Communicate Blog is back! Since I posted my last interview in 2015, a lot has changed: I moved to Germany, Europe for a work opportunity, I shifted jobs (twice!) as a US Department of Defense consultant in the field of knowledge management and IT, I completed new certifications including my PMP (finally!) and Security Plus, plus had a new baby.
Even though I have been quite busy with all of these changes, I still felt the urge to connect with professionals in multiple fields, and highlight their accomplishments and lessons learned. So after some hesitation figuring out how to find the time, I decided to venture into blogging again! Every two weeks, I will be publishing new content with interviews to people not just in the field of communications, but in the areas of management, technology, art and many others. The topics have expanded to reflect my new interests and the realization that no matter our chosen professions, we have lots to learn from each other.
While I continue working on my next post, I wanted to give some updates on some of the people I interviewed 3 years ago.
Justin George, journalist
Back in 2015, I had a great conversation with Justin about the challenges and the value of journalism. After leaving The Baltimore Sun, Justin joined The Marshall Project, a not for profit non-partisan news organization covering the US justice system. He covers criminal justice politics and policy, particularly anything related with criminal justice reform, and improving opportunities of prisoners.
Today, he is a busy as ever especially during the current political climate in the country and recent violence where journalists have been the victims. What has he learned recently? “I’ve learned that great journalism takes great support. From editors and photojournalists and graphic artists, etc. The cutting of staffs at local newspapers has decimated the industry and what people are losing is quality and the ability to truly have important issues in their communities investigated thoroughly. Which is why nonprofit journalism such as The Marshall Project and Pro Publica is so important – to fill in for legacy media institutions that are getting gutted by greedy corporate owners or due to losses in readership or advertisers.”
Alan Taveras, entrepreneur
In our interview, I spoke with Alan about a new start-up his brother Guarien and him were launching: Brands of Puerto Rico. This ecommerce platform provides the opportunity to local businesses and entrepreneurs to sell their products globally. The reception has been so great that they also launched five more markets where local businesses in each area offer their products to the world: Brands of Mexico, Brands of Nicaragua, Brands of Dominican Republic and Brands of El Paso.
I should also highlight the devastation Puerto Rico experienced last year during Hurricane Maria did not stop them. Furthermore, Alan put together brigades to collect and bring food and first-need articles to areas where governmental aid had not reached. Per Alan, the most valuable lesson he has learned in the past yew years “is the importance of having the financials in place to look for funding that fuels growth.”
Vanessa Vazquez, journalist turned developer
My longtime friend Vanessa was one of the first interviews for this blog. Back then we were talking about her journalism career, but today she has shifted to a career as a lead software developer for Johnson and Johnson focusing on online marketing. She is also a certified Scrum Master.
Her advice? “You always have to be able and willing to learn something new. Adapting is the key to stay ahead in technology and in your personal life as well.”
Do you have questions, feedback or suggestions of people to interview? Contact me!