Global opportunities, business experiences shape Husker's future
As an international business student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Quincey Bernard has spent the last three years jetting across the world for study-abroad trips and honing his entrepreneurship skills.
He did it all for one reason — to one day return to his hometown of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and give back to the country he loves.
Bernard will graduate this December from the College of Business and has big dreams for revitalizing and transforming Haiti's economy in the next 10 years.
“I want to do things for people back home. That’s the long-term plan,” Bernard said.
Bernard was inspired to study entrepreneurship by his parents, who came from humble beginnings and went on to found their own successful company in Haiti 18 years ago.
“My mom is one of my role models, because no one helped her,” Bernard said. “You don’t start a company when you’re the lowest of the lowest class, which my parents were. So whenever she says something, I just take it in and listen.”
When the time came to apply for college, he began researching schools across the United States and found Nebraska’s international business program. The program’s global opportunities excited him — and left him with some high expectations.
“For some reason, I thought I was going to meet Warren Buffett,” Bernard said, laughing.
Moving 2,000 miles away from home can be a big transition for any student, but Bernard wasn’t intimidated. He dove into his studies and was soon named an Allan Noddle International Business Distinguished Scholar. The honor allowed him to study abroad in Panama for a semester and help a company create a plan to export teakwood to the United States.
Two more summer study-abroad experiences — in Spain for a business course and China for an internship at a sales company — helped round out Bernard’s global academic experiences.
Throughout his time at Nebraska, Bernard said keeping an open mind, meeting people outside of his college and joining Registered Student Organizations that aligned with his values were key to having a successful university experience. Two years ago, he helped found Big Red Startups, an RSO that brings together students of all majors for entrepreneurship experience. He also joined the African Student Association, an RSO that unites students of African descent.
Graduating in only three years, Bernard said, is going to be bittersweet.
“I wanted to initially graduate early, but I started meeting a lot of people who have made my college experience more fun and memorable,” Bernard said.
Ready to succeed
After graduating this December, Bernard will move to Omaha to work as a sales manager for International Management Partners. His long-term goal is to save up money and move back to Haiti within the next several years, starting his own business like his parents and also going into politics.
Bernard said that he believes in the potential of his country and wants to share that message with the world, using the networking and entrepreneurship skills he learned at Nebraska to get him there.
“By 30, I would like to be the ambassador or a diplomat for Haiti,” Bernard said. “We have much more to offer. We’re a very wealthy country, with natural resources, gas and petroleum, and we’re a small country of 10 million people. And we have a unique African-European indigenous background that no other country has.
“I want to help my country move forward.”