Once you come to know her, though, you will soon learn that her confidence does not depend on stage lighting and designer gowns, but rather a deep-rooted humility.
At 27 years of age, Jessica has the world at her feet.After saying” I do” to her high school sweetheart, Daniel, in January 2018, the Da Rochas have put down roots in Maidenhead, a large market town in Berkshire, England.
As media effectiveness manager at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®), Jessica is putting her training as a communications specialist to good use, confirming that a qualification from the NWU bears international recognition.
“Our move to England came just at the right time,” says Jessica. As young, independent newlyweds, she and Daniel thought there was no better time than now to take a leap and enrich their lives with new sights and experiences.
Because they are of Portuguese descent, the emigration process to the United Kingdom went smoothly and, as Jessica adds, there is no language barrier and they already have a support network of family members in the UK.
It all started on the banks of the Vaal River
Jessica started her journey at the NWU in 2010 by enrolling for a BA Communication and Language Practice degree at the campus in Vanderbijlpark.
Studying in her own home town made Jessica feel grounded rather than restricted.
She fondly remembers sitting on the lush green banks of the Vaal River with friends, looking out on the amazing views the campus offered and watching the shenanigans of the infamous gaggle of campus geese.
Another cherished memory is the conversations and friendships with down-to-earth lecturers.“My lecturers deserve all the credit for keeping my passion alive throughout my years of study.”
She went on to complete her studies with distinction and followed it up with an honours degree in journalism in 2014, again with distinction. Her academic prowess saw her being inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society.
Jessica’s flair for languages also earned her a spot as a teaching assistant for the School of Languages and as a facilitator for the French subject group.
A global world of work
While modelling helped overcome her shyness, the NWU set the stage for a career without limits.
“I believe that completing my degrees with distinction really opened doors for me.” She says that apart from the NWU’s high valued qualifications, her alma mater also helped to shape her as a critical thinker and an impactful doer.
Jessica’s position at IHG®, which owns and manages multiple global hotel brands, sees her busying herself with market research and strategy, competitive intelligence, data visualisation, forecasting and storytelling.
Previously, Jessica enjoyed stints at NetFlorist SA as a specialist media marketer and at Butterfly Effect Intelligence as a marketing insights and quality manager.
She is a firm believer that hard work pays off and that you make your own luck by being present, proactive and hardworking.
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