MURRAY, Ky. — Gisselle Hernandez of Orange Walk, Belize will be graduating from Murray State University on May 13 with a New York City internship under her belt.

Hernandez had completed her associate degree in Belize and wanted to continue her education in the United States. Because studying outside of the country can be expensive, she did some research and found The Consortium for Belize Education Cooperation (COBEC).

Murray State has a partnership with COBEC. This program allows for Belizeans to receive in-state tuition while studying at affiliated universities in the United States.

“I had never heard of [Murray State], but I found out some Belizeans were attending, so I contacted them and they highly recommended [Murray State] for me,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez is now pursuing a major in public relations and a minor in creative writing.

Last year, Hernandez was approached by Dr. Marcie Hinton about an internship opportunity in New York City with the public relations firm Porter Novelli.

“Apart from working at a great company with a wonderful, stimulating environment, I got to explore the city and get out of my shell,” said Hernandez. “I got to meet so many people, each one teaching me something new about myself.”

Hernandez said her biggest takeaway was learning not to underestimate herself.

Hernandez worked as a new business development and marketing intern but was able to help in several other departments as well.

“One of the projects I was proud of, and recognized for by the CEO, was rebranding the company logo to make it LGBT themed,” said Hernandez. “The logo was shared across social networks.”

As for Hernandez’s favorite memory from her time at Murray State, it was experiencing her first snow.

“In Belize it doesn’t snow, so being able to go sledding and have snowball fights with my friends was a phenomenal experience,” said Hernandez.

Complete information on the May 2017 Commencement ceremony, as well as #RacerGraduation stories, can be found at