Vanessa Pereira’s days are never the same, working as the marketing and communications director for the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an order of nuns based in Hamden. Pereira graduated from Southern in 2010 with a B.S in journalism. Her journalism background from Southern, and early reporting jobs helped prepare her for her current career, which involves writing, editing, videography and photography.
Interview and photos by Sarah Shelton, SCSU JRN ‘23. Answers were condensed and edited in 2022.
What are your job responsibilities?
I don’t want to say I do everything, but I do anything that has to do with marketing or communications. I handle our social media; I do all of our press communications; I oversee the website. But I also do the fundraising campaigns. I design all of our direct mail pieces and our online fundraising campaigns. I do emails. I also design and write for our magazine.
How do you think Southern prepared you for your career?
Well, I was able to really hone my writing skills. But also at the time, we were all encouraged to take our own photos, so that’s something that I just learned, not just here at Southern but in my past jobs. Reporters were encouraged to take their own photos because there just wasn’t money for a staff photographer where I worked.
What made you get involved with the Southern News?
I liked writing. That was my primary focus when I was a student. And we were encouraged to get involved with the Southern News if we wanted to get into a newspaper or online. I started as a special contributor, then became a staff writer, then opinions editor.
When leaving Southern did you expect to take this path?
Honestly, I did not. I didn’t even think about working for a nonprofit. You know, it’s just kind of how everything worked out. Again, the skills that I have, primarily the writing skills, it was attractive to my past employers, and then everything else you kind of just pick up along the way. I never saw myself doing fundraising or designing a magazine.
What advice would you give to journalism students now?
To not be discouraged. I don’t know what the job market is like now, but when I was coming out of school there weren’t that many jobs. And the field of journalism was declining, but I think it’s maybe bounced back a little bit.
So, don’t be discouraged by the idea that your job may not exist one day, because the skills that you gain in journalism are transferable pretty much anywhere.