HARLINGEN — Cristal Hernandez will be the first to say nothing comes easy, and when you want something you need to work hard to get it.
“There are so many opportunities and so many doors that are open,” Hernandez said. “The trick to being successful is to put in the effort.”
Hernandez is the marketing manager for the four Bert Ogden dealerships in Harlingen.
She climbed her way to the top working part-time as a college student and she said the best thing she ever did was take an internship with the marketing department at Fiesta Chevrolet.
Most days now, she is sifting through emails, talking to vendors, holding meetings with the managers, attending business events throughout the Valley and monitoring the dealership’s social media posts that go up every two hours for the Bert Ogden dealerships.
And one week out of the month, she’s recording commercials — writing the scripts and editing the videos that she has become so famous for in the Valley.
“Life is really, really hard and you just have to overcome that and be stronger,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez, 24, knows what a hard life is all about.
These are just some of the reasons why she is considered a future leader in the community.
Her father died when she was young. And her mother was left to raise her alone working low-paying jobs cleaning and cooking.
Hernandez said by the time she wanted to buy name brand clothes and expensive shoes it was clear to her she needed to get a job and make her own money.
“My mom couldn’t afford expensive stuff,” Hernandez said. “I told her I’m going to work for myself and you don’t have to worry anymore, I can buy my own clothes and my own shoes.”
It became her motivation to one day get a job so good she could take care of her mom to return her the favor.
Hernandez said her drive was to land a job after college that would help her support her mother who did everything for her.
By the time she started college she was tired of seeing her mom come home from a long day at work cleaning and with burns on her arms from cooking.
“As soon as I got the job in marketing after college, I said mom you don’t have to work anymore,” Hernandez said. “I got you covered and that was my drive and finally she doesn’t work any more and I accomplished my goal.”
Hernandez was 22 at the time when she was given the keys to take care of the dealership’s new four stores in Harlingen.
She was 19 when she started working part-time as a file clerk.
Today, Hernandez helps sell Hyundai, Toyota, Chrysler, Jeep and Ram and Kia everyday.
She said Marcia Green, Bert Ogden Upper Valley marketing director and Mr. and Mrs. Vackar, the dealership owners, have been amazing mentors and role models for her.
“Find good people to look up to,” Hernandez said. “I could not have asked for better mentors.”