While many Fords begin their post-grad job searches during their final year of college, Stephen Davis Hernandez ’17 had his plans settled well before he started his senior thesis. Davis began work with the startup Hidrate Inc., which produces “smart water bottles” that track water intake levels and connect with smartphone and smartwatch apps to create personalized water intake goals, back in January 2016.
The Minneapolis native has been working with the company, which, since he started, has grown from five to 12 employees in offices in both his hometown and Chicago. The Spanish major has helped develop and evolve the company’s marketing strategy as it has rapidly grown over the past year and a half. Part of his goal in marketing is to think outside the box when constructing narratives for consumers.
“I fully anticipate continuing my work in it and continuing to construct marketing narratives that are empowering and challenge established and reductive stereotypes that are frequently used as default frameworks for marketing,” he said.
Davis, who recently moved to the Windy City for the job, faces changing duties as Hidrate expands its consumer base and develops new products. Recently, he has optimized social media ads, developed marketing and sales programs that work with fitness and health care professionals, and coordinated a new marketing campaign that will be seen by over a million people.
“I get to meet so many social media personalities [who] are so down to earth and engaging,” he said. “People with hundreds of thousands of followers can be totally chill and a lot of fun to hang out with.”
Though he says he hasn’t made any ads in Spanish yet, Davis is grateful for the foundation his college education gave him. In particular, he credits his work with the College Libraries for sparking his interest in marketing. And as he rethinks conventional marketing narratives, he values his alma mater’s encouragement of open-mindedness.
“Haverford has taught me that there is so much value to being able to provide a perspective that is fresh and may come completely from left field,” he said. “Sometimes the connections are difficult to make, but they can lead to incredible insights that the rest of the team hadn’t thought of.”
“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.