Alumni Spotlight: Daniela Pirela ’20

Daniela Pirela graduated in May of 2020 with a BA in Communications and a minor in French. When asked why she chose to major in Communications, Pirela replied, “I think that words have power.” She continued, “I’ve been writing since I can remember,” saying that inspiration for her writing has always been easy coming, “but I feel like I didn’t know that was a career you could do.

Coming from Venezuela as an International Student, Daniela credits many of her professors for helping her “come out of [her] own shell” and find confidence in her major. Pirela cites Communications Professor Dr. Brown as having “helped me understand that people are just people, and sometimes you just have to be kind before anything else.”

Daniela spent a semester as a Junior News Writer for the Pinnacle, but having found that she enjoyed the writing environment of the magazine more than the newspaper Pirela spent the rest of her semesters writing for the Berea College Magazine within the Marketing and Communications department.

Since graduating, she has received a job here at Berea College as a BereaCorps Annual Giving Associate working alongside the Director and writing appeals to alumni and friends of the school. “I learned that there were certain rules” with writing the appeals vs. writing for the magazine or newspaper. Pirela notes how “you want it to be in a way that gets the message across, but in a way that moves you,” saying how this has brought out her creativity in finding the most effective phrasing for each appeal. “It was definitely an adjustment, but I don’t think it was a bad one. I’ve gotten to see another side of my writing.” She is set to take on more managerial responsibilities while growing her own portfolio of gifters.

Daniela’s advice for future students is to “take Persuasion, Conflict and Mediation, and Intercultural Communication. Learn to respect yourself, respect your time, and don’t take yourself too seriously, [and know that] you were picked for a reason; people want you here.”

Have questions or want to chat with Daniela more about her story? Contact her directly at danielaapirela@gmail.com or connect with her on LinkedIn.

By Rowan Swift
Rowan Swift Peer Consultant Rowan Swift