You’d think Nick Fernandez had enough on his plate before graduating this past May. While carrying a full class load, the psychology major ran Upsway Marketing LLC, a boutique firm managing the websites and social media platforms of more than 12 clients across seven industries. Now he’s busier than ever earning an MBA in marketing and consulting at American University while building his client base.
Nick jumped into business during the first year of the pandemic. “After serving as a summer marketing intern for Pinnacle Bank and building websites for small businesses and a political campaign, I saw firsthand how COVID-19 hurt businesses if they didn’t have a digital presence.”
Despite his initial success in serving small companies, Nick knew he could not scale his business without a vision or entrepreneurial skillset, so he turned to Professor of Management Paula Englis and Kevin Renshler, director of the Center for Student Enterprises and Entrepreneurship Development. “Taking on the entrepreneurship and innovation minor was one of my most formative Berry experiences,” he says. “They helped me take my summer idea to the next level.”
After outsourcing to three independent contractors, Nick kicked-started his company. “Berry’s entrepreneurship program enabled me to form Upsway Marketing LLC and receive funding for it through the Center for Student Enterprises and Entrepreneurship Development, the PITCH Competition [in which Upsway garnered third place in the services category] and Angel Funding pitch,” he explains.
Nick also works as a marketing manager with Technology Control Partners, which uses assistive technology to provide safe environments for elderly, disabled or physically rehabbing clients. In the near future, he plans to grow his business to a full-time operation.
Michael McElveen, assistant dean of student wellness, mentored Nick and is blown away by his success: “A few of many things that make Nick special are his work ethic, his innovative approaches to challenges and the intentionality he showed in working with others on a team and developing systems for success. Describing Nick as a dynamic student would be an understatement.”
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