Student Impact: Rina Zelaya

Student Impact: Rina Zelaya

Student Research Assistant

Center for Social Impact Communication: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you ended up in your current position as the Center’s Student Research Assistant. 

Rina Zelaya: I was born and raised in Guatemala, a beautiful country with many challenges to overcome; this motivated me to work in a nonprofit: Asopuente. This was the first time I was in contact with cause communications and the impact it can have in people´s lives. After this experience I couldn´t help but realize how communications are a vehicle for change within a society. Coming to study at Georgetown I was positively surprised to discover that the Center existed and immediately became interested in its activities. Eventually I found myself participating in its office hours and fieldtrips – the experience was not only transformational but it lead me to this new and exciting position.

The Center: How did you first hear about the Center?

RZ: I heard about it during my first semester at the PR & Corporate Communications program at Georgetown through the Weekly Newsletter. I found that they were constantly holding events and wanted to further understand what the Center did so I participated for the first time in Office Hours with Bridget Pooley, the Center’s manager of engagement.

The Center: What aspect of the Student Research Assistant position are you most excited about? 

RZ: What I have come to enjoy the most is all the new, cutting-edge information and experiences I am in contact with. Having access to interviews with trend-setters in the communication industry and learning of the amazing insights they have for what the future trends and changes hold for the social impact area is very exciting. I am also happy to use Virtual Reality for the first time in my life!

The Center: Do you have any advice for students who are interested in getting involved with the Center?

RZ: The field trips are a great gateway to get to know the Center and its activities; they are a great way to experience first-hand how communications are being used by companies, agencies and nonprofits for social impact initiatives on a global scale. Also, volunteer to become a contributor to the Center’s online magazine, it is an amazing learning experience and the team is very open to help you and bring you onboard!

The Center: You’re taking our signature course, Cause Consulting, this semester; what are you most excited about exploring in that course?

RZ: I love that more than learning theories, I am learning skills that I will be able to translate into my professional career, wherever it may lead me. Simultaneously, the abilities learned and knowledge gained is applicable to any professional activity. I can see myself using this when consulting, but also when working with a team, when supporting change processes within an organization. It is a must-take course.

The Center: Thanks for chatting with us, Rina! If you’re interested in learning more about Rina’s work, you can read her article in The Blur about her trip to the Mashable Social Good Summit