Spanish class opens doors to professional world

For the past three semesters, instructional assistant professor María Pérez has introduced the students of her Spanish for the Global Professions course to the local community of Spanish professionals by visiting Univisión, an American Spanish-language broadcast television network.

The course focuses on Spanish professionals from many fields, including marketing and media.

“The visit to Univisión is a great opportunity for students to see the functioning of the Spanish media conglomerate in Houston and to interact with professionals, such as public relations, cameramen, reporters, radio journalists and more,” Pérez said.

Although the Univisión 45 news is in Spanish, it is not mandatory for all staff members to know how to speak Spanish. Many of the graphic designers and salespeople only speak English, which broadens the network’s audience.

The network’s focus is a strong understanding of the Spanish community and culture.

Founded in 1962, Univisión has become the highest-rated Spanish network in the U.S. According to Nielsen ratings, it has the largest audience of Spanish viewers in the world.

“The network focuses on creating a homogeneous community for Latin Americans,” Pérez said. “They create an image that appeals to a very diverse audience.”

Univisión’s special projects and office manager, Ruth Rodriguez, has worked with the network for 10 years, and she guided the group in a tour through conference rooms, control rooms, radio stations and the main news station.

The facility is one of the largest in Texas, according to Rodriguez. The Univisión center in Houston is a hub, providing commercials for its stations in all major cities in the state.

Partnered with ABC 13, its branches include five radio stations and three digital stations. The network recently won 13 Emmys, including one award for news excellence. The station also broadcasts the most public service announcements for clubs, events and more.

Staffed with 105 people on its radio team, Univisión is also home to five radio stations, including 102.9 KLTN, Radio Estéreo Latino and 93.3 KQBU, Que Buena.

Students had the opportunity to sit through a live recording of the 5 p.m. news for a firsthand experience.

For Spanish senior Miriam Sanchez, the visit to Univisión has opened her eyes to the opportunities of becoming a translator.

“I loved the opportunity to get involved with something so important to the Hispanic community,” Sanchez said. “I’ve been watching them since I was young, and it helped seeing that translators are needed in comparison to many other stations.”

The reporters and news team write their own stories, and with newly installed equipment, videojournalists are able to record their own news segments and footage.

“This experience was nice; I liked the studios, and the fact that they write their own stories is intense and different,” said broadcast journalism and Spanish senior Stephanie Hernandez. “I realized what it’s really like, because sitting in there gives you a whole different experience.”

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