Former radio personality turned E! News correspondent Liz Hernandez is in the know.
Her job is dishing out stories about Hollywood's hottest, and now the talented Latina has become a celebrity herself.
Hernandez joined E! News Now in 2011. Prior to that she was a co-host on the nationally syndicated morning radio show Big Boy's Neighborhood on Los Angeles' Power 106 FM.
For her time on radio, in 2005, she was recognized by the National Hispanic Media Coalition for excellence in radio broadcasting.
She studied communications and psychology at the University of San Diego, and got her start in the radio industry after landing an internship with a local radio station.
She has interviewed Kanye West, Jennifer Lopez, Mel Gibson, Jay-Z and Will Smith, but HispanicBusiness asked Hernandez to take off her reporter's hat and answer our questions.
HispanicBusiness: What gets you excited to go to work each day?
Liz Hernandez: The challenge of each new working day is exciting to me because it's constantly changing. One day you are on the set of E! News Now, then some days you're being called to tape E! News. Then the following week you could be flying to Miami to do set visits with the hottest telenovelas.
HispanicBusiness: How did you deal with the transition from radio to TV, especially since you spent a good amount of time with KPWR?
Liz Hernandez: Luckily for me I was ready for the change. I felt I had gained enough TV experience from working at MTV. The hard part of leaving was not being able to see Big Boy every day, and of course not being able to share conversation and laugh with Los Angeles' listeners. But the power of technology -- Twitter, Facebook, my website -- has helped me to make a smooth transition. I see that the love and support of the people who listened to me on radio for so many years is still there. Their continued support is what is important to me.
HispanicBusiness: What has been your proudest moment?
Liz Hernandez I have two. First, it was graduating from a university with two bachelor's degrees. My parents didn't have the opportunities I was blessed with so I was walking across that stage for all of us. Second, it was making a successful transition from radio to TV. Change can be scary, but I'm very proud of myself for never allowing fear or failure to be an option.
HispanicBusiness: What has been your greatest challenge?
Liz Hernandez: My greatest challenge is balance between my professional life and personal life. We live in a new generation where women are very independent and career driven. With that said, I think we become so focused on keeping up with the workplace that we put our personal lives on the back burner. I'm still very traditional; I want to get married and have kids, so finding that balance is the challenge.
HispanicBusiness: What advice do you have for young Hispanics in your field of work?
Liz Hernandez: Strong work ethic, preparation and learn to speak Spanish (if you don't already know). You need a strong work ethic, because nothing is going to land in your lap. Preparation is the doorknob for when opportunity knocks, and speaking Spanish gives you leverage to take advantage of those opportunities.
HispanicBusiness: Who in your opinion are the hottest Hispanic entertainers of this generation and why?
Liz Hernandez: There are so many, but just to name a few ... Jennifer Lopez, Wilmer Valderrama and George Lopez. Jennifer Lopez had transcended across every entertainment platform, proving she's not just a Latina actress or recording artist but an international businesswoman. She has paved the way for women in general. Wilmer Valderrama has shown this generation it's not just about auditioning for a job, it's about creating them, too. He brought Yo Momma to MTV. He created the character and show Handy Manny, proving that all the opportunities are there if we want them. I love that he's taken full advantage of his success and platforms.
George Lopez is showing this generation to be proud of your heritage. Sure, he pokes fun at the stereotypes, but he lets Latinos know it's OK to embrace them, too. He constantly shows us 'I'm just like you' and that, yes, we can cross over into Hollywood, thick accent and all.
HispanicBusiness: What are your thoughts on social media and the importance of it for someone in your field?
Liz Hernandez: When I left Power 106 I truly understood the importance of social media, because I still felt connected to listeners through Twitter and Facebook. Social media is what keeps us all connected. Plus it's a great way to keep your finger on the pulse. You have the advantage of getting immediate feedback from the people that matter most -- your audience.
HispanicBusiness: As a Latina, were you ever faced with challenges or discriminations? Please explain.
Liz Hernandez: I know I have been discriminated against, but I never allow myself to play victim to it. People may typecast you because of your race, gender or sexual orientation, but that should only make you want to prove you are a force to be reckoned with.
HispanicBusiness: In the same context as the above, what challenges are Latinas facing in the entertainment business, and do you see progress or change?
Liz Hernandez: I feel like there are more opportunities than ever for Latinas trying to make it in the entertainment industry. With the Hispanic buying power on the rise, even more platforms will be readily available for us to have a voice. We just have to be well equipped to take full advantage when those opportunities present themselves.
To get to know Hernandez even more, visit her website at www.anditisliz.com or follow her on Twitter.
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