Daisy Fernandez DRC’15 is no stranger to problem-solving.
After graduating from Douglass, Fernandez landed a job at Facebook as a strategic partner to brands in the travel and entertainment industries. As a client solutions manager, she worked to build and manage key relationships with clients such as Disney, Spotify, Marriott and HBO across media planning, strategy, and measurement. Fernandez used her platform and product expertise to advise them on how to utilize Facebook's tools and data to meet their business and marketing goals.
“I really loved identifying my client’s needs and problems and finding creative ways to solve them,” said Fernandez. “I thrived when I got to take complex problems and break them down into easy-to-understand pieces with solutions. They used to call me the process queen at work! For me, this was where I thrived.”
While she enjoyed her work at Facebook, it was this very problem-solving drive that led to Fernandez’s ambition to take on new, more challenging obstacles in our larger society.
“Over the years the type of work I’ve gravitated towards has always been people-centric and client facing, had some element of creativity and storytelling, and where I got to problem solve,” said Fernandez. “I knew I wanted to find solutions to effect positive social change and working within the business industry was not going to be the way for me to do that.”
Due to this realization, Fernandez left her position at Facebook and enrolled in Brooklyn Law School. Fernandez plans to work in public interest law for nonprofits, and is currently exploring the mental health space, data and privacy rights, and environmental law.
“I decided to use the skill sets and underlying interests I had to pivot in another direction,” she said. “I am focused on the outcome of my work and less on the path to get there, and for me that outcome is effecting positive social change. So whatever opportunities allow me to accomplish that goal, then that’s where I want to be.”
Fernandez has long been a part of public interest work. She has spent the last year and a half working with Community Word Project, a New York City based art-in-education organization that inspires children in underserved communities to read, interpret, and respond to their world through collaborative arts residencies. There, she leads the marketing and communication efforts for the Associate Board and assists with other initiatives such as planning career panels to inspire the students.
“Growing up in the New York City public education system, I know first-hand how vital programs that give students the space for creative expression can be,” said Fernandez. “So it has been an honor to even do a small part in getting the word out about this organization.”
Outside of her work in Community Word Project, Fernandez is involved in her neighborhood’s mutual aid network.
“It’s a great way to be in solidarity with your community,” she said. “I am also excited to start some pro bono work helping immigrant victims of crime apply to obtain their U Visa, a form of immigration relief available to victims of enumerated crimes.”
During her time at Douglass, Fernandez double majored in marketing and supply chain management. For Fernandez, the empowerment at Douglass made all the difference. She found a mentor in Keisha Dabrowski, now the Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration and Engagement at Rutgers University.
“Douglass is one of the best decisions I ever made—it was the perfect community to grow in. I always felt supported and surrounded by people with similar ideals,” she said. “The opportunities we were afforded are invaluable. I also met some of my best friends there, and to this day we all push and support each other in our endeavors. Community has always been a central value to me, and Douglass reinforced it.”
As someone who pivoted from one successful path to another, Fernandez is a great role model for Douglass students, many of whom are interested in multiple industries.
“I used to be caught up in this idea that my major defined my opportunities and that I had to figure out what exactly got someone from point A to point C, but that’s just not true,” said Fernandez. “I pivoted to law school because I realized the industry I was in wasn’t going to fulfill me mentally and spiritually.”
Fernandez is also interested in exploring the intersection of technology and storytelling, along with the many ways it can help level the playing field. In her spare time, Fernandez enjoys trying new recipes, making art, and growing her own victory garden in apartment.
Along with fellow alumna Temi Obaisi DRC’15, Fernandez recently launched a new scholarship fund with the goal of supporting underrepresented Douglass students in the business school.