Nino Reyes is a Bronx, New York native with Dominican roots, who has proven that Latina women are capable of leading in the media world. With tech and media constantly evolving, Nino Reyes has proven that her hard-work, her drive, and her discipline, can take you to the moon. Nino has proven her credibility in the media industry by publishing her projects and articles amongst the top brands in the industry like: Universal McCan, Bleu Magazine, WBUJ 99.5FM, 99JAMZ Miami, StationHead and many more. Today, Nino is known for her work as a media planner and buyer at Universal McCan, a top-leading international media and marketing agency that represents clients like American Express, Coca-Cola, Hulu, Spotify, H&M, Johnson & Johnson, Hershey’s and many major leading brands.
We are delighted that we had the opportunity to chat with Nino about radio, media, women empowerment in more.
What was the biggest factor in getting into this industry?
The biggest factor in thriving and working my way into the media and entertainment industry was consistency. I never gave up. I got rejected multiple times throughout my journey here but I never allowed it to discourage me. Instead, I applied those moments of rejection to the game and kept moving forward. I allowed it to motivate and drive me even further – allowing for me to have a clearer vision of my dreams and what I wanted to achieve. Also, I believe it’s extremely important to have a solid foundation and that includes your support system. I have a tribe that is always behind me and supports me through all my endeavors. My family is a big part of my support system and they are my backbone. They always encourage me to win because they believe so much in me. That’s BIG when you have people who you love, riding with you until the end and believing in your dreams. Lastly, my son Kenny. He is the most important person in this world to me. Looking at him every day is a constant reminder as to why I need to grind harder. Knowing that his future and the trajectory of his life, depend heavily on the life that I create for us, it is the constant reminder and push that I need to know that I could never give up and that I must accomplish all my goals. When you live for something bigger than yourself, you’ll find yourself accomplishing all of your dreams. That’s the secret to getting into this industry.
How did you get aligned to working with one of the biggest international media and marketing agencies?
I began working at Universal McCan as a media planner and media buyer, thanks to a good friend of mine who is a Director at Reprise. His name is David McClean and he has been with the company for 11 years and he ended up referring me to the position. I’ve been friends with David since I was in high school so it was really funny how that worked out. I am always grateful and appreciative of him for looking out and putting me in a position to win. I think this comes to show, it is important to have a strong network of friends, peers, and colleagues. These are the people who will help you to grow and will put you in positions to win. My background in branding and marketing allowed me to be a perfect fit for the position since I began my marketing career at the age of 18 when I was the Programming Director of WBUJ 99.5FM The Mix. Eventually, I provided my marketing services to multiple businesses and companies, which led me to grow a reputable name in the field of marketing. This led to growing a portfolio and reputation that is respected and that allowed for me to get my foot into Universal McCan.
Women empowerment is at an all-time high, could you let our reader know how you have thrived in a male-dominated industry?
I believe that to win as a woman in a male-dominated industry, it is important for you to not focus on the fact that it is male-dominated. You must give your attention, energy, and focus to what’s important – which the goal is to WIN. In other words, being a woman is a superpower. We are powerful, competent, hard-working, and talented. You just need to show those superpowers and let them speak for themselves. When you get caught up trying to compete with your male counterparts, that just becomes a distraction and you make it more relevant than it has to be. If you want to be a leading woman in this field, focus on your work. Focus on creating art and masterpieces – and when you have the opportunity to offer positions to other talented women, make sure that you do so. We must always help each other to grow and elevate – and we must focus less on the “competition” that we end up creating in our minds.
What sets you apart from other female media personalities in your niche?
I’d like to say that every woman in this industry is phenomenal. I find a lot of inspiration in seeing other women in my field winning. I believe that we are all special and destined for greatness – just to be in the positions that we are which require hard work, discipline, and a lot of sacrifices. That right there is worth applauding for. But I do find that what sets me apart would be my background and my authenticity. I am a Dominican woman who was born and raised in the Bronx. I have a lot of culture in me and everything from the way that I speak, my accent, the way that I walk and behave – is a direct representation of where I’m from. I find that to be a superpower and I find that it draws people to me. Also, I find that being well-spoken, a good storyteller, and an informative being, allows me to stand out.
How has it been meeting top-notch artists and prominent figures in the industry? Have any of them become close friends of yours?
Meeting top-notch artists and prominent figures in the industry can be cool. I have been able to connect and befriend a lot of dope souls throughout the industry. Once you’re a part of this business, the majority of your friends, colleagues, and peers will be people who work in similar fields. It is a blessing to be surrounded by creatives with so much talent. I’ve been able to become friends with famous models, talented producers (in film, tv, and music), musicians of all sorts, publicists, and lots of journalists and media personalities. Being surrounded by creatives is extremely empowering – it allows for you to grow even further because they will inspire you. It also makes it easier to create amazing projects when you’re able to collaborate with other talented people.
Tell our readers how it feels to work for Bleu Magazine. How does working for this magazine empower your life?
Working at Bleu Magazine is a blessing in itself. I can work for one of the fastest-growing black-owned magazines based out of NYC. Bleu Magazine gives me the ability to practice and enhance my writing abilities, by publishing stories of different genres. I’ve been able to write about lifestyle, travel, food, biographies, and sports while at Bleu Magazine. Also, starting my career with them after working as an assistant stylist for the Brooklyn rapper, Casanova 2x – was a blessing in itself.
What advice would you give those trying to excel in the industry like you? What are the main factors you feel are needed to maintain?
The advice that I would give to people who are interested in the entertainment, tv, film, radio, or marketing industries would be: stay focused. Find what you love and what you’re passionate about and continue to practice it until you master it. Also, make sure that you surround yourself with pure-hearted people, with good intentions. That’s very important because your support system means everything when you’re trying to thrive in this business. This business/industry is not for the weak so you must have tough skin and you must have people around you who can reassure you.
What’s next for you?
A project that I am currently working on, which will be released in January 2022, is Season 2 and Season 3 of my show Keeping it Trill. I will be dropping new episodes through Instagram and Youtube. Keeping it Trill is a podcast-styled show that focuses on interviews with artists, celebrities, and popular socialites. I use my show to highlight the success and journey of those who have reached certain levels and heights throughout the career. We use this as a time to get personal with the talent and to become more familiar with their background and life.
How can our readers connect with you?
Readers can stay up to date with the launch of Season 2 and 3 by connecting with me via my website ninolreyes.com or they can follow me on my instagram, where I engage heavily with my followers @nre.24
Lastly, do you have a quote that keeps you moving and empowering yourself to the next level?
A quote that keeps me motivated and that I find to be empowering is: “There is mud, and there is the Lotus that grows out the mud. We need the mud in order to make the lotus.” To me, this means that you need obstacles, challenges, and adversity in order to grow. There is no growth if it doesn’t challenge you. I say this because I grew up in a low-income community with many obstacles in my way – and instead I learned how to overcome them in order to become the lotus that I am today.