Today, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month #PROFspective series, we feature senior Angelica Petroche from Ledgewood, NJ (Morris County). Angelica is majoring in Advertising and has a minor in Strategic Communication. She is involved in ProfAgency, ULA (United Latinos Association) and Rowan’s ASCEND program.
What is your student experience here at Rowan? Do you feel included? Supported? How so? Could you highlight an example or two?
My experience here at Rowan so far has been great. Rowan has a lot of different opportunities to offer to students in terms of clubs, courses, and activities to do on campus. Just from my courses alone, I was able to connect with my professors and join clubs related to my major such as ProfAgency and the Advertising Club, which is pretty cool.
I would say I feel supported and included on campus through my ASCEND family. They provide me with the support that I need to be successful in the classroom as well as outside of the classroom. My ASCEND advisor has monthly meetings with me to check up on how I’m doing in my academics and outside of school, too, which is helpful.
ASCEND has given me a safe space to come to if I ever need to talk about something or need further assistance with anything.
How did you find your friend group here at Rowan?
I found my friend group at Rowan [through] being a part of the ASCEND program. I completed the mandatory six-week summer program on Rowan’s campus and it was there that I found my group of friends. I was able to meet other students that came from the same background as me, and we connected on various aspects of life.
The PCI program allowed me to have a family on campus before even coming in as a freshman. To this day, my closest friends are part of the ASCEND program.
Are you involved on campus? How so?
I’m a part of ProfAgency, which is a student-run advertising agency on campus. I’m also a member of ULA, United Latinos Association on campus, and I’m an ambassador.
How would you describe inclusion? Could you highlight a Rowan classroom or campus experience that was inclusive and made an impact on you?
I would describe inclusion as making sure every student feels supported and given a voice to speak. It means that every student gets equal opportunities when it comes to education and has the resources they need to be successful.
A Rowan classroom that made an impact on me is any advertising class with Prof. Rodolico. He’s a great professor and he really cares about all his students. He has a lot of experience in the advertising industry, so he gives his students advice on how to be successful in the work field. Prof. Rodolico has given me a lot of support academically, and I have learned a lot about the advertising industry from him. He genuinely cares for his students and wants to see them succeed in their careers once they graduate and leave Rowan. Attending any of his classes has made me feel included and heard.
Do you have a role model or mentor here at Rowan? Who are they and how have they supported your growth?
A mentor that I have at Rowan is Professor Rodolico because he’s an awesome professor. What makes him so great is that he makes sure to keep his classes interesting by including his own experience. He gives his students a lot of great advice and provides them with the tools to be successful in advertising once they graduate and find a job. Professor Rodolico wants to see you succeed, and he will go above and beyond to do that.
I have applied a lot of the knowledge I learned from his classes in my internships and jobs that I have had on campus that relate to advertising or public relations.
What advice would you give to a Hispanic/Latinx high school student considering your major here at Rowan?
I would tell them to be themselves and to be open to new opportunities. I haven’t seen much Hispanic/Latinx representation in the creative field of advertising, so I think it’s important to have confidence in yourself and be willing to try new things.
I can confidently say that getting out of your comfort zone academically and taking advantage of every opportunity will open many doors for you. Asking questions and building connections with people in your major is so important because it could lead to you landing an internship or job in your major.
The advertising industry is very competitive, so it’s important to have goals and have a plan of how you want to accomplish those goals. I would tell a Hispanic/Latinx high school student to stay optimistic and motivated because you may hear rejections for internships and jobs, but it’s important to stay positive and understand that it’s a part of growing and reaching your professional goals.
What are your professional goals?
My professional goals are to be an Account Executive and work my way up to being a Creative Director for a well-known advertising agency or entertainment company. My ultimate goal is to make advertisements for Nike and work at their headquarters.
If you are open to it, could you share a little about your Hispanic or Latinx heritage?
My mother and father are both Ecuadorian, and I grew up with very humble beginnings. Both of my parents didn’t graduate high school nor attend college, so they came to America to provide me and my siblings with better opportunities.
My parents spoke to me in Spanish when I was a baby so that was my first language and I learned English once I started school. I have a strong connection to my Hispanic roots through the food I eat, the music I listen to, and the movies I watch.
I grew up in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood at the beginning of my childhood, which has a huge impact on me today. I have traveled to Ecuador and spent time with my mom’s family in the countryside and the city area; it brings me peace and is where I feel most at home.
I love artists like Bad Bunny, Camila Cabello, and Rosalía. They make me feel proud to be Hispanic because they are representing the Hispanic/Latinx heritage in a very positive light.
Like what you see?
Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major
Photos courtesy of: