Women in Advertising – Our Interview with Dr. Vega

By Kaleigh Medellin, Miranda Garcia, Ariana Castro, Hannah Ridge

For this assignment, we decided to give our feedback on the interview we had with Dr. Vega. Dr. Vega is a professor at California State University, Fullerton with over 10 years of industry experience. We asked her about women in the advertising industry and her answers left us with a lot to think about. These are our reflections on this interview.


One part of the interview that stuck out to me and was most inspiring was Dr. Vega’s predictions about the future of the industry. While we have been stuck in uncertain times recently, we have had some great things flourish. Like Dr. Vega mentions there is no going back when talking about equality and representation in the workplace, we have turned to the new normal where gender, race, and sexuality can be represented appropriately. Truly, I am excited to see more diversity and equal representation in the industry and in the workplace as it is truly well overdue. I also hope to see more positive changes and inclusivity continue to happen in the workplace so others can feel welcome and represented. Like Dr. Vega also mentioned, we are at a very pivotal moment as a country on how things are going to be handled, produced, and maintained moving forward. I am very interested to see how this will play out as we may see many changes coming to us due to the challenges we have faced recently. Things may look very different to how they have been in the past as far as working, communicating, and efficiency within companies is conducted. While this is new and exciting it also can be a little scary to navigate especially as new graduates are entering the workforce. Nevertheless, we will be able to adapt and learn how to go about all of the new and wonderful changes that will be happening. We are still left with many questions about the future as we don’t know when, what, and how things are going to happen; however, we can amplify and prioritize  moving forward in the right direction to keep the positive change alive.


Being able to interview professor Vega was a true pleasure for me and I learned many different things while speaking with her. Going into this interview I was expecting for the direction to go more towards women in media and advertising as opposed to the route we went in that focussed on race and culture. She spoke about her own experiences surrounding race and discrimination which shaped the way that she handels situations today. Another important factor that I was very interested in was the fact that Dr. Vega experienced two sides of advertising during her career. She experienced advertising before and after the internet age. This shift created millions of more tools and opportunities for her in her field. She was able to work more efficiently and faster than before, she enjoyed this change and felt grateful for this new advance. Another area we focussed on was the development of new and young individuals going into the field and making way for new ideas and movements. She was very interested in the future of this field that will hopefully include more diversity, equality, and inclusivity. As for my reaction to this interview, I was very glad to see a professor that was so interested in helping students navigate their way through this broad field and also guide them into making a difference for their peers. I related to her as a Latin woman in this industry and as a fellow minority that has had to build her own path in Communications. The future is bright for women, minorities, and all other misrepresented people in the media. 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


Ariana – 

I thought it was interesting how Dr.Vega had no interest in advertising and now that is what her passion is and what people know her for. She went into college for psychology after gaining interest but ended up pursuing advertising after taking a college course in marketing. After beginning her career in marketing, she became bored with it so she went to advertising. But her job experience wasn’t an ordinary one and I think this makes Dr. Vega very admirable. She was not taught anything when she entered her new position and when her “trainer” quit, she was offered that position despite her lack of knowledge. She had to teach herself everything about her new position and overcome the obstacles she has faced in order to achieve what she was passionate about. I think that is an important quality to have when entering the PR & Advertising industry, or any industry. The ability to teach yourself and overcome the challenges formed against you will only grow you and make you better. It will not only grow you as a person but professionally as well. Another thing that is important, that Dr. Vega mentioned, was to have the ability to adapt. She began her career before the digital age and once it hit she had to switch to digital business and adapt to it. A lot of employers look for someone who is quick to adapt and learn new things and if you have those qualities, it makes you that much more of a qualified candidate. Overall, the interview with Dr. Vega was very eye opening and gives us a glimpse into the industry and how to navigate it.

Source: http://www.marketer.com
This is a visual of how media ad spending has increased over the years.

Hannah – I was excited to interview Dr. Vega as I had taken her courses before here at Cal State Fullerton. She is so unique and outspoken and it really showed in this interview. We asked her many questions about women in the advertising industry, and what I found interesting is that she said she faced more challenges as a woman of color, as many agencies were led by white men. She spoke about how she was so focused on her work that if she faced any micro-aggressions she likely would not have noticed. She did, however, note that the way women are depicted in advertising is changing and we are becoming more inclusive as a culture. Her seeing the way advertising has changed with the use of the internet was also really interesting to hear. I think it really shows her character when he explains how she was essentially thrown into this job with little experience and no training. She learned everything as she went, and that is no easy feat. Her optimism for the future of advertising gave us a lot to look forward to. She gave us a different look into the advertising world, and interviewing her was fun and interesting.

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