The World at His Fingertips
For a world traveler like Bernardo Hernandez, MS’95, geographic information is essential. As worldwide director of marketing for Google Maps and Google Earth, he’s making sure everyone charts his company’s latest innovations.
Hernandez, a native of Salamanca, Spain, attended a Jesuit university in Madrid and came to Boston College to study finance. After working as an analyst for Fidelity and Putnam, Hernandez returned to Spain and hit it big with two online businesses—Idealista.com, Spain’s leading online real estate site, and Tuenti.com, the country’s largest social network.
In high demand, Hernandez accepted an offer from Google executive (and former classmate) Nikesh Arora, MS’95, to build the company’s marketing and product operations in Spain, which soon led to his current work with Google Maps and Google Earth.
“In the future, our goal is to become the largest and most widely used geo platform,” says Hernandez. “Eighty percent of the information that is available online can be displayed on a map. Our goal is to make sure all that information is accessible and useful.”
Below, Hernandez navigates through some pressing questions:
What is the most satisfying moment in your professional life?
When my two Internet ventures became #1 in Spain. I still can’t believe that something created out of nothing grew to be so big.
In your personal life?
Seeing my mother survive each of the three open-heart surgeries she’s had over the past 30 years.
What is your best BC memory?
Spring days lying on the grass outside Bapst Library.
What is your next goal?
Make Google Maps the most efficient platform for geo-related information around the world. We’re almost there…
How much can you sing of the BC fight song?
How have you changed since graduation?
I realize the little that I knew about everything: corporate culture, entrepreneurship, even love.
What is the most important lesson in life?
Be humble, praise other people’s virtues, and work as hard as you can.
What do you look forward to each day?
Having fun in what I do. If I don’t make sure I’m having fun, no one will have it for me.
Who has influenced your life the most?
My mother and my two mentors: Nikesh Arora, MS’95, and Patrick O’Donnell, who recruited me at Putnam.
Where is your favorite spot on the BC campus?
St. Mary’s Chapel.
Where do you most like to travel on vacation?
The island of Formentera in Spain.
Who would play you in the film version of your life?
Chris O’Donnell. He went to BC too!
Where did you live freshman year?
231 Chestnut Hill Avenue. How could I forget that place?!
What is something your friends don’t know about you?
Nothing. I talk too much and all my friends know everything about me.
What was the last book you read?
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss.
What is the one meal you could eat for the rest of your life?
Anything my grandmother makes.
What is the latest song on your iPod?
“Viva La Vida” by Coldplay.
How do you relax?
Five-hour bike rides. But my mother says that it’s no way to relax.
What is the one thing everyone should do?
Fail and get your heart broken.