Constanza was born in Mexico, but 10 years ago she moved to the U.S. She started working in journalism, then later in photography, writing, social media, video, 360 experiences, and finally, in podcasts.
She shares her passion for podcasting and radio and talks about how she makes it all happen.
Renzo: How’s your job right now?
Constanza: I am working at a podcast company, and I am working in a little bit of everything from researching, booking, to doing the interviews or preparing the interviews, to scripting, to thinking how we might engage our listeners—maybe how we can include them in the episode or later on after that episode, mixing the audio, and then letting it go into the wild.
R: Do you work with a team?
For this main show I am working in, we are two producers with an editor, a host, and a manager.
In August 2019, I started to work for Transmitter Media, a new production podcast company that has actually grown a lot in the past two years from three people to eleven people. And we do all types of podcasts.
It’s a completely different workflow from what I’m used to because here we work with other companies and we help them produce the podcast that they want.
R: It’s in Spanish or English?
C: Right now it’s in English. We’re hoping to do things in Spanglish. I feel for Latinos in the US, our language is Spanglish. Especially because we’re so used to both languages and especially when we’re around each other. I think we needed to know that people talk like this because we go from one language to the other so fast.
R: How do you work with the language? Because most of the podcasts are in English, right?
C: I still have issues with the language but I went to a bilingual school and now I have been here for 10 years. That helped me and also when I moved to the US, I had to take like a year and a half off school just to learn English again. So, I mean, that’s how I got to that level.
R: How did you start in the media industry?
C: I did a little bit of everything. So I moved to the US, and I was like, “Oh, journalism. Let’s try it.” I did a little bit in Mexico but it was related to music and culture. So then when I moved here, I started with photojournalism. From there I went more into writing, and I ended up in social media. So I was the Snapchat producer for Fusion, which was a Univision Company. I did stories, photos, and videos for Snapchat for the Discovery Channel. So I did that for a while and then I left Snapchat and I started doing digital video for Univision, in music and culture and stuff.
I was on a student visa so I didn’t get my H1-B with Univision but thankfully I got a full-ride scholarship to go to CUNY for grad school. And so from there, I transitioned here to New York. So I was in Miami and I was like, “Oh, well, what’s next?” Looks like the future of journalism is videos, right? It was like that moment where everyone was like, “Let’s do videos”, as did I. Oh, I actually missed something. After photography, I actually started in public radio (NPR).
So I worked with a local radio station in Miami. And if you like audio stories for them and I love that. I was like, “OMG. I think the radio is where it’s at,” because you get to be more personal and you get to really listen to the person and the audience on Public Radio is so committed. They really care about things. So that was really nice to do. And I was part of a project with Martina Castro, who is a podcast producer that you made an interview with a while ago. And she was also part of the NextGeneration Radio Show. And I was also an intern from Radio Ambulante.
The sad thing about NPR is that there’re not many jobs in public radio and if there are, they pay really bad. So then after I tried that, I got the job at Snapchat. So I went from photo to radio to social media to video. And when I was at CUNY, I did 360 videos. I was like, “yeah, the future…” And then the video bubble popped and I started my new job after grad school. And they cut the entire department. So, they fired like 300 people from the company. And it was like, “What am I going to do now?” And I think some companies started to realize like, “OMG video is actually not that good. We need to cut jobs.” A lot of companies were doing the same thing. So I just tried to apply and apply and apply and apply to very different jobs. And I ended up in Podcasting.
So life was like, “here, come back to radio.”
I’ve been in the US for a while so I’ve been really good at networking with everyone from students, professors, professionals, and I tried to do it all over the country. So I did have a lot of people in California, in New York, Florida. Seattle, Texas, everywhere. And that was just like, all right. Like, you got a puzzle.
And so you get something.
And so I think they applied to like over 50 jobs in two months because I didn’t know.
And also, I was like, “what’s the next step for my career then? ‘Cause if video is not going to be something that people want anymore. Where can I use my skills?” And then I got on NPR
R: Talk about “Chicas Poderosas”
C: That’s started in Miami. “Chicas Poderosas” is an international network of women in media. And our theme is “We’re better together.” We’re all about empowering and supporting each other and connecting each other for jobs or for creating our own businesses
I’ve been part of it since 2015, I created events or conferences for students in media. My favorite one was in Miami and we did like 100 girls at FIU (Florida International University) which is a local university in Miami. And it was great to do it because we brought them in with a bunch of different professionals.
R: So, what’s next?
C: I definitely want to explore more of the business side of Podcasting. I want to help create a new Podcast for Spanish speakers or bilingual speakers. I think that’s like my next step actually, to try to see how we can create new content for bilingual speakers.
And also I want to explore how we can do cool new things for a bilingual podcast. Because I think we do stay in very similar talk podcasts that perform in Spanish. And there are some narrative ones. But maybe we should play around more with sound engineering or playing around with different sides. Working in the scene, styles, locations. Let’s just play more around with audio in both languages. I definitely think I want to go down that path.
Podcasting it’s a big business. There are podcasts that make millions. So I think there is so much to do in Spanish Podcasts. I don’t think it matters where we are as long as we know how to do it. And then I’m still learning that as well.
R: What did you wish you had known when you started?
C: I think I should have focused on one thing. You know, it’s like “oh maybe I should just start radio and just do that because maybe it would have been better now or have more experience with what I do.” But at the same time, I just like reminders like actually It’s really good to have all these different skills.
So I try not to do that. I encourage everyone to be happy with all their experiences.
One thing I do tell a lot of people that are going to school or something is to learn the business because the media industry is changing all the time and people get fired or people change from one area to the other.
So I think it’s important for young people to understand how that business works and to also think of alternatives of how to be good managers, good bosses, because that way we can create a better future for the industry and for younger people that want to come in.
And to also be open to all types of production because when I was a producer at NPR, I did a very different type of show from what I do now. So to always be open with styles, voices, and companies.
Renzo: In NYC people usually say you need to put focus in one thing. What happens if you like to do a lot of things?
C: Then you do a lot of things. If you have the opportunity and you really want to do a lot of things: DO IT! You can go to different places wherever you need it.
For this job here, since it’s such a small company and they’re so open to different things I can take photos or create social media content for our new podcast, and also not only just produce for one show, but I’m also part of helping market the company and by using my other skills.
So you never know.
R: What is that something that moves you to do what you do?
C: I think it is really like talking to different people and I believe everyone has a story and we should highlight all the different stories and share them.
I love connecting people. And I do feel that this industry helps connect people in so many different ways. Whether it’s a talk podcast or a narrative podcast.
R: If somebody wants to contact you, what are you looking for right now? What kind of help do you need?
If you have ideas for a more bilingual podcast, let me know.
I would love to help create something with them and make them grow. Or if you want to share any tips for women and want to be part of Chicas Poderosas or be a mentor to other women in production that’s amazing. I think we need more of that.