Student Spotlight: Amber Hernandez

Amber Hernandez
Amber Hernandez

Business Management major passes SHRM-CP exam

Amber Hernandez, 28, a student in the Business Management program at Dakota County Technical College recently passed the SHRM-Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) exam, a significant milestone on the career paths of dedicated professionals in the human resources field.

Amber is earning an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Business Management at DCTC. She is also earning a certificate in Human Resource Management. Amber is on track to graduate in December 2019.

A 2009 graduate of Farmington High School, Amber works while going to college as a human resources specialist at Ecumen Seasons at Apple Valley. Her future academic plans include earning a bachelor’s degree in business from possibly Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota or Concordia University.

“My career plans are focused on being the best employee resource person I can for the staff that I am serving,” Amber said. “Whether that be in HR or as an executive director for a senior living facility, I just want to make sure that I am being the best that I can for the frontline staff.”

Amber was very excited that our program would prepare her for human resources certifications and jumped in with both feet. She is a voracious  learner, which is important for the HR profession.  She is destined for success!”
Scott R. Gunderson, MPNA, CM, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Business & Management Department Faculty and Advisor
PTK Advisor

Dakota County Technical College

More about Amber…

Amber was born and raised in Farmington, Minnesota. Her husband, Marcus, works in the construction field with a focus on residential interiors. Marcus and Amber have one child, a 3.5-year-old daughter named Violet. The family has two cats, a 4-year-old calico mix called Lola and an 8-month-old black Halloween kitty called Lucy.

In her free time, Amber enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter. She practices yoga and meditation. She loves to be outdoors fishing, walking and camping. She also loves to read, especially nonfiction. Amber and her family reside in Farmington.

More about Business Management

The Business Management program at DCTC provides working adults with the essential knowledge, skills and abilities to succeed in today’s increasingly competitive business environment. You will acquire the competencies that can be universally applied to global and local organizations in the profit, nonprofit and public sectors.

Two mainstay outcomes and awards of the program are the 60-credit Business Management A.A.S. and the 33-credit Multicultural Human Resources Management diploma.

You can also individualize your degree by selecting an emphasis area through the completion of two of the following certificates:

Learn more…

Amber Hernandez Q & A

Amber Hernandez

Amber Hernandez

Why did you choose Business Management as your college major?
I have always been interested in how a business functions. My family owns restaurants and being able to understand the logistics more, and being able to help my dad out is huge!

I also have been in healthcare for almost 10+ years and have an amazing mentor! Katie, my supervisor, has been a huge influence for me. She handles everything with grace, trusts her team, and gives you the opportunity to learn, which makes a great leader.

Being able to take what she has taught me and put that knowledge into my career will allow me to be another asset to help out our company and team.

What advice would you give people preparing for the SHRM-Certified Professional Exam?
Follow your gut, use the resources that you have: SHRM website, panel’s discussions and practice exams. Follow your gut, though, when you are answering the questions.

What is one thing every HR professional should know?
That it’s not easy. You do need to make some tough decisions and be neutral no matter what. But also being open-minded will get you far. Not everything is black and white—it’s a world of grey.

Three words that describe you as a college student:

What is your most significant takeaway from the HR Management certificate program?
The tools and resources that you gain. From the books to the students to the professor, you gain so much insight. Being able to have open discussions regarding issues and see how others would handle it, but then also tying it together with the content is huge!

What do you like best about your business-related studies at DCTC?
Like I mentioned above, being able to learn from the other students on different scenarios. Also the instructors have been amazing. They are very helpful and truly do want to see you succeed and will help to get you there. Scott [Gunderson] has been a major help throughout this process and trusting, and I wouldn’t have done it without him.

What person has influenced you the most in life?
I would say my dad. He is someone that is very hardworking, driven and motivated. He has run several businesses from the ground up, never gives up when times are tough. He loves unconditionally, and lets you know the truth even if it’s hard. He is a huge inspiration and motivation for me. I want to make him proud and be able to support him when the time comes.

Another person would be my supervisor, Katie. She has given me the opportunities to strive and be who I am today. She believed in me when no one else did and supports me in any decision. She inspires me each and every day. I look up to her more then she knows.

Amber Hernandez 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Yoga—its relaxing and healing all at the same time; yoga lets you forget about all your worries and just focus in the moment.
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Greece—because of the scenery and the culture makes it very intriguing.
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Becoming a mom. It has shaped me into who I am today! Violet is our miracle child and I am very grateful. She has been a huge reason behind my decision to come back to school, to do better not only for myself, but for her as well.
  4. First thing you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: Pay off my student loan, put money into my retirement, donate to a charity I am passionate about, and then go on a trip to Greece; buy a lakeshore home
  5. Favorite TV show you’re watching now: Huge Grey’s Anatomy fan!
  6. Best movie you’ve seen lately: Mind you I am a mom, and tend to see more kid movies then adult one. I would have to say either The Grinch or Incredibles 2.
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: To be the best person I can be. I think just being present, open-minded and knowing it’s okay to say no is huge. To be the best person, you need to realize it’s not just for others. You need to be the best for yourself as well—and that can be a challenge. Also, to graduate—that would be a big accomplishment for me. This is my second attempt at school and being able to graduate would make it all worth it.
  8. Your national bird if you could have one: Parrot
  9. Dream occupation: Surgeon—growing up I have always wanted to be a surgeon, and I admired the doctors I saw on TV; being able to help and save someone brings a lot of rewards.
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Ellen DeGeneres—she is very passionate and she seems like she has a heart of gold.
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Sign language or another language; just being able to master those would be huge. I think opening your mind to new things, and then being able to help if and when needed would be a benefit.
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Poverty
Learn more about Business Management and Human Resources Management at DCTC by contacting:

Harold Torrence
Business Management Faculty

Scott Gunderson
Business Management Faculty