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The Science of Marketing

Finding a Passion in Data 

Date published: Oct. 23, 2017

Sharon S. HernándezIt’s not too often that you run into a marketer who began her career as a microbiologist in a research lab exploring DNA sequences. In fact, you probably don’t run into too many former microbiologists, period.

But for Sharon S. Hernández, her passion for science has helped her to excel in her current role at Dex Media, a digital and software solutions marketing company headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

After spending over two years in a lab from 2008-2010, Hernández used the knowledge she’d gained in the field to transition into a role in higher education, assisting high school students interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) degrees.

Eventually, Hernández wound up at UD. In 2016, she began her MBA with a concentration in business analytics while simultaneously doing freelance marketing consulting for small businesses.

“Business analytics seemed like a good fit for this stage in my career — as a scientist, I liked analysis and numbers,” said Hernández. “I wanted to learn the ins and outs of business management but also how to think critically and be an effective leader. In the Gupta College of Business, there is an ethical component discussed in every class, which is important to me because every business leader needs to think about ethics when they’re making business decisions. These decisions not only affect their business but can also extend to the community as a whole. It’s exciting to see a shift in businesses toward social responsibility, thus the need for social entrepreneurs.”

Hernández has been making the most of her MBA experience. She’s the vice president of marketing for Sigma Iota Epsilon, an honorary and professional management fraternity, and has also built relationships with her classmates and many of her professors. Hernández has bonded with Associate Professor of Marketing Laura Munoz, Ph.D., who has helped guide Hernández into her current role at Dex Media and has also made a big impact on her academic aspirations.

Next year, Hernández will graduate from the MBA program and plans to continue her full-time role as a performance strategist at Dex Media, a position she feels is the perfect blend of science and marketing.

In the growth of the digital era, marketing continues to become more data-driven, opening up new opportunities for analytical minds to apply their skills in new fields.

“When I used to do research, it was always about trying to find out how and why something worked. In marketing it’s very much the same — we have to make sure our leads are pacing correctly to get a good return on our investment. If our digital campaigns don’t work the way we thought they should, we have to come up with a “hypotheses,” run trials and 'experiment' with search engine optimization tactics to find what works best,” said Hernández. “I love how marketing enables me to be creative while still using an analytical approach to solve problems. Marketing is what I was meant to do!” 

Do you love data? Learn more about Business Analytics and other data-driven programs offered at the University of Dallas.