Representing, not Assimilating

Alondra Ortiz

Being a first-generation U.S. born Latina comes with its own unique set of challenges. I had to teach myself a lot about the culture here – especially since I decided to take the route of going to college after high school – something that was very unconventional to me and my immigrant parents’ culture. I chose to study advertising because I always had a love for anything that allowed me to be strategically creative. I also knew I wanted to include my heritage in whatever I did in life, so I also chose to receive a Spanish minor. Making that decision wasn’t about assimilating, but adding representation.

I always knew my experience would never fully be traditional and 2020 proved to be far from it. Post-grad life is the best example of it; graduating over Zoom because the world had shut down from a pandemic, never really leaving the house, and staying six feet away from anyone not in my household. The most untraditional of circumstances to say the least, but I remained hopeful.

I hit the ground running when it came to my job search, mostly because I knew I had to work twice as hard due to so many economic changes that were causing the market to be oversaturated with job seekers. I was determined, but this also gave me ease in knowing I wasn’t alone. Thousands of recent grads, and myself, were all patiently waiting for the opportunity to get our foot in the door of the dream company we worked so hard for during extremely unprecedented times.

The interview process was stressful – there were so many qualified candidates, but I persevered. I knew I deserved this opportunity, and I was going to get it. Agency Creative gave me that chance and the opportunity to finally experience the agency life I spent four years of schooling talking about and preparing for. I remember how nervous I was on my first day and how I tried my best to prepare, but I still had no clue what to expect. I walked in, was greeted at the door, taken to my very own desk and jumped right into our weekly status meeting. I was a part of the team.

I joined the team as the bilingual account coordinator. I don’t just service accounts that specifically target English speaking audiences, but also those that are trying to expand to more Spanish speaking audiences, or Spanish based clients that are looking to target English speaking customers. It’s been a rewarding experience knowing that I get to utilize my native language within the industry – I look forward to it being a part of the rest of my career.

My skills have been put to the test and there are learning curves that need to be met. There are some things I never learned in college, but I have been exposed to and learned here, and the hands-on approach has proved to be beneficial. I know I am not afraid to ask questions or take on a challenge that will allow me to evolve professionally. From being part of the step-by-step process of a brand immersion, to research and developing a client’s brand, and all the business and budgeting in between all in just my first month. The deadlines are tight, the work is detailed, but the coffee is strong, and it makes me excited for how much more growth I have to do at AC and the industry.

About Alondra Ortiz

As a proud first-generation college graduate, Alondra received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Advertising with a minor in Spanish from the University of North Texas. Go Mean Green!