Andoni Bengoechea Puigvert is the International Programs Coordinator at ROOSTERGNN Global News Network and ROOSTERGNN Academy, where he supervises the Travel Journalism and Photography Internship Seminars in Madrid, Spain and Cuba.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
Since working with ROOSTERGNN, I have become increasingly skilled at communicating across different cultures. As a global news agency, ROOSTERGNN currently has more than 700 contributors from all over the world, from the Ivory Coast to Singapore, from Venezuela to the United States and Canada, and of course, in Europe, where we have our corporate headquarters in Madrid, Spain.
The ROOSTERGNN Academy similarly attracts both students with an international profile, as well as students for whom it is their first time abroad. We are thus very conscious of making every student feel at home from day one, and turning their program abroad with us into the experience of a lifetime.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
During one of our last programs, one student came up to me at the end of one of our hands-on journalism workshops, very excited. If she hadn’t had a big smile all over her face, I would have been worried because she was so fired up, she almost ran into me.
“Andoni, I finally found it (her future career path): I am going to be a travel writer!” she exclaimed.
“Great!” I answered, inquiring, “So did you figure that out right now?”
“Yes, Andoni, right now, during the workshop. It just clicked.”
It is moments of realization like these, when I feel truly honored to be part of a non-profit organization that not only promotes freedom of expression worldwide, but helps aspiring journalists find their future professions, and pursue them with hands-on tools and feedback they received from experts at ROOSTERGNN Academy.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
Without a doubt: our Travel Journalism and Photography Internship Seminar in Havana and Trinidad, Cuba. I can’t rave enough about Cuba, an amazing country that is just opening up to the rest of the world. From its UNESCO World Heritage cities to its friendly people, Cuba is an ideal destination for all travel writers and photographers (let alone anyone who likes to travel in the first place).
Specifically, the Travel Journalism and Photography Internship Seminar is a full and fun-filled package. Students train with experts and mentors during Editorial Meetings, Journalism Workshops, Photography Workshops, Mentoring and Feedback Sessions. The program culminates in the publication of a travel guide, with all students receiving a byline on their articles and photographs.
Cultural Immersion and “people-to-people” contact at “boutique style” Cuban homes with Cuban families are the defining pillars of this program.
This is complemented with multiple events, including Site Visits to Local Projects, City Tours and Guided Excursions. To top it off, we have 24-hour bilingual local support, transportation and airport pick-up and drop-off.
Who wouldn’t want to go?
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
ROOSTERGNN Academy is made up of both young staff and experienced, prestigious experts and mentors. Together, we share a passion for freedom of expression and journalism education, two fundamental values that we nurture every single day. At ROOSTERGNN, we are a real team, supporting each other, and I’m both humbled and proud to be part of this unique organization.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
In my opinion, passion and communication are the key to success. Passion, because you must love what you do. And communication, because you must tell the world about what you love.