I was given the task to plan, pitch, create, and present an innovation project to Univision that would help them with engagement on social media.
The solution my small team and I came up with was to build an Instagram vertical targeted at young Hispanic Americans. The purpose? Close the gap between Univision and millennials. My team often joked that Univision shouldn’t just be for our abuelita who has time to sit down and watch television. It should be our go-to place for news.
I grew up watching Univision, so understanding the brand, what it does, and what it means to the millions of Latinos in the United States was not a problem. My initial doubts and fears were summed up with one word: Innovation.
With innovation came the daunting expectation to be creative and unique while maintaining a purpose. At least that’s how I initially saw it. It’s no easy task, but this project taught me important lessons along the semester-long journey.
My job for this project was to create the content for the new Instagram account. Our team’s vision was to make the account informative with the latest current events while keeping it easy to follow and adding some sprinkles of humor when applicable.
What made it easy for me to create content was my love for reporting. All I had to do was find news in Austin and deliver it in a simpler way through Instagram. When I had a vision of how I wanted something to look, I sometimes didn’t know how to do it and I was definitely not a pro with Adobe programs to make it visually appealing.
Lesson 1: If you don’t know how to do something, GOOGLE IT. In fact, our graduate students on the team, Aubrey and Kelsey, had skills I didn’t have. It’s a simple matter of asking for help. The vision doesn’t have to die.
Fast forward to presentation day in Miami at Univision’s headquarters. I forgot my notecards at the hotel the morning of presentation day. Instead of panicking like I would normally do, I took a nap on our ride over and let the moment sink in. I had invested so much time that I knew the ins and outs of the project really well. Rather than being a nerve-wracking experience, presenting turned out to be fun.
Lesson 2: Over-research, over-invest time, and over-prepare to where you can afford to take a nap before presenting.
Next, my team and I met success. Although we always tried to do out best, the feeling and level of success was surreal.
It’s safe for me to speak on behalf of my team when I say we were all extremely happy when the Univision team deemed our project worthy of implementation.
According to Univision, the quality level was up to par with what their staff is expected to do.
Lesson 3: If I can do this project at 21 years old, there really is more I can do, and so can you.
We worked hard all semester long. Every decision taken had an entire team discussion behind it, and the glorious moment we all got to experience was because we managed to work together as a team.
Lesson 4: When bright minds come together, working out each member’s personalities, strengths and weaknesses in a team is crucial to reach decisions, move forward, and create together.
I didn’t know my teammates Amanda and Angela very well at the beginning. What was once a group chat solely involving project talk later turned out to be a place to vent, joke, and motivate. We developed a friendship in the middle of a project because we were able to recognize when to let the other take charge, step down, and alternate that based on our strongest skills and abilities.
This project taught me that we all have the capabilities to do great things, but sometimes we just need a bit of passion and above all, guidance.
During presentation day, I was looking forward to meeting my idol, my role model and my inspiration that led me to pursue journalism as a career, Jorge Ramos. It turns out that meeting him was only the cherry on top to a successful day. I will forever keep the photo that very accurately shows my respect and admiration for Jorge Ramos.
Amanda and I had just recently graduated. In Spanish I’d say, cerramos con broche de oro. Roughly translated, we ended our college careers on a high note. Thank you Professor Quigley for the step-by-step guidance and opportunity to collaborate.