKC. My fondest memories are spending time with ENACTUS and Delta Sigma Pi friends at Pizza 51 after meetings and enjoying the occasional lunch at the Country Club Plaza.

If you had an internship during college, how did it help prepare you for your first job?

Throughout my entire academic career, I volunteered for multiple organizations. When I approached my senior year at UMKC, I began the search for a volunteer opportunity with a startup company in Kansas City. Coincidentally, the Kansas City Automotive Museum's founder had contacted one of my professors, Pamela Dobies, about a concept for a car museum in Kansas City. I have always had an appreciation for cars, and I am a proud Kansas Citian who loved the challenge of being involved with a large project from the ground up. My internship turned into a board position, which led to a hired position once we received a major donation. A year later I was offered the Executive Director position and the rest, as they say, is history. 

“Don't be afraid to fail, but learn from your failures.”

Best career advice you’ve received?

Managing people is one of the hardest things you will do, so make sure you take care of your people.

What advice do you have for students entering your field/profession?

Don’t be afraid to fail, but learn from your failures.

Published: Mar 8, 2019

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