Maria Rosales Gerpe
Reporter and Freelance Journalist & CopywriterCambridge Times
The early part of my day is dedicated to local news reporting. I currently work for The Cambridge Times, where I am a reporter covering Cambridge and the Waterloo Region. Like Rory Gilmore, I was obsessed as a kid with becoming a print journalist. But this actually only happened recently. I took a very long detour! More below in my Career Story.
My other jobs involve doing more journalism work on science and culture, and being a science copywriter and marketing strategist. What do the latter entail? Think Peggy Olson from Mad Men, meets linguist Louise Banks from Arrival, and scientist Dr. Ally Hextail from Contagion. Peggy needs to sell an idea that reminds someone of a service or product, while Louise has to translate concepts between two parties in simple ways, and Ally must perform thorough research to understand her subjects.
Essentially, all the jobs I do keep me on my toes, which I love. They involve constantly thinking of exciting ways to translate and explain complex concepts. To do my work, I need to understand these concepts which means that I had to study and perform research in order to truly understand the science.
Relevant School Subjects
- Technological Education
Areas of Expertise
Since I was a child, I’ve loved writing, but having ADHD, my mind has always been driven by curiosity to explore many topics. This meant that I was always torn between English, Math, and Science throughout school. I didn't understand why I needed to choose one specific career. In High School, my teacher Ms. Greene drew the coolest illustration of a cell's energy mechanism and this drove me to pursue Biochemistry at the University of Ottawa.
My English teacher, Ms. Headley, was distraught about my decision, and I jokingly told her that maybe one day I could write for Scientific American. This turned out to be an amazing jinx as I wrote for them three years ago!
After undergrad, still driven by curiosity, I pursued graduate studies in microbiology, immunology, and pathobiology to understand and to think of ways to treat diseases. But I still continued writing with the dream of one day being able to communicate these complex science concepts.
After graduate studies, this dream came true! I worked as a Scientific Writer for a Kitchener biotech company called Rapid Novor. There, I developed as a copywriter and fell in love with the world of marketing and advertising, which I decided to pursue through freelance work – becoming my own boss. As a freelancer, I have worked with more cool Canadian biotech companies, and this summer I got to write for a Nike campaign!
I hope my career path shows you that life is not always a straight path. I hope it also shows you that what society sometimes views as disabilities like my ADHD can also prove to be advantages when we learn to accept ourselves.