Name: Hector Cruz
Graduation Year: 2009/2013
Major: BBA in Management/Masters in Organizational Leadership
Current Position: Director of Alumni Engagement & Annual Fund at Evangel University
City and State: Springfield, MO
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
I never left Evangel. They forced me to move out of the dorms, so I moved into an office. I graduated on a Friday and started working the following Monday. I started as an Admissions Counselor, then moved to the Financial Aid office. After six years in enrollment, I moved to the advancement office as the Capital Campaign Manager to assist with the Momentum campaign. Shortly after that, I became the Director of Alumni Engagement and just recently added management of the Annual Fund.
What is your favorite memory from Evangel?
Marrying my wife the first time we met. Her dorm, Burgess Hall, was having an event where all of campus was invited. Me and my buddies from the best dorm on campus, Krause Hall, decided to go over and check it out. Her floor was themed like Las Vegas, so of course, they had a fake wedding chapel set up in one of the rooms. She came into one of the rooms I was in talking about how nobody had gotten married yet…so I said, “Well, do you want to get married?” We exchanged ring pops and the rest is history.
How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?
One of the major selling points for Evangel for me was that we ALL have a calling. Whether you’re in the church, boardroom, classroom, operating room, or wherever, you have a unique calling from God. While I was a student at Evangel, I had the sense that this was tied to a specific position in a specific industry. As I have graduated, I am continually learning that your calling being a specific position may not always be the case. There are some basic things that God has called all of us to, which include loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and putting others above yourself. When it comes to career callings, I’m learning that, for me, I need to continually seek His will, ask Him for wisdom, and live into the gifts, strengths, and passions that He has given me. That may not reflect a specific position, but over time, the path He has for my life is revealed, and I continue to trust Him with that.
How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?
Like so many others, I made lifelong friends during my college years. The unique part of my experience at Evangel was how much you could get involved in from your very first day on campus, and how incorporating the faith component really is transformative. I hear employers talk all the time about how Evangel alumni who work for them are just different…a cut above. When you integrate your faith with your learning and work, there’s a difference in the product that is produced, which results in the incredible alumni doing amazing things around the world.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
Number one: Trust your Evangel education and experience.
I remember thinking, “Am I REALLY getting a quality education?” or “Will this experience and degree REALLY stack up when I’m done?” The answer is a resounding, “YES!” If you engage with your professors and take advantage of the opportunities you have while you’re a student, then you can trust that you will be among the most prepared applicants as you apply for jobs.
Number two: Get involved. This means engage with your floormates and hallmates. Get active in clubs and organizations. And one of the most important things you can do is pursue as many internship opportunities as you can. Having as strong a work experience as you can will set you apart from other new graduates. We have a network of alumni who are ready and willing to hire EU students and graduates for these opportunities. Take advantage of that network!
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
Work ethic and emotional intelligence. Prove that you are willing to outwork everyone else. Find resources to help you develop your emotional intelligence. Those two things will make you attractive to any and every employer out there.