In the bustling world of media marketing and entertainment, one name shines bright: Gerry Rojas, a proud alumnus of WP. Gerry's journey, from a young university student to the chief marketing officer/co-president of NTERTAIN/AM16 Agency, is an inspiring testament to the power of determination, learning from setbacks, and embracing curiosity.
Preparing for the Real World at WP
Gerry reminisces about his time at WP, where he was equipped with real-life applications to thrive in his chosen career path. Even while still attending the University, he secured his first job as a health educator at Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center. This early experience ignited his passion for working with the Latino community, which has remained a constant driving force throughout his entire career.
Studying community health at WP, Gerry delved into the fundamentals of health marketing and the importance of empathy. The University instilled in him the valuable lesson of going beyond the surface when approaching any task, a principle that would prove invaluable in his future endeavors.
Embracing Challenges and Paving New Paths
Gerry's journey took a shift when he decided to explore media sales and client services as an account executive at Urban Latino Media. In this new venture, he faced challenges, but he recalled the mantra he learned at WP: "If you don't know, figure it out." Determination and commitment guided him to success, leading him to break the revenue record for a single magazine issue in his very first year.
He continued to climb the ladder of success and landed a significant role at NBC, where he served for over a decade, ultimately becoming the VP of corporate partnerships. However, the pandemic brought an unexpected twist, and Gerry faced a layoff due to the market's inability to sustain the productions of the entertainment programs he was responsible for. But he didn't let this setback deter him; instead, he drew on the grit and resilience he learned at WP to keep moving forward.
The Power of Supportive Communities
Throughout his journey, Gerry found inspiration and support in the EOF (Educational Opportunity Fund) community at WP. While he was not an EOF student, many of his like-minded Latino friends were part of the program, and the faculty embraced him as well. They encouraged him to change majors when necessary and provided him with the care and nurturing he needed to succeed.
It was this supportive environment that led Gerry to become one of the top three students offered jobs in his major even before graduating. The sense of community and mentorship at WP played a pivotal role in shaping his success.
A Dream Achieved, A Foundation Built
Today, as the chief marketing officer/co-president of NTERTAIN/AM16 Agency, Gerry's career has blossomed in the entertainment industry. He attributes many of his achievements to his time at WP and the people he met, which he considers a vital brick in the foundation of his success.
Advice for Future WP Graduates
Gerry's success story comes with invaluable advice for future graduates of WP. He encourages them to never stop learning and to embrace curiosity as their main driving force. The willingness to question why and the courage to take risks are essential traits that pave the way for personal and professional growth.
Drawing from his own experiences, Gerry also emphasizes that setbacks are a natural part of any journey, and sometimes, one becomes even more committed after facing difficulties. And, in the spirit of giving back, Gerry advocates for holding doors open for others when someone opens them for you, a valuable lesson he learned at WP.
As we celebrate the achievements of WP alumni, Gerry's story stands as a beacon of inspiration and a reminder that with determination, support, and a willingness to learn, there are no limits to what can be achieved.
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