In many ways, convincing my father to let me go to college was the toughest deal I ever negotiated. I grew up as an only
child and the eldest female grandchild in a very traditional Spanish family. Higher education in my family’s eyes was a
waste of time and money for a woman. Of course, I had other ideas. I learned early on that you need to fight for what you believe in, and that you can never let yourself be limited by anything but your own determination.
I like to think I’ve stayed true to that belief and picked up a few other pieces of wisdom over the course of my career. As a Hispanic woman, the best and most personal advice I can give is never to think of yourself as a minority. I never did! I am a multicultural and multilingual woman; these are the traits that help make me a valuable asset to MTV Networks.
The only things you truly have control over are your name and your reputation, and it is these things that will ultimately define you. Therefore, you must be mindful of your actions. Always act with integrity and take pride in your work, no matter how small the task. Treat people with respect. Never ask them to do things you would not ask of yourself. Speak out when you see an injustice. If you neglect to do so, you’ve failed yourself.
Never stop learning! We live in an ever-changing world, and the ability to adapt and apply new knowledge is what drives success. Sometimes this means taking risks, but nothing worth having comes without risk. In my career, I have continuously taken risks, and, as a result, I’ve continued to learn, grow and achieve my goals.
Never pursue professional success at the expense of personal fulfillment. Keep balance in your life. Don’t lose touch with reality and what makes you, you, independent of titles and responsibilities. Rely on your family and friends to keep you grounded. Life will present you with tough choices now and then. Make those choices from a position of strength, not weakness. Above all, stay true to what we all learned early on: Have fun!