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Meet Trailblazer Maria Alejandra Bastidas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Alejandra Bastidas.

Maria Alejandra, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Becoming vice president of digital content for MundoHispanico has been a milestone in my career. What seemed like a dream 20 years ago when I first arrived in Atlanta from my native Venezuela is now a reality. As many immigrants, I came to this country looking for the American Dream only to realize more. Surviving in this country and becoming successful is a challenge that many Latinos face when we come to the US.

My career as a journalist began in my home country where I was a TV producer and fell in love with videos and production. When I came to the US, the only work opportunity I found was at a newspaper as a local reporter and, after few years with the change of my immigration status and a stronger knowledge of English, I was able join MundoHispanico as the company was acquired by Cox Enterprises. At Cox, I grew my career in corporate America. I went from local freelance reporter to editor, leading the MundoHispanico content team as we transitioned from a local weekly newspaper to the third largest Spanish news site in the country.

During my 15 years with MundoHispanico, I have been able to develop highly productive teams, innovative projects and, all while finding a way to connect with our community and reach our audience right where they are: on their cellphones and on social media. Two years ago, the Cox decided to sell or close MundoHispanico, and certainly those were the toughest months of my venture with Mundo. Seeing our jobs at risk while trying to keep the team engaged while potential owners evaluated the company was a very challenging time. But a miracle happened. MundoHispanico was sold to independent Latino businessmen and we continue our mission to become the voice of the Latino community in the US.

As my professional life evolved, so did my personal life. I am a happy mom of three kids and live in Duluth with my husband and our doggie. Recently I also became the head of the local chapter of Girls Lead, a nonprofit organization that is empowering Latina girls to become the leaders of tomorrow. We had our first event in Atlanta in December and it was a great success. In 2020, as part of my work in the community, I am developing a series of workshops called “El Reto Americano 2020” to teach other immigrants like me how to navigate this country and reach the American Dream.

Has it been a smooth road?
Being a woman in the media industry has been a blessing and a challenge. Being a wife and a mom always puts more work on your shoulders, work that you do with all your heart, but at times can be exhausting and make you question your dreams, your vision, and your purpose. My advice to other women is to stop feeling like a Wonder Women, to give yourself the chance to be vulnerable, to ask for help, because we all need it, and to look out for your well-being before the well-being of anyone else. After all, nobody will be OK if mom is not ok. As for career, I say speak up and do not let men tell you that you cannot do it. We are strong and intelligent and can conquer the world if we put our minds to it. I think that scares men in the workplace. So create alliances and find good male mentors that can become your sponsors and support your growth along the way.

We’d love to hear more about MundoHispánico Digital Network.
I manage the content team that is behind MundoHispanico: from the daily news production, to the Facebook Lives, our team covers all news of interest to Latinos in the US. I also supervise the native content department that produces the branded campaigns for national and global clients, such as Toyota, NASCAR, Macy’s, and Nestle, among others. Recently we’ve begun our OTT efforts, and I’m in the process of starting a new side of the business: producing long format videos for our channel. I believe that I am a great leader and I have developed myself to be able to attract and retain talent, to lead with all my heart and to inspire teams to reach the most incredible goals possible. I am proud to be part of Mundo because of the great mission that we have to inform, empower and educate the Latino community. Being a resource for other immigrants is a privilege and a responsibility that I take very seriously.

Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
To find a mentor, you need to research other professionals in the company and see who could be a role model for you. Sometimes being part of professional organizations can help you meet people willing to mentor you and that can be a huge opportunity.

When you find someone, just ask. You have nothing to lose and can get a yes for an answer. Be involved in projects and volunteer projects outside of your department. This will allow you to show your talent and skill to others in the company and grow your personal brand.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Luis Contreras/ Kaptura El Momento

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