Yesbelt Fernandez

BA in Communication and Media

"Getting a foundation in developing a communication strategy with different audiences is something I want to explore."

How does your current job relate to the field of communications? What is the most gratifying aspect of your job? What is the most difficult aspect?

My current job relates to retail banking with a focus on international clientele. I chose to pursue a degree in the field of communication and media as knowing how to interact with others and understand how cultures influence communication is a very important skill to have when working with many different cultures and backgrounds. The most gratifying aspect of my job is understanding what is important to people and helping them define and plan for their financial goals, such as purchasing their first property or saving for their retirement. The most difficult aspect of my job is staying on top of an ever-changing list of rules and regulations - good thing we have a competent compliance department.

Why did you choose to earn a BA in Communication and Media? Why at CUNY SPS and why an online program?

I am a native New Yorker and I received an Associates of Arts in Writing and Literature some years ago from Borough of Manhattan Community College.  I believe Communication and Media is a natural continuation of that. Currently, I work full time and I have an active social life along with a strong desire to make time for self-care. An online degree program is really the only way I can add in attending school - granted I had to cut binge-watching to make the time - NetFlix can wait.

What motivated you to return to school to finish your bachelor’s degree?

It is very common today for professionals to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with many having a master’s. I came to the conclusion that higher education can only improve me personally and professionally. Also, I’m so glad I returned to school because I am really enjoying my classes. I actually look forward to doing my homework. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

Which area of communications intrigues you the most?  Why?

Social media is an area of communications that I see growing in many ways, some of it is very intriguing while other parts are very scary – hello Fake News.  In order to move forward in this world where 3-year-olds already know how to go on YouTube and find videos by using the voice option is fascinating to me. Getting a foundation in developing a communication strategy with different audiences is something I want to explore.

What is your relationship like with your classmates and professors?

I’m in my first semester at CUNY SPS and, at first, I thought communicating via Blackboard was impersonal, but as time went on I learned my classmates’ writing styles and now I look forward to reading their perspectives and ideas. I also think it is better than a regular classroom because in an online environment everyone participates so I even get to hear what the shy people have to say. Actually, I don’t even know who the shy people are! As for the professors, they are dedicated, responsive and attentive. At the beginning of the semester, I missed a deadline to submit work for full credit and the professor reached out to me via email to remind me! It really showed me there is a commitment to success here.

Which professional or personal goals do you think you achieved while at CUNY SPS?

A professional and personal goal of mine is to be a better communicator in order to build deeper relationships.

In which ways have you grown as a result of your studies at CUNY SPS?

In the three months since I started at CUNY SPS, I’ve improved my time management skills. I haven’t missed an assignment deadline yet.

What kind of impact do you think your degree will have on your career/life?

At this point, I believe my degree will widen opportunities that are available to me and the different career paths that will present themselves as I move forward.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve received while at CUNY SPS?

I was fortunate enough to be selected to participate in the CUNY SPS peer-mentoring program where my mentor advised me I could manage more than one class at a time; two classes will get me further faster. I’m glad I took her advice and signed up for two classes. It is the just right amount of studies.  Another piece of good advice I received is to apply for the Peer Mentoring Program!

What advice would you offer someone considering applying for admission to your program?

One of the assignments during the CUNY SPS orientation was to create a Time Management and Learning Online Reflection, which breaks down the day into half-hour increments. It is advised one has a total of 9 hours available per class per week. If you are considering applying for admission, go through this exercise and see if you have the time to dedicate. Chances are you do! An easy thing to cut out is TV and Social Media.

What does your future look like after CUNY SPS?

I hope to be a Media Consultant for private clients while I practice mindfulness and teach yoga.

Learn a little more about Yesbelt:

  • Job Goal: Be my own boss by being a social media consultant
  • Dream Job title: Social Media Strategist
  • Where do you want to live: Split time between the City and the Country
  • Weirdest place you have studied: In Dominican Republic while Hurricane Maria did her damage this September
  • Best thing about your community or NYC: The people of NYC are busy and they have things to do but they are also accepting and open to connecting with differences.
  • What you enjoy doing in your spare time: In my spare time, I practice yoga, mindfulness, tarot, salsa dancing, reading, and the occasional binge-watch.


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