What do you like best about Marist’s location?
How close we are to the city. Central Park is like my backyard! It was very important for my parents growing up to bring my siblings and me to New York City because there’s so much diversity there, and growing up in a Mexican family we were always told, “You’re not the only person here, your language isn’t the only one, there are so many other rich languages and different foods and things like that to explore.” So we’ve always gone to the city.
What is your major/minor and how did you decide on that field?
I’m a Communication major with a concentration in Sports Communication and Journalism, which I absolutely love to death. I’ve been a huge NFL fan my entire life. Originally I came in as a Psychology major, and after my freshman year I just felt that I wasn’t as engaged and as stimulated as I should’ve been in my classes, so my mom was like, “Why don’t you just try some sports com classes? You live for the NFL. Do something that you’re passionate about.” I took one sports com class and I was hooked ever since. I switched my major and here I am. I couldn’t be happier.
How do Journalism and Sports Communication work together?
Journalism is much more writing and editing based, which is great for me, and then Sports Com is more focused on the broadcasting side of things. My classes are all very hands-on which is great, and something I really love about Marist. We have very small class sizes so we’re able to go into the studio as a group and work whereas if you go to a really big school and there are hundreds of kids in the class, you can’t all go into the studio and produce a show like we can here. We’re able to really immerse ourselves in the work. It’s been incredible being in the studio, being anchor and producer and floor manager and all that. So that’s my favorite part, combining journalism where I get to practice my writing skills and then sports com where I can use my writing skills to write a story and then produce it with multimedia.
I understand you’ve had an internship with the NFL. Tell me about that experience.
Last summer I was down in Atlanta working for the Atlanta Falcons. It was my first time working for a team and for the NFL. It was a dream come true. It was just so incredible. You start off watching football as a fan on TV, but to get a chance to go on the other side of it and see the hard work that gets put into everything was incredible. I was on the digital media/social media side. They were really focused on understanding the millennial perspective of things so that’s what I was there for, but even aside from that, just seeing the background of football, their practice, training camp, how hard they train, even just being with the players, it’s incredible. I had to control myself because when you’re with them you can’t ask for photos or anything. So just seeing people like Julio Jones and Matt Ryan walk past you and bringing them to their photo ops, it’s so cool as a fan to be part of that experience.
How was your transition from high school to Marist?
So, leaving high school, I thought I was a big shot. I was like, “I can do college. Mom, Dad, you don’t need to visit me, I’m ready to go.” And of course, being here, I did get a little homesick, but the thing is that I just felt so happy that I chose a smaller school because it’s a more close-knit community, so I felt very close to my peers instantly. In fact, I met my best friends that I have right now in orientation.
My other friends at bigger schools are like, “you actually know your teachers?” and I’m like “yeah! I know them very well.” Also, the small class sizes and the way that you know everyone - that’s something I really enjoy. It’s just a nice community that I love to be a part of.
Do you have any other advice for incoming freshmen aside from making sure they spend time in New York City?
I would definitely say enjoy every experience possible. There’s just so much to do here so definitely enjoy all the opportunities that Marist gives you, and try things that you would never try otherwise. Like, for a while I did intramural volleyball, and yes we lost horribly, but it was so much fun! And for me, I never thought I’d be a sorority girl, but I absolutely love my sorority now. It’s all about getting out of your comfort zone.
Can you tell me a little bit about the sorority?
Yes, I’m in Alpha Sigma Tau (AST), one of the four we have on campus. It is one of the smaller sororities, but I love it because we are, again, a close-knit community. We all know each other very well, and even though we’re small we do so much fundraising. Our primary fundraiser is the Relay for Life, but we also won a trip to the Ellen Show for another fundraising project where we helped our sorority sister's young brother who has a degenerative spinal disease travel to London to see the Harry Potter tour. It's been a great way for me to branch out and meet more people and do some good in the world.
What’s your favorite Marist memory?
This one might be kind of cheesy, but my favorite Marist memory is big-little night. So when you join a sorority, you get a big which is basically like a “Marist mom,” as my mom calls it. So my big is a senior now unfortunately, but she has become my very best friend at this school. That night as a whole was one of the best experiences because it lead me to my best friend. She’s my everything, she’s been my guide here, my sister pretty much, and I don’t know what I would do without her. Other than that, orientation group was also a favorite because that’s when I met my best friends.
I know it’s early, but do you have any after graduation plans?
Yes, I plan on going to grad school, but I’m also thinking about taking a small break before I go back to school. So I’m thinking of doing a semester in Barcelona, just to brush up on my Spanish. I speak Spanish very well already because in my house we learned Spanish before English actually, but of course I’ve lost some of my fluency since I was a child, so I really want to go to Barcelona, live there for a few months and practice. Maybe I can even work for Barcelona FC, the soccer club and do a little writing. But my future dream job is to be a sports broadcaster for NFL network.
Written by Shannon Donohue '17
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Class of 2018
Major: Sports Communication
Academic School: Communication and the Arts
Campus: New York