By: Niloofar Torabi — Life can bring us challenges and hardships, but who other than Stephania Ortega is better to take on the tasks? Born on Dec. 1, 1991, in Monterrey, Mexico, Ortega worked her way from the bottom up to achieve lifelong goals, traveling all over the globe in hopes of gaining more hands-on experience. In less than one month, she will take her steady walk across the graduation stage and accept her certificate of becoming a Texas State University alum.
Soon to have her bachelor’s in public relations, Ortega always showed an interest in the communications field due to family ties. Both of her parents were involved in the advertising industry. After participating in the high school newspaper and yearbook, Ortega realized that she enjoyed writing and connecting with people, and that’s when her career possibilities were endless.
“I have experience with several internships on campus like being a PR intern and a social media contributor for the school,” said Ortega. “I also completed a digital media planning internship last summer.”
Freshman year, Ortega became involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). It was a great learning experience for her where she could apply the skills she learned in class to reality. It has given her a great network of professionals along with new friends. Eventually, she moved her way to the top and was nominated president of the organization.
“Being president helped me further develop my leadership skills and taught me how to work with people with different skills and find ways to bring them together.”
Ortega was also involved with El Centro, The Center for the Study of Latino Media and Markets. Seeing it as her second home at Texas State, Ortega was able to assist first-generation students through tours and gain PR skills such as making media lists and event planning. It opened her eyes and created awareness of the Latinos on campus and sparked her interest in Hispanic marketing. However, that wasn’t enough for Ortega — she also joined the Texas State Ad Club.
Through these organizations, she landed an internship in New York which encouraged her to pursue a career in the advertising field due to the strong multicultural community. Ortega received professional advice and eventually decided that her career interest was in strategic planning.
Ortega gained her first internship at University Marketing here at Texas State University, and then she gained another internship through the Multicultural Advertising Internship Program. Through a painstaking application process that included a video submission, essays and letters of recommendation, Ortega managed to be one of the 114 students picked from the hundreds of finalists the agencies chose for the summer program. By demonstrating her involvement in the community and revealing how she promotes diversity, Ortega slid her way into the program and began a new stage in her life.
“Within my agency I grew because I was able to prove that I could get something done in a timely manner and be there if the team needed me,” said Ortega.
“Texas State has provided me with so many opportunities to pursue a career in advertising and public relations,” said Ortega. “I wouldn’t have the network and a clear idea of what I want to pursue if it wasn’t for the organizations in the SJMC and great professors who have served as mentors throughout my time here. I was able to find my niche of Hispanic marketing and feel ready to keep furthering my skills to meet the demands of the ever-changing digital world.”
This is not the end of Ortega’s journey. She plans to gain more experience in the advertising or public relations industry for a couple years prior to attending grad school. She wishes to continue her studies in global communication or a similar program, while keeping her eyes open for bigger opportunities and study abroad programs.