Gustavo Arellano shares his secret to success

Gustavo Arellano gives insight to students during Mass Comm Week lecture

By Ruth Herring

Editor of the OC Weekly and one of this year’s featured Mass Comm Week speakers, Gustavo Arellano, had students laughing and reconsidering their futures as he shared his story of success.

What started as a fake angry letter to the OC Weekly editor from a then film studies student turned into a budding career as a reporter.

Arellano remembered thinking he knew what he wanted to do so he said he made himself into a reporter even while completing his master’s degree in a field he was no longer interested in.

“Don’t be handcuffed to your degree,” said Arellano. “Do what you want to do and not what you think you want to do.”

Taking criticism and rejection was the beginning of the new career choice for Arellano but he said he knew that if he wanted to be a reporter he had to accept the lessons and learn everything he didn’t know about reporting. 

Now Arellano has fully embraced his life as a reporter and writer. His syndicated column ¡Ask a Mexican! has over 2 million readers nationwide and has even gone on to publish a few books, his most recent being “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.”

Electronic media junior, Alexa Perez, said Arellano’s story inspired her to work harder.

“We are coming to a point where we have to be a jack of all trades in order to be successful,” said Perez. “I want to know how to do everything from broadcast to print to social media.” 

Advice such as being multilingual, never being satisfied or complacent with your work and not thinking you have to stick to one thing were a couple lessons that Arellano stressed.

“I’ve been so busy worrying about finding a job,” said Madison Greene, public relations junior who attended Gustavo Arellano’s lecture. “Then I realized I need to focus on what it is I want to do.”

The biggest lesson Arellano said his audience should take away from his lecture was this:

“I had no experience and here I am telling you my story, so there is no excuse,” said Arellano. “It all boils down to how much you really want it.”

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