Alumni Profile: Alejandra Sanchez Plans for Success
By Sheryl E. Taylor
For many of us, we set ourselves on a path for success.
In many cases, the universe decides for you.
Here’s one such story. Meet Gator Alumna Alejandra Sanchez (’19).
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in General Business, her initial career goal was the hospitality industry, specifically hotel and restaurant management.
“Little by little, after becoming involved with student organizations on campus, I realized there were more opportunities in hospitality management,” said the first-generation graduate.
During her freshman year, she became a founding member of the multicultural sorority Sigma Kappa Omega Inc. on campus. At the time, Sanchez served as the sorority’s Social Chair. In that role, she was responsible for creating social events for members and prospective members. “In the first year, we all had to wear so many different hats,” she said. “Starting an organization means that you must learn how to stand out among other organizations to let students know that we even existed.” Sanchez continued, “My passion to get the word out about our organization opened a new world to me. Through that experience, I realized that the skills I learned were those of an event planner.”
That’s when the universe stepped in.
Thanks to her undergraduate experience, she realized that she had the chops and desire to be an event planner. “Not everyone has the skillset and patience to do this,” she noted. “I really love it.” After significant research, Sanchez became a certified event planner. She interned with two local event-planning companies before she graduated, and her path was clear. “I knew that this was exactly what I was meant to do,” she said.
Two weeks after graduation, her first professional gig was with Houston Event Planning, where she learned the gamut of event planning. “Every client and every event were different,” she said. “It further solidified that I was in the right field.” About three years later, Sanchez worked for a private company where she learned another aspect of the event- planning arena. Unfortunately, she found herself looking for a new job after company layoffs.
After three months of being unemployed during 2022, Sanchez received another intervention form the universe.
A mere three minutes by car from UHD sits the oldest craft beer brewery in Texas, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, and Sanchez’s new opportunity.
“I’m super excited to start this new journey with Saint Arnold. It’s close to campus, and I love Downtown,” she said. “I’ve always known about St. Arnold’s, but never visited.” A busy day for Sanchez involves fielding emails, phone calls, pop-up visits, food orders, and the like for two Saint Arnold event spaces, the Beer Hall and the Investors Pub, which can include as many as four events a day for both. “Every day is different,” she added. “My motto is to be ready to expect the unexpected and just go with it.”
Her favorite part of UHD? “The diversity. I loved seeing people who looked like me and feeling welcomed,” she said, smiling. “It never felt too big. It was just right.”
Advice to current students? Sanchez said, “Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Make friends, get involved. Discover how much UHD has to give.”
The universe agrees.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.