L&D Manager Spotlight - Jonelle Bradshaw de Hernandez

Jonelle Bradshaw de Hernandez, M.S, Ph.D.

Executive Director for Development, Development Office

Jonelle Bradshaw Hernandez headshot

1. Describe your role for UT.  

It is an honor to serve as the Executive Director of Foundation Relations in Texas Development. My role is to lead a team of subject matter curious fundraisers to connect the great work of our faculty, Deans and leadership with local, national and global foundations. Foundations work to solve problems and UT Austin's mission to transform society for the better is the ultimate way for our university to fulfill its purpose. My team facilitates the match to make maximum impact. We fund research and programs that support the entire campus. We also support opportunities to obtain transformational gifts for the highest priorities of the President and executive leadership.

2. What was the most important lesson you learned as a new manager?

Management is not easy, those who say that it is are not doing it well! It is both an art and science to balance the needs of your team, stakeholders, and organization. The most important lesson I learned is to never lose your moral compass and heart in the process. The second most important lesson is that you will be loved by some and despised by a few, stay the course and be good to all even if they are not good to you. Ultimately, the purpose you are here to achieve will be reached with focus, care and commitment. The people we serve deserve your full ability to move forward and cross the finish line on their behalf.

3. What advice do you have for managers to help develop their team?

Take the time to truly understand your leadership style and to understand the needs, wants and motivations of your team. In order for purposes to be filled and goals to be met we must first establish trust, integrity and honor in the working relationship. This is not a one way relationship, but one that is mutual and sacred. Some people will not stay and others will hold firm. Wish for the best for all of them and stay the course.

4. Why is learning in the workplace important?

I have found that the best team members I had the pleasure to work with and lead are those who are lifelong learners. They tend to have a natural curiosity about the spaces in which they live and work. This translates into better conversations and relationship building with our Deans and faculty and also with those we ultimately serve, the students. Lifelong learners also tend to be reflective of their actions and actions upon others. This type of self awareness, both natural or through learning in the workplace, is incredibly valuable. It is the team member who takes advantage of lifelong learning who tend to be the superstars in my book!

5. What have you recently learned, what are you currently learning about, or how are you developing yourself as a professional?

Everyday I learn a little more about myself. I have started to celebrate the challenges, frustrations or difficulties and use them to catapult to the next level. I am a naturally positive person and tend to move on quickly from hard moments. Now, I sit with it, reflect on it, marinate on it and find the lesson. I share these lessons with my colleagues and team members and have found that authentic vulnerability tends to bring our interconnected humanity even closer to our shared mission, doing well by all others as we live upon this earth.