HERE'S MY STORY.

I first discovered the power of public relations in a dusty, smelly library. As a young literature student, I spent most of my days researching cultural magazines used for political purposes during the Cold War. Without knowing it, I was learning about the first public relations campaigns against official government regimes in Latin America.

Following my interest in the world of communications, I left my home country, Colombia, to pursue a master’s degree in Strategic Public Relations at the University of Southern California. Upon my arrival in California and USC, I became interested in a field that had always been part of my life but that I had paid very little attention to, the field of technology.

 

Like literature, technology has the power to envision and create exciting new worlds. Technologies like machine learning, facial recognition and gene editing can potentially help us solve global challenges like poverty, hunger and disease. But these tools might also cause tremendous harm if they are not designed, distributed and used in a fair, ethical way.

While working as a Graduate Research Associate for Annenberg’s Center for Public Relations, I studied the way artificial intelligence is redefining the communications industry. One of my main goals as a future public relations practitioner is to ensure that companies and organizations are prepared to face the ethical, reputational and financial challenges that come with the implementation of new technologies.

I believe technology has made our lives more exciting, dynamic and comfortable. It is certainly difficult to imagine a world without smartphones, social media and algorithms. But I also believe in the importance of stepping away from the screen to travel, experience new cultures, and connect with nature, our bodies and our minds. 

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©2020 by Manuelita Maldonado

Los Angeles, CA 90036