Featured Alumni

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Name: Mariana 

Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Bilingual Communication,   Master of Arts in Communication Arts - December 2013

Current position:  Video Journalist at Univision 41 - San Antonio -

Home Town: Mexico City , Mexico


What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments (both personally and professionally)?

Professionally, it would be achieving my current position, working in San Antonio for the one of the nation's largest Spanish market.   I was so fortunate, usually people in my profession have to start in a smaller market before moving to a large station.  I also have great accomplishments every day, for example covering my first shooting or first report on important stories.


Personally, our team accomplishes so much in San Antonio, we affect people every day with our broadcast.  My passion has always been helping people, and this job accomplishes this on a daily basis.


How did you become interested in your field?   I owe so much to the internship at Univision 41 that I did during my time at UIW.  When I was in school, I was so shy and didn't like a camera, but my friends encouraged me to apply and work in front of a camera.    My boss now, trusted me, saw my potential and pushed me.  My boss would say "If you stay in your comfort zone, you will never grow".   I know now, that whenever I feel I'm at my limit, I can get through, I can accomplish and grow.


This field is a great way of helping others, it allows me to make a bigger impact.


What do you enjoy most about your current career position? What has been the biggest challenges in your career?

As a Video Journalist, I am able to do something different every day.  Different stories, one day I'm interviewing a woman who turned 101 and another time I'm covering a shooting or stabbing.  I also get to use my skills, I get to do it all,  record, edit, and technical things.


Because it’s a new position and trend in my field, many people don't understand what I do.   People on the street ask "Where is your cameraman", since I film on my own.


I'm a short and little, I still look young and am a girl, so they question why I am on my own.   After they see the finished product, they understand and are impressed by what I accomplished.


Did your experiences at UIW help you to overcome obstacles you've faced as a working professional?

My internship changed everything, all students should do as many internships as you can.    I gained confidence from my  education at UIW and learned so many technical skills from my broadcast classes.  They still help me every day.


In what ways has the UIW experience had an impact on your career and who you are today?

If it wasn't for UIW, I would never have known about Bilingual Communication Arts, the program is unique and was only offered at UIW at that time.   Also, without UIW I would not have found the internship.   UIW started an incredible Domino effect, with great mentors, active learning environment and perfect conditions for me to grow and find my career.


Did any relationships with fellow UIW faculty, staff or students help you find your path?   Dr. Joseph Lopez stands out, he was involved with my capstone and my work developing the student organization "Alliance of Women in the Media".  It is a Chapter based off of the San Antonio Media Alliance and UIW is only school to have a Chapter. He was so supportive in making it happen.


Joel Flores, a fellow student and close friend, who now works in Odessa, opened the door for me to get the Univision internship.


All of the Communication Arts Department,  Dr. Fitzgerald and Dr. Greenburg.  It is impossible to name every to make a difference in my life at UIW.


What advice would you give to recent int'l alumni or current Int'l Students who aspire to follow a similar career path?

ONE: Looks for off campus opportunity, internships, make those connections.

TWO: Internship make you understand what you want to do, I did a few in different fields of Communication Arts and they helped me decide what I had a talent for and where I fit in. 

THREE:  Don't be so stuck with one group of friend. Meet people from other countries, and other backgrounds than your own.  You will learn so much from them


What was the favorite campus activity or involvement?  

The organization Alliance of Women in the Media is something I am really proud of and of course UIWTV.  Both helped me with my current knowledge and career path.  Also, the international student activities, they were always fun and helped me meet now people.


What stood out about UIW that made you chose our school?  

Definitely the program, Bilingual Communication, you can't find it anywhere else.  And the academic scholarships I was awarded from the International office, those scholarships gave me the opportunity to pursue the degree I wanted.


Also, when I toured larger schools I would get lost and they were overwhelming. I fell in love with the UIW campus, small community.


Do you remember your first few weeks in the US?   What helped you find your place here?


I first didn't know very much English, it was difficult when everyone spoke to me in English so quickly.   My friends helped me a lot when I was younger, and at UIW it was my friends from Mexico who I met my first weeks here. They understood me, we had the same inside jokes, same tastes, it felt like home.


Do you have a favorite or funny story about your time at UIW?

My favorite memory of UIW would have to be the time I spent with the friends I made there. We would often meet-up after class and go eat somewhere or during our breaks we would hang out and walk around the school just catching up. The community I met and hung out with at UIW was one I will always cherish.


What do you enjoy doing with your free time? Family? Hobbies? Interests?

I enjoy going to New Braunfels, playing tennis, doing Crossfit (sometimes inconsistently), going to eat with friends and family.


What are your future goals?

Short term, I would like to apply for an anchor position.  I know I would do well.

Long term, I would like to join an English language network or make it to Miami, the number one Hispanic market and go on national network.


UIW hopes to educate students who are service oriented: are do you currently taking part in any type of service to the community?

This is an important part of my life.   I feel my job, knocking on door, answering calls, helping people, on a daily basis impacts the community.  I also have a passion for working with people with disabilities and want to  work with CRIT as often as I can.   I also enjoy participating in fundraising walks, in the next month I am walking in the Susan B Komen Breast Cancer Awareness walk. 


What would you say to a prospective int'l student and their family who is considering applying to UIW?

DO IT, you will never regret it.  UIW for me opened doors, I love the experience.  I still consider my UIW friend my friends for life, we always encourage each other and are there for each other when we were away from home.


Also, get out of your comfort zone, grow!