What year are you and what is your major?
I am a senior and my major is Audio/Radio Communications with a Minor in Sociology.
Why did you choose your major?
Ever since I was a kid, I was fascinated by the media. I always had dreams of being an actor. As I got older, my passion for acting shifted towards producing and writing creative material for both Television and Radio. I KNEW that was my passion, but also felt that I had a lot to learn about the industry.
What makes you unique compared to other students?
I think what makes me unique is my resiliency. I have bounced back from a lot of obstacles that I’ve faced in my life. It’s taken me a little bit longer to graduate because I was going to Hofstra part-time for a while, and whereas I’ve seen a lot of faces come and go, not once have I thought about quitting. When I set a goal, I make sure I accomplish it no matter what I have to endure. The same can be said for my current internship with VH1. I applied to intern at the MTV Networks nearly a year ago. I was persistent, emailed on a monthly basis, and followed-up on my application, until they finally took a look at my resume, set up an interview, and hired me as an intern for VH1’s Development department.
Tell us the story of Saul at Hofstra? Why Hofstra?
I wanted to be at a place where I can be away from home, but close enough to go home if I needed to be with my family. My family is in Queens so Long Island is the perfect location for me. During an open house back in 2004, I took a visit to Dempster Hall, and saw the television studios and radio station, and I was simply blown away by the state-of the-art facilities. When comparing it to other schools in the area, it was a no-brainer for me; Hofstra was the way to go. Once I enrolled, it wasn’t always easy for me. I found myself struggling socially at first. I came from a neighborhood and school system that was very diverse, with the majority of my peers being Latino and African American, so Hofstra University was a bit of a culture shock at first. I soon found my niche after becoming a member of Hofstra’s Organization of Latin Americans (HOLA) and a brother of the oldest Latino Fraternity in Existence, Phi Iota Alpha.
How has Hofstra and the School of Communication helped you grow throughout your time here?
The Hofstra faculty and School of Communication was successful in widening my range of skills. Professor Mario Murillo taught me how to write treatments and produce features, profiles, news wraps, and radio magazines. Assistant Dean Susan Murphy was the first professor I had in the School of Communication, and her classes were always fun and I learned so much. She introduced me to the department and it was with her that I learned the history of Radio. Professor John Mullen helped tweak my resume and pointed me in the direction to some very important people in the radio industry to help me during my internship search.
What are your plans after graduation? What do you see yourself doing for a career?
My plan is definitely to look for jobs in Television and Radio. Career-wise, I’d love to be a Television Producer for one of the major networks. I need to put my creativity, attention to detail, and writing skills to work. At the same time, I plan on being involved with non-profit organizations that provide young people from low-income neighborhoods all kinds of opportunities. Some of these organizations include ones that I have been a part of since I was a kid such as “Project Morry” and The “I Have a Dream” Foundation.
Favorite memory at Hofstra
My favorite memory at Hofstra occurred back in 2007, when I was the Chapter President of my Fraternity. I spear-headed an alumni banquet where we raised over $2,000 for a non-profit organization that I’ve been a part of since I was 9 years old, called Project Morry. It was a huge honor for me to give back to an organization that helped me get to where I am today.
What is your edge?
My edge is my resilience. If at first I don’t succeed at something, I bounce back and move forward, stronger and wiser than before. I don’t give any excuses. Life hasn’t always been fair to me, but I’ve never let that discourage me in any way. I’ve learned to turn my stumbling blocks into stepping stones.
I hear you have had some great internships – tell us about those? What have you been doing and how did you get them?
This summer, I interned for Maggie Vision Productions. They’re a production company in New York City that produces short features and sketches for ESPN’s ESPY Awards. I was a production intern there and did a lot of transcribing, logging, and research on a feature for The Arthur Ashe Courage Award that was given to Nelson Mandela. Now I am currently interning for VH1’s East Coast Development Department. We deal with a lot of the reality show ideas that are pitched and decide whether those shows will air or not. Applying for these internships gave me a small taste to what the job market might be like. I had to prove why I was the best candidate fit for those internships.
What is the thing you will miss most when you are no longer a student at Hofstra?
I’ll definitely miss the faculty who taught me so much here. I’ll miss the clubs and organizations that I have been a part of for half a decade. I’ll miss walking into Dempster Hall, and awaiting the arrival of Professor Mario Murillo, a perfectionist who always had advice and critiques to make my radio features better. I will truly miss that!