Veronica Hernandez, a financial operations analyst in CSULB’s Office of the Bursar, was recently named by her coworkers as Employee of the Month.
“I’m speechless,” said the Sunland resident who joined the university in 2000. “I feel very honored to be recognized by my peers. I want to thank God and my mom for my upbringing and I take pride in working for an organization that is recognized nationwide. I work with great people whose goals are to provide excellence every day. It is easy to work in this environment, when everyone’s purpose is the same as yours.”
President F. King Alexander praised Hernandez for her willingness to go the extra mile. “She frequently takes on projects no one else will do and she does it with a sense of vision for the university,” he said. “She has a positive, friendly attitude each and every day. Her eagerness to provide quality customer service makes for a wonderful working environment.”
Hernandez found her passion for helping students while employed as a student assistant at Sonoma State University in various departments, including Financial Aid and Admissions. “Working in these departments early on has really helped me in my professional career,” she said. After working for several years in a vocational school, she joined CSULB in 2000 as a student loan analyst before moving to her current position in 2006.
As a financial operations analyst, her responsibilities include assisting the bursar with overall budget planning as well as administrative office needs. “I find myself pulled in many directions and wearing many hats in this position,” she said. “I find this challenge to be very motivating. Wherever the office needs assistance, I am there to provide it.”
Hernandez believes that, if there is one reason for her recognition, it is her go-get-it attitude. “I believe in teamwork and I can be very resourceful. Nothing slows me down,” she said. “If someone needs to know where something is, I can tell them. I believe in service with a smile and in treating others the way I would want to be treated.”
Hernandez believes she needs a mixture of people and communication skills in her position. “I am in sync with the university’s mission to provide excellent service no matter at what level,” she said. “Whether the copying machine is broken or the light switch doesn’t work, nothing is below or above me if that is what is needed to keep the office working smoothly. If there is a discontented student at the front desk or a flood in the bathroom, I hear 'Ask Veronica, she might know.'”
A big part of her job satisfaction comes every year at commencement. “That represents my biggest reward,” she said. “It tells me I had a part in making the future. I know lots of people at CSULB who feel the same way. If I can say I helped students to arrive at commencement, I feel I have done my job.”
When she isn’t keeping the Bursar’s Office on an even keel, Hernandez volunteers as an outreach speaker for higher education. “I provide guidance for Spanish-speaking parents who don’t know what forms to fill out so that their children can obtain financial aid or get into a university,” she said. “They don’t know about deadlines or what forms to fill out and I help them through churches and community resource centers. My husband, Thomas, and I have a 2-year-old daughter Victoria and I want to live my life in such a way that our daughter will admire her mother. I want to serve as a role model and to be someone my family can be proud of. At times, it can be hard to balance my responsibilities as wife, mother and employee, but it’s worth it.”
Hernandez is glad she chose CSULB. “I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said. “It has been one of the most significant decisions I’ve made in my life and one of the best.”
Hernandez received several gifts with her recognition including a CSULB sweatshirt, a family four pack to Boomers, a gift certificate for four admissions to a CSULB home game of her choice for the 2007-08 school year, a $25 gift certificate for Taco Beach, two coupons for Tommy’s World Famous Hamburgers and a coupon for one free Burger King Whopper.