Alumni Spotlight: Olivia Alvarez ’12, Communication Arts


A Communications Arts major, Olivia Alvarez is one of the department’s earliest graduates. Here, in her own words, is her remarkable story.

Olivia Alvarez was born and raised in Playa Guanabo, Cuba. She arrived in Miami, Florida at the age of 7 with her mother, Gloria, stuffed bear and a few articles of clothing. “I remember being in the third grade and feeling so scared because I didn’t understand a word anybody was saying. I remember a few ‘mean girls’ that made fun of me because I only knew how to speak Spanish. Let’s just say that by the 4th grade I received Honor Roll trophies, medals, and several other awards for my grades and academic progress. I made it a point to excel and give it my best. And that is something I have always carried within me. It’s a lesson I taught myself at a very young age—hard work pays off!” says Alvarez, 26. “The road to success has not been a walk in the park, but it has definitely been a journey to remember, and it’s very exciting for me to know that I haven’t reached the peak of my career . . . this is just the beginning. I have been very blessed to have an incredible support system all my life, guiding me every step of the way. Although I’ve always been one to make decisions for myself, growing up alongside professionals like my parents and other family members who are also in the media, has helped me immensely when it comes to my career.”

Olivia has always been a very driven and confident woman. She knows what she wants; she is focused and determined. “Ever since I can remember, I have always felt a great passion towards creative writing and a very strong connection with words”, says Olivia, when asked how she ended up in the publishing industry. “My friends call me the ‘grammar police’ because I’m always correcting them. I can be a bit of a perfectionist at times and it might come off a little strong, but that’s just the way I am. I like things done right.” By the age of 21, Olivia had worked as a reporter for several TV networks in South Florida and even hosted her own show on local TV channel, Cubana Television. “Olivia is an amazing and very talented young woman with a bright future ahead. Her work ethic and professional background is truly impressive”, says her Editor-in-Chief, Jenny Perez.

Alvarez graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s in Communication Arts and a minor in Global Media Communications. She was also appointed Student Ambassador for her program by Department Chair, Joann Brown this past spring semester. Prior to graduating, she began her role as Editorial/Marketing Coordinator for Selecta Magazine and became Managing Editor for CasaLife Magazine, Selecta’s sister publication. “Working for Selecta has truly been a remarkable experience, because not only do I get the chance to write about some of my favorite things—fashion and beauty, but I also get to work alongside an incredible team of professionals who are just as enthusiastic about their job as I am!” Aside from proofreading and editing the magazine each month, Olivia is responsible for putting together several columns, including Beauty, Women/Men’s Fashion, Jewelry and Decor. She is also responsible for Selecta’s Social Media sites and webpage, and also puts together Marketing agreements and sponsorships with other organizations. On her spare time, she enjoys reading books, blogging, filming YouTube videos for her channel, catching up with friends and family, cooking and playing with her two dogs, Harley and Valentino.”

To read more about this extraordinary Golden Panther, visit her blog, her YouTube channel, and her Twitter.

                  Olivia Alvarez 3        Olivia Alvarez 1

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