Name: Gabriella Landeros
Job Title: Press Secretary for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
What are some of your job responsibilities?
I support over 300 labor unions in their media needs, prepare the Federation’s Executive Secretary-Treasurer for all media and speaking obligations, write speeches, and plan and execute media strategies for the organization’s campaigns. I also edit and assist in drafting policies and manage the organization’s digital channels.
What is your educational background?
I graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Cultural Studies and minor in Spanish. I also spent my junior year abroad studying in Madrid, Spain.
Describe your college experience and how it helped you prepare for your career:
I always loved writing, but I was interested in news writing in particular. I volunteered at my university’s radio station (KUCR 88.3 FM), and I was on-air every morning reporting the news for the day. I was also a student reporter for Uwire.com: The College Network and writer, editor, and reporter for my university’s virtual newspaper. During study abroad, I also got the chance to take radio and production classes with students from around the world. To top off my college experience, I interned in Washington, D.C. as a Congressional Reporter for the Talk Radio News Service. It was in D.C. where my love for writing and politics joined forces.
How did you find your current job?
Networking! I met my now coworker during a media training in Washington, D.C. We had a lot of things in common, but the most striking coincidence is that we both grew up in the same area. She told me about the Press Secretary position at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, and I jumped at the opportunity. I am grateful for the chance at giving back to my community, while being close to my family. My mom and brother are proud union members, and I knew I wanted to find a career that involved advocating for good jobs and fair wages.
What did you do to prepare for this career?
I wrote and read a lot. Since college I maintained a blog and contributed stories to different news outlets, such as Latinitas Magazine and the Independent Voter Network. You have to enjoy writing and stay up-to-date on the news everyday. Part of my role involves being contacted by the media if breaking news occurs in relation to my organization. I not only have to be quick on my feet, but I have to understand what is going on and how I am controlling the message.
My past positions that include campaign work and serving in the Obama Administration, also prepared me for the long and unexpected hours that come with a career in communications.
What do you like most about your job?
I like being able to control the message and pushing the values my organization represents, which I also identify with and believe in. Whether it’s a campaign or issue I’m publicizing, I feel satisfaction knowing the amount of workers it will impact. Most importantly, I feel like I’m making a difference.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is writing in someone else’s voice that is not my own. With communications, you often have to write from a different perspective that you may not be used to. Although challenging, it makes you think out of the box.
What advice would you give to help a girl prepare for a job like yours?
- Start building your portfolio now. Any job that involves writing or the arts, is going to ask for samples of your work.
- Write! Write about anything you’re passionate about, and do it often.
- Never take someone else’s work for your own.
- Stay up-to-date on current events.
- Read books.
- Take advantage of internships.
- Never give up!
What do you do for fun when you aren’t working?
I enjoy running. Running is my version of yoga – it relaxes me. It helps me de-stress.