For the past two years, I have been fortunate to serve as the Co-Director of Women’s Leadership Society (WLS), where we promote female advancement in technology, entertainment, and media. Being that it will be my last semester in this position before I graduate #QueSadMusic, my team (Co-Director Lauren Bickford and Faculty Advisor Professor Chris Smith) and I wanted to finish strong. We decided have not just one, but two speaker series this semester: Young Alumni and Entrepreneurship. The Young Alumni Series invites back alums to talk about their careers and how their time at USC has helped them. The Entrepreneurship is a three-part series where we bring in female entrepreneurs to talk about all aspects of being entrepreneurs, from ideation to pitching to actually working on the business.
What a better way to kickoff our Entrepreneurship Series with Nely Galán, a self made BEAST who was the first Latina Telemundo President. Daughter of Cuban immigrants, Galán’s story of rising up is another example on how hard work pays off. She was the youngest intern ever to work for Seventeen Magazine, which then led her to start her television career. Starting as a TV news producer, Galán worked her way up to station manager and then starting her own TV production business four years later. This eventually led to her role as the President of Telemundo, where she was an Emmy winning producer of over 700 shows in English and Spanish. Galán had the opportunity to appear on Celebrity Apprentice, where she was not afraid to talk back at Donald Trump. Now, Galán is wrapping up her book tour for Self Made and continuing to promote her Adelante Movement! (Move it forward in Spanish).
1) “You are your own Prince Charming.”
Society and media have been promoting the idea that females will meet their Prince Charming who will sweep them off their feet and be the solution to all their problems. Reality check: there is NO Prince Charming. We ourselves are the deciders of our lives, the authors on how we want to write our stories. That means we can’t rely on our partners, jobs, or corporate to come rescue us in dire situations. Getting fired or getting dumped can happen anytime, anywhere. It is time for us to be our own Prince Charming.
2) “Buy buildings, not shoes (that can come later).”
To be truly independent Galán argued, we need to have our finances in order. Without money, you can’t pursue any of the big dreams that you have. Do a side hustle while you’re working so your dreams can become realities. These days, technology has given us so many options to make money on the side. An example is apps for selling clothes. A lot of the items we have in our closet, we have either never worn or only worn a few times. Galán challenged us to go through our closet every week and pick out a couple of items to sell. Once that item is sold, SAVE that money so you can invest in your dreams!
3) “Be louder and braver.”
In the age of #TimesUp and #MeToo, women SHOULD use their voice. It is a watershed moment in history where thousands of women are sharing their experiences of encountering sexual assault, harassment, or abuse. We should use this momentum to speak about other issues that we are as equally passionate about. History was not made by the those who did nothing; history was made by the people who did something.
Thank you Nely for taking the time to speak to our audience members at USC. I’m sure many of them left with new words of wisdom under their belt, including me.