I Got This

Miguel Giral ’23

There were two main reasons that I decided to come to Hofstra. First, I was able to live on campus but be close to home, so I could visit my family whenever I wanted. Second, I liked the small class sizes. My biggest class at Hofstra had 30 students, which was the same number as in high school.

What I didn’t expect at Hofstra were all the opportunities to explore my passions and interests. I was president of Hofstra’s club soccer team, a member of the HOLA club (Hofstra Organization of Latin Americans), part of the Exercise Is Medicine Club, and a student advisory board member for the Center for “Race," Culture and Social Justice. There was so much to do and so much to choose from – you really get to discover yourself.

Best of all, Hofstra helped me to find my career. I knew I wanted to be in the medical field, but it wasn’t until after I needed physical therapy, following surgery, that I found my calling. I will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology and will pursue a doctorate in physical therapy in the near future.

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Miguel Giral came to Hofstra as an undecided major but found his calling after being sidelined by an injury that led to back surgery and physical therapy.

Miguelk Giral

“In physical therapy I was part of a process I had never seen before,” he said. “I had seen athletes, and then I had seen them better, but I had never been through it myself.” 

He became an Exercise Science major, and a physical therapy aide at the same facility where he did his rehab.

“I ended up asking the facility if I could volunteer there, and shadow someone to learn more,” Giral said. “They said I should interview – I was a good candidate for a physical therapy aide job. I got the position and have worked there ever since.”

Miguel plans to eventually pursue a doctoral degree in physical therapy, while he continues working as a physical therapy aide at Northwell Health’s STARS Rehabilitation facility.

As focused as he is on his career plans, Hofstra made it easy for him to explore other interests. He was president of the club soccer team, participated in the Exercise is Medicine Club, is a member of the HOLA club (Hofstra’s Organization of Latin Americans), was a Pride Guide (university tour guide), and an undergraduate research fellow at the Center for “Race,” Culture and Social Justice.

Giral chose Hofstra because he wanted to live on campus, but like the idea of being close to his Long Island home. The small class size helped him seek out mentors who supported him academically and personally.

“One of the professors who stood out to me was Dr. (Jamie) Ghigiarelli, (professor of allied health and kinesiology),” Giral said. “He has always been there to listen and always asks how I’m doing. When my grandmother passed away, he lent an extra hand – offering advice and help – telling me to take whatever time I needed. That meant a lot to me.”

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