Public Relations

Graduation Year


I guess you could say I bleed orange and green.

Matthew Fernandez isn’t shy about his alma mater. “I guess you could say I bleed orange and green,” said the senior majoring in Public Relations.

Fernandez was born just two days after Hurricane Andrew struck Miami at Doctor’s Hospital, across the street from the School of Communication. He grew up dreaming of being a Miami Hurricane, and his tenacity and work ethic has made that dream come true.

Fernandez transferred into the SoC in the spring of 2013. “I have always been a better student than a standardized test-taker, so I worked hard to get my G.P.A. up and do everything I could to get to UM,” he said. “You just put your blinders on and push at it.”

Since joining the School, Fernandez has become an impressive student leader. He serves as Co-Chair of the Dean’s Student Circle and Peer Mentor Program, he’s worked at UMTV, and he was named the SoC’s Outstanding Student Worker in 2014 for his work in the Office of Academic Services. He also received the Florida Marlins/Suzanne Rayson Scholarship.

Fernandez often leads tours of the School, helping prospective students understand what he finds special about learning and living in the SoC. “I have 45 minutes on a tour to show them what the next four years of their lives will look like,” he said. “So, I put all my passion and love for this school into those 45 minutes.”

His tours focus on features of the School that have made a difference in his life and career. State-of-the-art facilities, hands-on experience, a diverse curriculum and personal attention from faculty have helped him learn and have honed his leadership abilities, he said. The School’s position in Miami, a major media market and center for business, is an exciting opportunity for SoC students, he said.

“Your education here is very personalized, and instead of learning just one thing, I’ve been able to learn many things about this field,” he said. “I’ve learned about managing a client’s image, public speaking, crisis communications, communication law, how the media work and hands-on skills that will help me in the future.”

Life in the SoC has taught him how to manage his time wisely and stay involved with his diverse interests, Fernandez said. He’s interned for a judge, taken on freelance public relations clients, and worked at a production company. He was recently named an all-region catcher for his leadership on UM’s club baseball team.

In May 2015, Fernandez will be the first person in his immediate family to graduate from college, and he’ll pursue his next dream — law school. “I’m excited,” he said. “No matter what happens next, I’m ready,” he said.