Betty's Open Road

BETTY CORTINA

Editorial Director
Latina Magazine

“I had led myself by my gut, and really had to tune out a lot of people.”

INTERESTS:

Journalism Writing

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Fulfillment Hard Work Perseverance Values Family Opportunity Pressure Confidence Individualism Self-Reflection Determination Negativity Courage Culture Doubt Chance Dedication Desire Exploration Instincts Risk Societal Pressures Talent Fear Passion Experience Choices

FOUNDATION:

Communicating / Sharing Stories

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Parents were immigrants from Cuba; she was the first person in her family born on American soil.
  • Learned work ethic from parents: father lied, said he could drive a forklift so he could get his first job in America, mom worked graveyard shifts.
  • Her family didn't want her to work, go to college; tradition ruled she'd live with her family until she married.
  • Had to apply to universities, jobs in secret; got into the University of Florida, her hometown newspaper gave her a full scholarship.
  • After college, worked as a crime and politics reporter for the Miami Herald.
  • Realized she was only doing newspaper journalism because it'd look good on her résumé; really wanted to work in magazines.
  • Co-workers were telling her that if she left newspapers for magazines, no one take her seriously.
  • Worked on "high-profile" jobs, like People en Español, but left to work at Latina, a small-scale magazine that she loved.

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