This article is part of our Legends Interview Program. An Alumni Association initiative to record the experiences of alumni and share with our community. This interview took place on October 24th, 2020. Schedule an interview or submit your own story to us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey Alumni! I wanted to take a quick moment to share what I currently do and some things I’ve learned. I’m a Director at Telemundo, where I focus on directing live newscasts, editing, and coding shows. I am also a behavioral therapist working with kids with autism and pursuing a master’s in Applied Behavioral Analysis.
Being a First Generation Student
As a first-generation student, I know most people will tell you that college is the only pathway to success, but that’s not always true. It’s crucial to pick a profession or a job that will give you the happiest life possible. Getting a degree is a requirement for my current job, but the work experience and the internships are what got me the jobs.
What’s Meant for You Will Find its Way
I was in the hospitality program at East Tech, but my favorite class was broadcast journalism with Mr. New. There, I learned how to tell a good story and I had my first experience directing a show. Thanks to that class, I was able to get an internship at PBS and worked in TV for the first time.
Believe it or not, I didn’t expect to be where I am now at Telemundo. I still remember how discouraged I was when I didn’t get the “Outstanding Award in Journalism” my senior year. I remember I was sure I would get it; I even invited my parents. I was so embarrassed and sad when they called a different name to the stage. That made me feel like I wasn’t good enough, and made me choose business as my college major. However, what’s meant for you will always find its way. I eventually found myself getting side-gigs as a videographer for weddings and special events until I decided to switch my major to journalism.
As I was getting my degree, I knew I didn’t have any connections, and I had to network. The most valuable skill I gained from East Tech was learning how to present and “fake it until you make it”. I would show up to every UNLV career fair with a suit on and my resume in hand. I would go to every booth, introduce myself and hand my resume. Thanks to that, I got an internship at a marketing firm where they flew me all over the country to present on automotive services. I also landed a sales management internship at Pepsi, where I made very strong connections.
How did I end up at Telemundo?
I had a clear vision, so I made a plan. I got an internship with Class Magazine my freshman year of high school. That stood out to my interviewer, who selected me for the PBS internship. The PBS internship sharpened my skills in college, and it eventually led me to a job at Channel 3 as a Production Assistant. After that, I asked my friend at Channel 3 to teach me how to direct. He would kindly teach me every day after my shift was over. Then, the opportunity came, and thanks to the experience on my resume, I landed the job as a TV director for Telemundo Las Vegas.
To First-Generation Students
If college is your path, please choose your major wisely. For example, if you major in Psychology, know that you will need at least a master’s to make decent money. As you move up in the process, know that fewer and fewer people will look like you, but that can be an asset. Be patient with your parents; this is new for them too. There will be many things that they won’t understand; be patient and explain. It will be hard, and that’s okay; the system is hard to conquer. Know that you are the product of generations of hard work that positioned you in a place where you can be a professional and propel your future generations forward. Everything is possible with hard work and a plan.
Good luck on your journey!