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Freddy Hernandez

Freddy Hernandez

FIH Realty; Angelitos LLC; Brother Rice High School

CEO/Founder; EVP Operations; Assistant Soccer Coach

Personal Information

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School: University of Illinois at Chicago

Major: Finance/Business Management

Career Information

Company You Work For Now: FIH Realty; Angelitos LLC; Brother Rice High School

Title: CEO/Founder; EVP Operations; Assistant Soccer Coach

Brief Description of Duties / Responsibilities

"FIH Realty: all day to day financials, acquisitions, accounting, tenant management, etc Angelitos: general day to day operations in Chicago - project progress, contractor management Brother Rice High School: teach 9-12th grade young men tactical, technical, physical, and team related topics of soccer."

What Has Been Your Proudest Accomplishment Post-CWP?

Starting my own company and being able to quit the traditional 9-5. In April 2020 I started my own Real Estate Investment firm and in December 2020 I went full time. I now own, manage a medium sized portfolio, well into 7 figures, that has given me the flexibility to live my life more on my own terms.

CWP Career Impact

In one sentence, what has CWP meant to you?

CWP helped me learn the basics of people, project, and network management which helped me in every job and field I have been in.

How did your CWP experience impact your career? Immediately after graduation? Now?

CWP provided the experience and references necessary to continue a career in leadership. I was able to get an internship with Target Corp where I worked for 6 years pre and post graduation in various leadership and operational positions. I eventually started my own business and became a partner in a few others thanks to the foundation CWP gave me as a 20-21 year old.

What was the greatest lesson you learned from your CWP experience?

Every person (client/employee/superior) is different and must be treated uniquely. CWP was the first time I managed people and project where I interacted consistently with those older than me. I quickly learned that I needed to adapt my style depending on the situation and not have a "cookie-cutter" method.

How has the friendships and networks you built during CWP affected you?

I am still friends with a few of the people from my CWP group. We are not the best of friends, but it is awesome to keep up and see a lot of their successes even if it is on social media sometimes.

If you had to come up with an one line slogan for CWP, what would it be? :)

CWP - much more than just paint.

Advice

What advice do you have for potential CWP participants? Current CWP participants?

Stay the course. There will be difficult times/situations where you struggle making sales or with project/employee, but eventually things will come together. I got off to a slow start when it came closing deals, but eventually I got on a hot streak and managed to close a nice amount of business. What you will learn at CWP will be a very solid foundation for what's to come post graduation. You will have more project, sales, people, management than 95% of your peers and this can and will set you apart from the pack.

Many college students struggle to choose between an internship specific to their target industry or doing CWP. What advice would you give them on this subject if they wanted to enter your career field?

Management was not my initial choice so I can speak to this first hand. CWP gave me a foundation that I did not know I needed - specifically with networking and dealing with people. Whatever field you go into, you will more than likely have to interact with people on a daily basis (remotely, phone, in person.) This experience will get you out of your shell and will help you develop skills you did not know you needed. It will make you more comfortable in your own skin which will lead to much more confidence. It could also open your eyes to a field/skills you did not know you enjoyed and shift your career in a better direction that fits you a bit better.

What's your best advice for someone interested in entering your career field?

Learn the basics, start small, get a mentor in the process if possible and then go for it! A lot of people want to get into real estate, but are either too aggressive or too conservative. I believe that you should do your homework and learn as much as you can while saving/planning for the first move. Finding a mentor that could guide you early on can be a gamechanger and after you see what it takes to conduct a successful deal, the rest will come more easily and you can scale much more quickly.

What's your favorite memory from CWP?

The trip to Windsor, Canada and having a great time with upper management.

Last words of wisdom

In undergrad you hear a lot cliche sayings - "balance, you get out what you put in; quality vs quantity" and as cliche as it sounds, all of these are true. However, it all depends on your situation, goals, field and you must figure out when and how to adjust. This takes time. I have learned that planning is great, but overplanning will hold you back. Executing is incredibly important, but without a plan and goal, it is just another action. Figure out what you want/like and adjust as needed. Everyone's journey is different and eventually you will find the field, job, friends, partner that will make it all worth it.