By Tamera “EON” Pillay, Contributing Writer

You would think preparing for TV shoots and getting the hook-up on Big Mac Sauce would be the life we all imagined for ourselves. However, Dipika “Quiescence” Joshi Hernandez, a University of Central Florida (UCF) alumna, says it is not always glamorous, but with months of preparation involved.

It all started in university. Like many people, Hernandez was scrambling trying to figure out what direction to take her life.

“I’m not very talented at it,” Hernandez said about traditional art. She, however, loves being creative. “I enjoy expressing my art through writing. I love working and being able to plan events. I didn’t necessarily want to do event planning and I didn’t want to be a journalist and people said well, why don’t you look into public relations.”

Hernandez landed an internship with a small boutique agency, where she obtained a lot of hands-on experience and stayed for a long time.

It is hard to describe exactly what Hernandez does, being in public relations. If you ask her mom, she just says advertising because it is simpler. However, the work Hernandez does ranges from social media, advertisements, photography, event planning and much more. 

The main difference between advertising and public relations, according to Hernandez, is that with advertising, you pay and you get to control the imagery, the words, the central focus of the content. With public relations, “there is not much money that changes hands.” People make articles or posts about their honest experience.

“You open a magazine, you flip through and see different advertisements. When you get to an article of a new service, restaurant or something that our client offers (that’s us),” she said. “Generally, it’s favorable but we want it to be honest. You want a blogger or a journalist to come out and you want them to have a good experience.”

You have to sell the client to these journalists or bloggers. Typically, the journalist or bloggers have thousands of emails a day of making similar requests, you have to make your client stand out.

You have to explain, well this hotel is unique because we have a pillow concierge that will come up to your room and help you pick your favorite pillow,” she said.

As “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” had the Tipton hotel with a cruise liner, standards for rallying bloggers and journalist are high.

Hernandez’s specialty is travel and tourism. She works greatly with theme parks, chefs with beautiful desserts and sometimes even construction work. She and her team worked heavily on the construction of the Orlando Eye, the little sister attraction to the London Eye, in Orlando, Fla.  

Her agency, The Dalton Agency, received the 2015 Award of Excellence at the PRSA Georgia Phoenix Awards for the launch and grand opening publicity campaign for the Orlando Eye, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium and Madame Tussauds Orlando.

Hernandez received many other awards with her former company, TJM Communications, Inc. But to some, what may matter most is that Hernandez has gotten to meet and work with some really cool people: Pitbull, Ricky Martin, Dan Marino and Maya Angelou.

Hernandez’s life is full of work. This week alone she had late meetings, she organized a TV segment at one of her client’s businesses and her agency hosted an event for McDonald’s in central Florida that involved giving out 10,000 bottles of Big Mac sauce.

On top of all this work, Hernandez still managed to be the chapter advisor for her home chapter for five years. Since she crossed in 2006 and graduated shortly after, she remained close to her active house in a way that is difficult once you graduate. Sisters of her home chapter are really grateful for the work she did and does.

“She truly is a model for younger sisters to become Dedicated Female Leaders,” said Mai Nguyen, a sister from the Epsilon Chapter at UCF. “She continues to build lifelong friendships and is always giving back to our community such as volunteering at nonpartisan voter registration drive. She positively impacts those that need our support and advocates for the Asian American community.”

Today, Hernandez is the director of The University of Central Florida’s Delta Phi Lambda alumnae association, which came to be in a really organic way. She says she realized she and a bunch of sisters were hanging out all the time and they thought they should make it official.

“We are all different ages and it is nice that we are still friends,” Hernandez said. “We noticed that our husbands were becoming friends and our kids were getting to know each other.”

Similarly to this experience, Hernandez’s proudest career move has been transitioning from her old agency to her new. Taking chances and causing changes seems to bher forte. 

“You really have to start from the bottom and work your way to the top,” said Hernandez, giving career survival advice. “Like Drake.”


Featured Image: Special to The Jade Times