Q&A: Myrka Dellanos on finding her purpose, embracing the unknown, and using social media for good
Two-time Emmy-winning newscaster, author, radio host, humanitarian, adjunct professor, blogger, vlogger, skincare guru—okay, we’re fully convinced that there is nothing Myrka Dellanos can’t do.
After majoring in journalism at the University of Miami, Myrka made a meteoric rise from local anchor to one of the faces of Univision. For 12 years she was the host of the popular Spanish-language news program Primer Impacto, covering events as substantial as the O.J. Simpson trial, Princess Diana’s funeral, and the Pope’s visit to Miami.
Since she wrote the book on success and happiness (literally: her book is called Triunfa y Se Feliz, which translates to, “succeed and be happy”), we knew we had to pick this awesome woman’s brain. And so, the interviewer becomes the interviewee—tables, you’ve officially been turned.
What does your average day look like?
Now that I’m not on a daily newscast, my day begins with a hike to clear my mind and get ready for the day. Being out in nature really helps me put things in perspective because I can leave behind the clamor and the noise of the world and focus on what’s truly important for me.
I am currently working on several projects (among them: my skincare brand, Myamor; my corporation, Dellanos Productions; my blog; and my YouTube channel), so my days are booked with meetings with my management team to strategize next steps and meetings with prospective partners—every day looks different.
When did you first know you wanted to go into journalism?
My first love is actually music. I had full scholarships to study music in several universities. However, right before beginning my freshman year at the University of Miami, I decided to be more practical—I had grown up with a single mom, so I decided to opt for a more stable career. When I thought about what else I loved to do other than music, the answer was writing; that’s how I got into broadcast journalism.
Tell us a little a bit about your path; would you say it was straightforward, or circuitous? How did you get to where you are right now?
I studied broadcast journalism in college, then began working as a producer at a CBS Radio affiliate in Miami, where I grew up. My goal in college was to do news on a national level. After getting some of my stories picked up by the Associated Press, I was hired as a street reporter by Univision Network’s local affiliate in Miami. From there, I worked my way up to local anchor, and then went on to the network. I would say that my path to the national network was pretty straightforward, but then, after anchoring one of the most successful news-magazine programs in the U.S. (Primer Impacto), I decided to leave to freelance. I became an author, publishing my first book in 2005, and began hosting events across the country. I also took time to do humanitarian work, found my 501(c) 3 nonprofit, and spend time being a mommy to my elementary-aged daughter. I needed the freedom to let my creative juices flow and not be tied down to a network that owned my image 24/7.
Who were some of your role models as a child? Did you have anyone that you considered to be a mentor?
I would say that my biggest and most influential mentor has been my mom. She raised me as a single mother, and when my parents got divorced, we left Pennsylvania and moved to Nashville where my mom was getting her master’s degree in education at Vanderbilt University. She would pick me up from daycare and I would sit in classes with her. She is such a fighter and an inspirational woman—extremely kind to others and a selfless giver. I can only hope to be half the woman she is.
Why do you think the media landscape is so hard on women, in particular, and what changes would you like to see made within the industry?
I think that women in the public eye are scrutinized more so than men, for our relationships, how we look and age, and for countless personal reasons which I honestly don’t think should come to play. I believe that, unfortunately, women are often harder on other women than the men are. So we need to affect change by making a concerted effort to build each other up, instead of making harsh comments that just become a detriment to us as a whole.
What piece of advice would you give to young adults hoping to enter the field of journalism?
I was an adjunct professor of journalism at my alma mater, and so many of the young students just wanted to achieve fame—that’s so not what journalism is about. Instead, I would say learn as much as you can, listen to people as much as possible, talk to them, interview as many people as possible and develop a passion for storytelling and for your community.
A photo posted by Myrka Dellanos ???? (@myrkadellanos) on
One of our favorite things about you is the relentless positivity of your social media accounts; we love all of the inspirational quotes and hashtags! How vital is it for you to forge a space that lifts other women up within a medium that is so often used to tear them down?
I believe that if I have the blessing of having a platform, I must use it for good! I feel a great sense of responsibility to give something back to all the people that support me and love me without even having met me. We are all on a journey of survival, love and enlightenment, and I am happy to be on that journey with those that follow me—together we can be stronger.
How do you define “success”?
I would define success as fulfilling my purpose on this earth.
If we handed you the keys to the Green RV right now, where would you drive?
One of the trips I’ve been wanting to do is to drive down Route 66 and stop along the way to hear people’s stories and document their personal journeys. I love the power of a story—we can all learn so much by listening to someone else’s story.
Where do you see your road leading you next?
I am at a crossroads right now—I’m writing, developing some TV shows, and I’m ready to see what’s next for me.
This content was originally published here.