When you think of superwoman one might associate the term with a girl who wears red tights, blonder hair, and has a fashionable red cape that she flies around in. Today though there are many more women roaming the streets who dress much more casually, but still accomplish great things nonetheless. A superwoman in today’s society can be described as a woman with exceptional ability, especially one who can successfully manage to succeed in multiple things. This week’s Campus Celebrity is a modern day super woman who excelled throughout her college career and now in her career. Elizabeth Perez graduated from FIU with a Master’s degree in Mass Communications and prior to that attended the Universidad Bicentenaria de Aragua and graduated as a Systems Engineer. Just like most college students Elizabeth found herself changing career paths although her situation was not necessarily as typical. Elizabeth always knew that her heart was in journalism, but living in Venezuela the closest journalism program was located in Caracas which was very dangerous at the time. Her father wanted to keep his daughter safe and told her to that going to Caracas was not an option. Although studying journalism at that point was not an option Elizabeth still remained in school and after getting her engineering degree found herself off to Boston University where she studied English.
What internships did you have while at FIU?
While at FIU I interned with Telemundo and El Nuevo Herald where I wrote and published several articles on different topics where I was able to produce and anchor an entertainment segment. Telemundo hired me following my internship, but I was still a free lancer at the time. While I was finishing up my last few classes at FIU I set a goal for myself. I told myself that within a month I wanted to find myself a paying job. Money was important at the time because I was living in Miami alone while my parents were still in Venezula and college expenses were piling up. After Telemundo I went to CNN. Today I am a part of Café CNN Actualidad en Vivo, Nuestro Mundo, Directo USA, Deportes CNN, Monthly I host Al Galope, which is a horse show, and every Olympics I host Tras el Oro.
What are some challenges you have faced as a woman in sports journalism?
Today I do not believe sports journalism is so rare anymore for women to be a part of . The concept that women can do the same jobs as men is very accepted. With that being said as a women it is important to be informed. For instance, when I came to the U.S. I had to learn about American football as well as all the Latin players because that along with why Latin players were so important on the field was going to be my angle in interviews. At first it was challenging, but it is always important to be informed in this career. In the past sports men ran journalism, but today that is changing. Sports programs today are capitalizing on women because women seem to get more engaged about sports when another women is talking to them about it. Also, knowing not only facts about the athletes, but also what interested the people watching. Viewers did not just want to hear about a devastating loss they also wanted to know for instance why when Peyton Manning loss was it so tragic? Was it because the world knew his retirement was just around the corner.
What motivated you to pursue your dreams?
My father and mother wanted me to get an education, but at the end of the day I was very self motivated. I did it for myself. Of course being an only child I did want to make my family proud as well, but ultimately it was for me. The career path I chose was not an easy one. I wake up everyday at 5am and as most people know waking up that early is a challenge on its own. I could have chosen another career path, but waking up to do something you love is much more rewarding than settling for a career. My family sees me in Venezuela and see how hard an industry it is and when they see that I have made it, they are proud. Proud of what I have accomplished and proud that I am succeeding in an industry where so many do not get the chance to. When I have a family I may change paths because the hours are not necessarily family friendly, but right now I love working for CNN. The team is great and getting to write my scripts is very fulfilling as well. CNN is a team in that sense in that everyone is looking out for one another and that is something everyone wants to have in their workplace. At the end of the day though desire is inside of you. People will tell you journalism is a beautiful job, but unless you do not really want it there is no way you will accomplish great things in this industry.
Any specific professors or classes at FIU that had a serious impact on you till this day?
There were two specific professors who taught me things that till this day I use on a regular basis while at work. Mario Diament taught me how to think like a writer. He was from Argentina and a top journalist in South America. He taught me how to think outside the box. When thinking outside of the box it was important to also give the story a twist and catch the attention of the audience. The next professor who left an impact on me was Rosanna Fiske. Rosanna Fiske taught public relations while I was at FIU. She has her own firm crisis management and taught me a very big lesson. She taught me that no matter what obstacles thrown your way there was always a solution. You must think “how do you solve it?” The moment one takes control of their situation and takes responsibility is the moment that a problem becomes resolved.
Elizabeth Perez knows what it is like to take on the world with style, just like Superwoman does. She is never afraid of a challenge and knows the best way to accomplish your goals is to take action. Through taking action you will succeed. “If you are not out there taking risks, someone else is.” Today in the Journalism field there is a lot of competition, but there are always oppurtunities out there worth chasing. Just like FIU alumni and powerful woman Elizabaeth Perez, many women today lurking the halls at FIU have the potential to do so many great things in their future.
Message from the Superwoman herself: “ From May on I will be hosting a golf show once a month called Vive el Golf. In case any FIU students want to reach me they can do it via twitter – EliperezCNN -, Facebook –Facebook.com/eliperezcnn – or Instagram – EliperezCNN”