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Alumni voices: Natalia Fernandez

Oct 27, 2020

Some Flagler alums are seizing the moment we’re in to start their passion projects, businesses and nonprofits. We’ve asked a few of them to share about various aspects of their journey.

Headshot of Natalia Fernandez

Founder & CEO of "period” Natalia Fernandez is a 2019 Flagler College graduate who majored in political science and was an active member of Enactus, an entrepreneurial student organization. Her nonprofit is emerging during a time of heightened awareness on the topic, as national brands such as Pantone announced this year a shade of red as “Period.”

She is currently attending Maharishi International University for an MBA in Sustainable Business and MA in Leadership and Workplace Conflict Resolution.

To hear this interview in its entirety on Flagler Footnotes, please visit here

What was your main reason for starting this business/nonprofit?

I wanted to help solve the problems surrounding PMDD, which stands for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. There were little resources available to me when I was diagnosed with PMDD in 2017, less than adequate medical research done on the disorder itself, and a trifold of stigma associated with PMDD pertaining to menstruation, mental health, and women's health.

What do you feel is the most important thing you've had to learn off-the-cuff while venturing down this path?

I have learned that there is no time like the present to start following creativity. I had recently read Elizabeth Gilbert's new book, “Big Magic,” when I started materializing “period” and it had shaped the way I went about starting my own non-profit. I wasn't going to put pressure on it, or demand too much from this creativity, but invited the idea into my life and allowed my creative intelligence to jumpstart “period.”

What is one piece of advice you'd give to other recent grads who are looking to do something a bit different?

I would say that if there is a will, there's a way. I wanted to make sure that I secured a job before graduating college, and while I did succeed in that, it left me wanting more out of my life. I knew I wanted to improve people's lives, live in Europe again, and continue to grow. As I am typing this now from my bedroom in the Highlands of Scotland, “period” has directly impacted women's lives in helping them discover they have PMDD, reached 1600+ individuals from 6 continents, and I am currently pursuing my MBA in Sustainable Business. Anything is possible if you have the determination to follow through with your vision!

What goal are you chasing in the immediate future?

As it is showcased on our website, and through Instagram features in helping achieve the Global Goals, ‘period’ is working towards the Sustainable Development Goals of (5) Gender Equality and (3) Good Health and Well-Being. Specifically, “period” is presenting an Instagram live series called "Functional Medicine + PMDD" where Dr. Jose R. Fernandez, M.D. and myself speak on holistic healing as a great treatment option for those who suffer from PMDD.

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