Paola Michelle Ortiz Díaz talks about her achievements.
By Elimar Martínez Avilés
Student at the Ferré Rangel School of Communication
Paola Michelle Ortiz Díaz has always liked to write and read the newspaper. When it came time to decide what major to pursue in college, she considered various academic programs, but eventually chose one that combined her two passions: a career in journalism.
“I started studying at another university and then I transferred to Sagrado. Once I got to Sagrado, I could see a greater diversity within journalism, everything you can do with it, and that’s when I said: ‘This is what I want to do,’” Paola recalled.
This graduate of the Class of 2019 currently lives in the United States, and she acknowledges that, at the beginning, she had her doubts regarding her professional future.
“I felt that there were not enough job opportunities and I wanted to expose myself to what journalism is, but I did not know where to turn. One thing I did know is that I wanted to work for the media in the United States because I grew up here and learned English,” she added.
In Sagrado, however, she found the tools she needed to develop at an academic and professional level. As a student, she collaborated in the student-run digital newspaper Un Solo Latir and was active in the NAHJ-Sagrado organization.
Later, in 2020, Paola had the chance to work as an intern at National Public Radio (NPR).
“I still can’t believe I interned at NPR. I always listened to NPR and admired them a lot; I thought it would be amazing to work there. You always believe that those opportunities are out of reach and we think about how we are going to get there. I took shifts at all hours and they told me: “No, you don’t have to; you don’t have work in the wee hours, it’s optional,” and I said: “No, I want to do it”. It was an experience that involved a lot of growing”, she said.
While she was at NPR doing her internship, she learned she had been selected for the Master’s degree in Reporting the Nation and New York, at New York University (NYU).
“I always wanted to study at NYU. I applied in November 2019, and I was incredibly nervous because I did not know if I would be selected. In March 2020, I found out they had chosen me,” she said.
Another opportunity coming Paola’s way is an internship at the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), which starts this month.
“It is a super good opportunity and I know it will open many doors for me later on,” she said hopefully.
Finally, Paola shared a tip for all those journalism students who want to get opportunities like these:
“When it comes to internships, apply, because the worst that can happen is that they say no. If they say no, it means that before you apply next semester, you have to work a little harder to improve those qualities. Use the negative for a positive. Be spontaneous and always try to find those people to guide you to that next step. Everything really is up to you; you decide what you will do with your future,” she concluded.