For new author Peter Hernandez (BA ’95), the “other side of the brain” is certainly a creative one.
Hernandez completed his BA in general studies, focusing on business and politics, at Brock in 1995, and maintains a career in international business.
This past winter he wrote and published a children’s picture book called A New Day With Rhyming Robin, available online at Chapters-Indigo or www.RhymingRobin.com, with proceeds from book sales going to Parkinson’s research.
“It’s a feel-good children’s picture book adventure done in rhyme,” Hernandez says. “The story is a day in the life of a robin and his little buddy.”
Hernandez has fond memories of Brock from Frosh Week to professor David Newman’s entrepreneurship class, to the camaraderie of the rowing team and his involvement with the International Students Association. He was also a contributor of comic strips (The Comic File, and Brock Life) to the student newspaper.
We recently caught up with Peter to learn more about his time at Brock, his career and his new book in this grad spotlight Q & A.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My career is in international business, having worked for Maple Leaf Foods for 10 years, including living two years in Mexico City. I now live in Montreal, work for a U.S. company, Tri-Meats Inc., and continue exporting Canadian food products to Mexico.
What attracted you to Brock University?
An exciting campus life and community feel of the university.
What was your most memorable moment while at Brock?
Competing at the Head of The Ohio in Pittsburgh as a member of the University Mens 8 Rowing Team, 1991.
How has Brock changed your life?
Brock opened my eyes to the many cultures of the world. It allowed me to see the payoff of commitment and hard work while having fun!
How have you been involved with Brock since graduating?
I’ve returned for alumni invitational rowing events at Henley Island.
What has been your career/life path since graduating from Brock?
International sales, import/export, commodity trading, marketing – food industry.
What is the most rewarding part of your career?
Closing international business deals. Buying and selling, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and places.
What is your greatest professional achievement?
Having been given an ex-pat assignment by Maple Leaf Foods to live in Mexico City and develop sales to retailers, distributors, processors and importers.
Have you received any awards or honourable mentions for you work?
Two recognition awards while at Maple Leaf Foods.
What is your “other side of the brain”? What are your hobbies and interests that don’t necessarily relate to your degree or line of work?
The other side of my brain – Creative! The creative side of my brain is what balances the serious, calculated, planner in me.
Writing for me is an escape. It’s a peaceful place without boundaries and borders. It’s a world of unlimited creativity that leads anywhere. There is no right or wrong. Writing is creative expression. Writing for children is writing for me. It’s a time travel back to childhood, and forward to the adventures that lie ahead.
What community service, charities or associations are you involved with?
Parkinson’s Society of Canada – Durham Region chapter. Six years ago my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Our family has been actively involved within the PD community since. Proceeds from A New Day With Rhyming Robin book sales go to PD research.
What is your greatest personal accomplishment?
Being a son, a brother, an uncle, a brother-in-law, a nephew, a cousin, a friend.
In a nutshell, my relationship with family and friends is the only personal metric that matters to me.
What do you want most out of life?
Happiness, fun, laughs … and peace on earth.
What advice do you have for new graduates?
Focus. Take every day as an opportunity to make a difference in your life or someone else’s. Enjoy the moment. Stay true to yourself.