CoJMC multicultural alumna credits in-school experience to success after graduation

CoJMC multicultural alumna credits in-school experience to success after graduation

Saturday, November 3, 2018 - 11:30am
Karla Martinez
Karla Martinez

by Bill Riccetti

Sometimes you can never have too much experience when preparing for success after college. 

Karla Martinez, a 2018 Advertising and Public Relations graduate, certainly had her fair share of experience. She interned at Partners + Napier in Rochester, New York the summer before she graduated. Upon returning to Nebraska for her senior year, she was a part of Jacht, Ad Club, Creative Commons and interned at the Asian Community Culture Center. 

"I feel like I wasn't even involved in that many things," Martinez said. "All of those experiences were very helpful in getting more knowledge and background to bring up in my interviews. Getting to wear different hats during my time here gave me a well rounded experience overall."

Martinez was born in Mexico City but has lived in Nebraska for a while. She spent four years at CoJMC in which she earned a bachelor's degree in ADPR. She was very fond of advertising and prioritized it when choosing her courses. 

"I took a lot of advertising classes over the PR ones," Martinez said. "I was really focused on strategy so I did account planning, brand conception and brands and branding taught by Valerie Jones -- I really loved that one."

The class selections paid dividends since Martinez recently accepted a position at Unified Oncology in New York City. There she will be working as a project coordinator, assisting the management team with their many clients. 

As a Mexican-American, Martinez has been encouraged by recent changes in the ethnic makeup on campus. 

"When I first started years ago it wasn't very diverse, now it is more diverse and I think it is great," Martinez said. "A lot of time we don't have diversity because we don't have the talent in the schools but seeing more people get involved is great. They're there, you just need to find them."

Still, she admits to feeling isolated at times. 

"I'm not from here so it's like a different experience," Martinez said. "Sometimes you feel kind of like an outsider when you're not from here but overall I think it is a challenge."

She used the opportunity to be a mentor for younger people who would experience the same types of challenges. 

"I have nieces and I always try to be a good role model for them, and for me it was important to try to be the best I can be for them and other people," Martinez said.

Martinez said she is happy with what she has accomplished and really saw changes coming to fruition while she was progressing through her degree.

She said working with Jacht was great for her because a lot of other schools don't have that type of experience or class internship. She also said that it was awesome to see more students of color involved in Jacht and other programs. 

"It is a really good thing having diversity in these fields," Martinez said.