Inspiring Young Latina: Jessica Priego

Jessica Priego, 38, runs a tight game as the Director of Advertising for the Chicago White Sox. The Mexican American professional, and lover of the arts, also serves on the board of the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) and the International Latino Cultural Center (ILCC). Find out her wise words about how to achieve your dreams and make it to the big leagues!

What do you love the most about working as Director of Advertising for the Chicago White Sox?

“What I love the most about my job is that I get to be involved in the creative process on the sports side of things. Professional athletes have a strong commitment and drive, which motivates me. I love to work with our players and highlight their personalities for all our fans to experience.”

You grew up in a blue-collar household. What family values have shaped who you are today?

“First, I would say a strong work ethic. Nothing comes without hard work. My dad worked as a bus driver for 27 years with long shifts and modest pay. He provided for a family of six; taking over-time any time he could. He took pride in what he did each day and that is a core value for me. Second, my mom taught me not care about what anyone else thinks and to simply love myself.”

You are also on the board of the NMMA and ILCC. What have you learned about your community by forming a part of these institutions?

“My passion for the arts is life long. I write poetry and short story fiction in my spare time. I support art organizations in any way that I can because I receive as much as I give. I learn about the depth and diversity of Latino culture every time we work on a project related to either organization and this knowledge strengthens my pride in my community exponentially.”

As a mother and professional Latina, what is it like working in a male-dominated industry? What have you learned about succeeding in such an industry?

“My son Maximiliano Jose, who is 5-years-old, has really helped to broaden the way I look at every aspect of life and the world. Where I used to see a male-dominated work place, I now see human beings, sons and brothers and fathers simply working to figure things out as we all are. In the end, I have a great team and network and our differences are what make us better and more innovative in much of our work and outreach.”

What advice would you give other Latinas who want to follow your professional footsteps?

“There are two things I like to share with my fellow Latinas and those coming up right behind this generation. One, you are beautiful inside and out so let that shine. Two, have a big dream. Have several. Set in your mind the biggest, 'craziest' idea for what you want to do, where you want to live, what mark you want to make and then go for it. Always tell yourself that you CAN attain that title, that new job, that awesome project. Send the email to the CEO telling her or him why you deserve a shot, pitch the idea for your own show or movie to the producers with the deepest pockets, ask for a seat on the Board of the organization you love most. Always ask yourself, ‘why not?’”

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