Lory Martinez G'17: Crafting Multilingual Narratives in a Globalized World

I wanted a more international career, transforming my journalism background into something more holistic that included some marketing knowledge so that I could better share the stories I wanted to tell. I thought I knew what I wanted before graduate school, but AUP gave me something more – it helped me put things into perspective.

Thanks to the global talent brochure given out by the University's internship department, I obtained an internship at a small bilingual content agency, EuroBusiness Media, with high-level B2B clients. My experience as a content manager intern there opened new opportunities for me in communications, going further than marketing and copywriting. While at EuroBusiness Media, I learned about content creation and the importance of storytelling for brands, whether that be via written or audiovisual work. Later when I began freelancing, this experience helped me in obtaining corporate clients because I'd already been introduced to top-level executives at French companies – such as BNP Paribas and Amundi – during my internship. My multilingual work also translated to my journalistic storytelling. As a content writer and part-time journalist, I often work on stories about multicultural and global experiences, like my time being an associate producer for CNN's Great Big Story, and have been able to use those skills to pitch and translate stories for the platform's global audiences.

During my time at AUP I never stopped producing audio. AUP professors like Tanya Elder and Robert Payne pushed me to work on projects that I was passionate about. With Tanya's help and AUP's network, I was able to work on a story for UN World Radio Day 2016 during the Sustainable Development Practicum course. I was able to collaborate with a local radio station and use my production expertise to share a story about radio in times of emergency and disaster, which was broadcast on UN Radio for the festivities. 

"In addition to its great professors and opportune location, AUP introduces its students to different international cultures and languages."

– Lory Martinez

As a student, I had great professors who positively impacted my experience. Waddick Doyle and Robert Payne were two of my favorite teachers. Waddick had wonderful insights and Robert had the capacity to put things into perspective in a way that I never would have been able to. They were excellent mentors who guided me through my AUP experience.

In addition to its great professors and opportune location, AUP introduces its students to different international cultures and languages. I speak English, Spanish and French and being multilingual has enabled me to work efficiently as a producer and storyteller. Also, our AUP alumni network is the best academic network to be in: ninety percent of the job opportunities I got post-graduation have happened because I am an alumna of AUP.

Today, I am the CEO and founder of Studio Ochenta, an award-winning multilingual podcast production company based in Paris, France. Studio Ochenta is modeled after the global outlook I learned at AUP. Our motto is "raising voices across cultures," and that's what we do across all of our multilingual content. Our work has been honored at the 2020 Webby and European Lovie awards for outstanding production on the series Mija, a podcast that shares stories of immigrant journeys from around the world. Since I launched the company in 2019, Ochenta's podcasts have hit #1 in 31 countries respectively and represent over 20 languages across our network of shows. We've been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, "All Things Considered," USA Today, El Pais, Telerama and more. I have also led many audio storytelling workshops in Paris and have taught Podcasting 101 as a guest lecturer at AUP since graduating in 2017.  

My storytelling approach – no matter the medium – is to touch people. Whether that person is reading, listening or watching my work, I want them to want to tell someone later. I want them to laugh, smile or even nod in agreement even though they're alone on a long subway or car ride. For me, a good story starts a conversation with the audience, one that begins with the feeling you get when a friend comes up to you and says: "Let me tell you a story."