|Daniela Roldan, ABJ|
Portuguese Flagship Program student
1. What encouraged you to apply to Grady College?
I grew up in Athens and I was an active member of the journalism department at cedar shoals. I was the editor of the magazine and I met Joe Dennis at the Grady Journalism Rock Star Camp. In a presentation by Joe, he spoke about the vanishing presence of journalism, but how it was still a powerful voice. I knew journalism wasn't my calling, but they sold me on Grady and I've been in love ever since.
2. What activities are you involved in at Grady/UGA/Athens?
Before my capstone year in Brazil, I was a member of ad club and a flagship student. I also worked translating Spanish with my beloved Hispanic community in the five points chiropractic office with Dr. Huppert.
3. What drew you to the Portuguese Flagship Program?
As soon as I heard of it, I knew that the Portuguese flagship program was made for me. I was studying Portuguese, Brazilian culture and the potential of Brazil's growth in advertising and PR in my Grady courses. With Flagship, you become fluent in a language, experience a culture for more than a semester, create connections, and bring an edge to your field that no one has developed yet. The opportunity is in your hands. The scholarship helps in a great way and I didn't miss a heart beat to reach my goal to work in international communications.
4. How was life abroad?
Currently, I am located in São Paulo, Brazil, in a prominent PR agency getting ready for my internship in August. I started classes this March, but because Flagship prepares you for any language barriers and culture shock, it was a smooth transition. The students are wonderful and welcoming. I've been practicing Portuguese, taking dance classes, traveling, getting to know my city São jose do Rio Preto, and blogging.
5. Have you noticed different PR/advertising practices abroad vs. in the US?
It's an exciting time to be in Brazil. PR agencies are having to deal with corporation tied to governmental decisions to build stadiums with public money and a lack of infrastructure. PR agencies are focusing in on clients' international reputation and how to manage crisis communication. On another side, Ad agencies are all focused in selling the WC to the Brazilian people. Ads are all about the experience of soccer culture. The biggest companies, like banks are pushing all kinds of World Cup ads and they make them very personal. As one of the top five countries with the most social media users, all ads speak to you directly, using colloquialism and informal tones, oh and the hashtags are abundant.
6. What advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing the Flagship program?
Students interested in Flagship should do their research and go ahead and plan their next few years at Grady well. If you have a background in a Romance language, study hard, skip the intro courses and take an advanced course in Portuguese. It was the most difficult semester, but a year later, I made it. Make Brazilian friends, go to the Mesa Portuguesa, speak to professors, and make it happen!
If even slightly interested, send me a message, and I'll sell you on flagship.