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Preparing Students to Work in Hispanic Media

May 2, 2014

young woman smiling in front of Casanova Pendrill name

Tammy Tripp will join Casanova Pendrill full time as a copywriter following graduation. After entering CSUF just four years ago as a freshman, she will earn a bachelor’s degree with a double major in communications-advertising and radio-TV-film.

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Tammy Tripp is focused, passionate and driven. So when the double major in communications-advertising and radio-TV-film first heard about "Spanish for International Business," a new course emphasizing writing for Hispanic media, she doubted she could fit it in.

It's a good thing she did – because it has launched her on a new career path.

"The class showed me that I can excel as a copywriter, and it made me aware of the potential career opportunities in advertising and media for the Hispanic market. I felt like I was born for this."

Her passion and the quality of her work impressed course instructor Elias Weinstock, executive vice president and chief creative officer at Casanova Pendrill. Weinstock said the industry needs talent to  help marketers communicate with this expanding market.

"The immediate need now is to communicate the way students do, which is a blend of Spanish and English," Weinstock explained. "It's about understanding the culture rather than about speaking perfect Spanish. I want to give them a real-life perspective of our market."

Thanks to a partnership between the College of Communications and the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Weinstock's course is part of the Latino Communications Initiative's new certificate program for Spanish-bilingual communications majors.

LCI Director Inez Gonzalez said the program can help communications students stand out in a crowded job market.

As a principal of one of the nation's leading Hispanic ad agencies, Weinstock says the course gives students the full perspective of the Hispanic media industry and exposes them to opportunities they may not have considered.

"I aim to teach students how to think differently within the Hispanic culture — how to come up with new ideas, new ways of writing and communicating with the consumers through different media."

When Casanova Pendrill offered Tripp an internship last summer, she jumped at the chance.

And landed right in the thick of things.

"I was thrown into the water so fast, but that's the best way to learn," she said.

"I've learned how to conduct myself within an agency setting. I understand the process more clearly because I've been involved in so many aspects of the creative process — from brainstorming to client presentations."

Tripp's efforts and hard work paid off. She will begin working fulltime as a copywriter at Casanova Pendrill following graduation this month.

She joins Elsa Gallardo '13 (B.A. communications-advertising), who took the course last year and says it challenged her to become a storyteller in both English and Spanish.

"The class refined my presentation skills and gave me hands-on experiences in brainstorming and working with a diverse team, under a creative director."

Following graduation last year, Gallardo's interest in media planning led her to a position as an assistant media planner at Casanova Pendrill.

The Latino Communications Initiative offers a number of programs throughout the year. For more information about the LCI certificate and Spanish-language courses planned for next semester, contact Inez Gonzalez


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