San Jac Certified: Is there anything Ariana Montelongo de Valdivia can’t do?
08.12.2016 | By Calyn Hoerner
PASADENA, Texas - Ariana Montelongo de Valdivia started her studies at San Jacinto College with a choir scholarship and a passion for people. She later turned that passion into a 10-year career in public relations, experience as a television producer and her very own real estate business.
After graduating from San Jacinto College with an associate degree in communications, Montelongo de Valdivia went to the University of Houston to earn her bachelor’s degrees in art and public relations. It wasn’t long before she started working for the world’s largest public relations firm, Edelman Communications and Marketing Firm.
“I managed multiple clients with Edelman, but my primary account was the City of Houston,” said Montelongo de Valdivia, who worked as a senior account executive for the firm. “My biggest job was to launch the first ever social media campaign for the 2010 census.” The campaign she created and launched won a Gold Excalibur Award from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Houston Chapter.
However, as she spent most of her years in public relations working with nonprofit organizations, Montelongo De Valdivia felt a calling of sorts.
“I spent most of my 10 years in public relations working with nonprofit organizations such as The American Heart Association, Life Gift, and Neighborhood Centers Inc.,” she said. In her role as senior account executive, Montelongo de Valdivia ran media and public relations, which involved writing speeches, press releases and managing press conferences. “I felt fulfilled working for these nonprofits, because I got to influence a lot of positive change in the community.”
Montelongo de Valdivia has always wanted to be an entrepreneur and start her own business. She felt that real estate was the perfect place to do this because of her love for people and because she is able to utilize her extensive public relations background. “Public relations is a skill that is needed in any job,” says Montelongo de Valdivia. “I think that working in public relations for so long has really helped me run my real estate business.”
San Jacinto College helped Montelongo de Valdivia realize her love for people could turn into a successful career. “I took a lot of mass communication classes at San Jacinto,” she said. “I just knew then that I wanted to work in public relations.”
“Don’t underestimate the power of a two-year community college,” Montelongo de Valdivia concluded. “I highly recommend going to a college like San Jacinto College, because it’s great way to transition from high school. I was able to really enjoy the classes in a smaller environment and get to know my professors.”
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.