Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Pursuing a Career in Communications

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Pursuing a Career in Communications

Article excerpt

When asked about their decision to emigrate from the Dominican Republic to the United States in the 1960s, my grandparents agreed that they wanted their children to have a chance at achieving the American Dream. All of my grandparents' sacrifices paid off, but the pressure was put on the next generation.

We were expected to go above and beyond; to grasp every opportunity and achieve much more than our parents did. I had no interest in disappointing anyone. I have allowed the experiences, opportunities and people who have come into my life to shape my interests. From these developed interests, I have organized my career ambitions, and now here I am. I'm a secondgeneration Dominican-American, ready to begin my career in the communications field.

Arriving to the conclusion that I would pursue a career in communications was not a realization that came easily. It wasn't until I became a member of the speech and debate team at my alma mater, St. Joseph High School, that I paid attention to what I was good at and enjoyed. Competing in weekly speech tournaments became a staple of my weekends. I enjoyed writing and delivering speeches. I once mentioned that I could see myself doing this for the rest of my life. Little did I know, I actually could.

I began researching the field of public relations and learned of all of the opportunities available to me. To test out my potential, I became a staff writer for my school newspaper and planned events for the student body. Not only did I excel in the tasks that came along with these projects, but also I enjoyed every moment of the long hours and attention to detail required.

By my senior year of high school, I'd convinced a small New York public relations firm to hire me as an intern. I went in a few hours after school and quickly moved up from researching media opportunities to pitching stories to reporters. My college applications went from undecided major to public relations.

Unfortunately, no one around me really knew much about this industry. I went on my own to research networking opportunities, and I found what I like to call my fairy godmother. Endless Web searches led me to a scholarship for young women aspiring to a career in the communications field. I applied for and was honored to be a 2010 recipient of the New York Women in Communications Foundation scholarship.

As one perk of winning the scholarship, the young women are presented at the yearly MATRIX awards, which honors outstanding women in the communication field. That year, I met Oprah Winfrey, who was presenting an award to Gayle King, and Katie Courte, who presented an award to Anne Keating, among many others. …

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