Student Shares Success Story Ahead of 2019 Buc Days Ideas Challenge Showcase

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Every successful business starts with an idea. But, how do you take that idea and transform it into action? The College of Business at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi fosters entrepreneurship. It is the spirit behind the Buc Days Ideas Challenge Showcase hosted by the University and the Buccaneer Commission. Each year top student teams selected from a campus-wide competition, present their ideas in front of a live audience and community judges.

Last year’s first prize winners presented a business plan called Islander Town, which was aimed at reducing the cost of student housing by creating a trailer park catered to students.

Kyle Fernandez, a member of the group, credits his current success to participating in the Buc Days Ideas Challenge.

“Our professor, Dr. Kent Byus, told us past groups had received investors and some even landed jobs by participating and I was hoping for either,” Fernandez said.

After a stellar pitch, community judge, Allison Webster, approached Fernandez.

“I thought their presentation was fantastic and very well thought out,” she said.

Webster, the employee engagement and community affairs officer at American Bank, said she was ready to talk to Fernandez and his group about loan options for Islander Town, but Fernandez expressed other ambitions.

 “I just graduated with a finance degree and I needed a job. I saw that moment as an opportunity,” Fernandez said.

After a successful interview, Fernandez was hired with American Bank and currently works as a credit analyst for commercial loans. He said the job is opening up new horizons.

“I’m able to put my degree to work and apply what I learned in the classroom,” he said.

Fernandez has the ability to think entrepreneurially and bring that into the workplace, Professor of Marketing Dr. Kent Byus said.

“That is the opportunity obsession we teach. It is about seeking out solutions versus having a toggle switch that says yes - no; it’s the ability to find the yes in all the possible alternatives that exist,” Byus said.

For Webster, being able to find students with the type of education and attitude that Fernandez has is win for her company and the community.

“As a business person, I think it’s very important for the financial growth of our community to work with the university and encourage and retain these students,” she said.

As the fourth annual Buc Days Ideas Challenge Showcase approaches on Tuesday, March 26, Fernandez has two pieces of advice for participants.

“There are two important takeaways, one that we learned in Dr. Byus’ class, which is to be opportunity obsessed. The second is being able to present your idea with confidence,” he said.

Opportunity awareness and confidence was part of the formula that led to Fernandez’s current success. Students also have the opportunity to attract investors for their business ideas and inspire other students.

Attend the fourth annual Buc Days Ideas Challenge Showcase Tuesday, March 26 from 6-7 p.m. at the University Center, Anchor Ballroom C. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, please visit the Buc Days Idea Challenge website.