The Art of Communication
Suffolk wasn’t at the top of Hunter’s college list until his high school sports director gave him some unexpected advice. “’You’re a city boy,’ Hunter remembers this mentor saying. “’You should do broadcasting and journalism.’”
Like a good reporter, he did a little investigative digging. And that’s when he discovered Studio 73.
Hunter connected with Jerry Glendye—Suffolk faculty member and manager of Studio 73—who helped him score an interview for a work-study position.
Thanks to his years spent working for his dad’s electrical company, he knew he could plug in the studio equipment’s complex wiring correctly. He definitely didn’t expect to create a TV show as a first-year student.
But that’s exactly what happened.
After mentioning a movie review he’d just written, Hunter was surprised when Jerry replied, “You want to make it a show?” He was even more surprised the next day when Jerry asked if he was ready to shoot his pilot episode.
That’s how Movie Checklist was born. Since that 10-minute pilot, Hunter now works with a team of anchors, writers, editors, crew members, and work-study students of his own to produce fresh episodes.
A Wider Network
He didn’t stop there.
When you take a TV production class right down Cambridge Street from WHDH 7News, and your professor, Mike Fahey, is an executive producer there, you might just network your way to a production assistant job.
Hunter did, getting up most days at 4 a.m. to work on the early morning newscasts. It was worth every pre-dawn alarm.
“I have been exposed to great journalists,” he says, “and my reporting has gone up. My stories, my packages have just gotten so much better.”
He also landed an internship with Dirty Water Media as a movie blogger. The pandemic cut his time there short, but he’s grateful he could bring his mom to a glitzy movie premiere before the world locked down.
Now Hunter’s hosting a new show at Studio 73, Suffolk Insider, further honing his on-camera presence while continuing as Movie Checklist’s showrunner. And now he is one of the reporters for Suffolk in the City, a weekly feature on New England Cable News.
Viva the North End
When he’s not in class or creating content in the studio, he’s at his apartment in Boston’s North End neighborhood, not far from campus. “I can wake up two minutes before class—though I don’t do this!—and sprint there,” he says.
Living off campus is an education all its own. “There’s a lot more freedom,” he says, “but a lot more responsibility too. It’s a lot of growing up. You can’t just go in your PJs to get something at Smith Café. Now it’s more like, ‘I have to cook myself something. I have no idea what to eat.’”
As hard as menu planning might be, he’s elated about his home on Hanover Street.
“I see other kids at other campuses, and all four years they’re in those concrete brick rooms where everything seems cold,” Hunter says. “That’s not a college experience for me.
This is a college experience. This is really exciting because now I know how to live.”
Matthew Mostyn knew paying for college was his responsibility. Good thing he has an eye for numbers—and the bigger picture.
By his sophomore year in high school, he realized math was his strongest subject, and his ticket out of South Burlington, Vermont. For Matthew, Class of 2022, accounting is a fascinating puzzle and balancing spreadsheets is “weirdly satisfying.” Applying to Suffolk’s accounting program added up.
Matthew’s decision to invest in a Suffolk education got an extra boost when he and his family attended an on-campus event for accepted students. “We met someone who worked in the Sawyer Business School,” he remembers, “who talked to us about all the connections Suffolk has to accounting firms in Boston. I thought, ‘Okay, this seems like the place to go.’”
Matthew’s had a job since he was a teenager and has worked in hospitality to finance his Suffolk career. But the winter of 2021 was something else. With so many restaurants and retail stores closed, he found employment parking cars.
“I had to work overnight and do homework during the day,” he says. “I’d take the train at like 10 p.m. and take the train back home at 7:30 a.m.”
Still, he’d skip sleeping altogether to make sure he was awake for class with John Driscoll, CPA. Driscoll, who also directs Suffolk’s graduate accounting programs, recognized Matthew’s talent despite any yawns, giving him extensions on assignment deadlines and urging him to get more rest. When Matthew asked for help in finding a summer internship, this academic mentor directed him to another.
The Big Break
Tracey Riley, CPA, is associate dean of the Business School’s online programs and an associate professor of accounting. She’s also one of Matthew’s biggest advocates and living proof of Suffolk’s strong relationships with Greater Boston’s accounting firms.
Riley encouraged Matthew to look into smaller firms, so he’d get a more well-rounded view of the field. When the right opportunity came along, she personally contacted the hiring manager on his behalf.
“She said, ‘You need to interview this kid. This is the situation. Give him a shot,’” Matthew says. Riley also helped him write his first-ever resume, suggesting “a million fixes” to get it just right.
All that time and effort paid off. “I got the interview and went from there,” he says.
‘There’ was Woburn-based firm LGA, LLP. As Riley predicted, Matthew spent his summer working on individual and corporate returns, happily immersed in Forms 1120 and 1065. “I also got to talk to my supervisors directly and learn what they know,” he says. “It was basically like I had a job there.”
A Place in the City
He’s excited to keep making professional and personal connections. And sharing his story has helped him find his place in the city and shed his natural shyness.
Being in the middle of everything Boston helps. “You run into new people and meet new friends every day,” he says. Whether he’s working on Newbury Street or striking up a chat with a classmate, “I’m going to be able to talk my way into different situations throughout my career,” he predicts.
He’s looking into a ‘winternship’ next and knows Suffolk’s powerful network can help him land another great resume-building opportunity.
“A lot of businesses in the Financial District know the Suffolk curriculum and what Suffolk students can do,” he says. “They’ll look for students who have graduated from Suffolk because they know what they’re going to get. Suffolk is known in the business world.”
Wheels of Fortune
Because his father is a veteran and moved to California a few years ago, Matthew could have had a full ride to a state school there. After that memorable conversation at Suffolk’s admission event, though, he knew exactly where he was meant to be.
“I had the opportunity to go to school for free,” he says, “and I still came here because it was a much better opportunity. Everyone is very helpful, and they care about others. They’re focused on building the future generation, I’d say, working towards making better people.”
Matthew also has his eye on another equation. Suffolk’s 4+1 Program would let him earn his Master of Science in Accounting on an accelerated timeline.
And once he’s balanced his higher education with a high-paying job in his field, he knows just how he’d spend some of his earnings.
All those hours spent parking other people’s rides haven’t dimmed Matthew’s appreciation for cars. “If I have enough money when I get older to have multiple cars,” he says, “one of them would be a ’67 Camaro.”
Not every first-year college student bumps into Selena Gomez and her entourage on Boston’s posh Newbury Street. Still fewer manage $1.2 million budgets.
Angela El-Jazzar did both just a few months after arriving at Suffolk, proof of some important truths about her new city and university.
Amazing things happen in Boston. You never know what—or who—is around the corner. And it’s up to you to seize every opportunity that comes your way.
“A lot of my friends went to rural schools,” Angela, Class of 2023, says, “and they didn’t have a quarter of the experiences I had my freshman year.”
Big Dreams, Bigger City
When you go to high school in Seekonk, Massachusetts, your go-to city is Providence, Rhode Island. But Angela looked north to Boston.
An aspiring corporate attorney, she hopes to attend law school and then one day open her own law firm.
Now that she’s a junior, she can already see her future sharpening into focus. Interning at the State House and pursuing her finance major and business law and ethics minor are both items on her to-do list.
“I knew I was in the right place,” she says of Suffolk’s prime location in the heart of everything Boston.
A Bit of Foreshadowing
Angela was excited to learn and live in Boston. That doesn’t mean she wasn’t nervous about finding her voice here.
She vividly remembers listening to University President Marisa Kelly address her incoming class at Convocation. “I was like, ‘I could never do that,’” Angela says. “I was a little shy girl that hated public speaking.”
The transition to campus life wasn’t her first big move, though.
Angela is Lebanese and spent the first 16 years of her life in Saudi Arabia and her ancestral homeland before moving to Seekonk in her junior year of high school. English isn’t her first language. Arabic is.
That’s why Suffolk’s sizeable international student population caught her eye. And that statistic came to life in a big way in Angela’s first-year housing.
She was randomly assigned to a 10-person suite in Smith Hall. “It was just like nine instant friends,” she says, “Americans, a Ukrainian, an Arab student, one from Spain. It was just a mix of food, music, and people.”
When they weren’t in class, Angela and her fellow Smith Hall residents met up for epic snowball fights and concerts on Boston Common.
“As an 18- or 19-year-old, you’re coming to have experiences,” she says. “You want to grab onto them—whether it’s a game or an event with a huge guest speaker. I was just so excited to meet new faces and become friendlier with a community I could call my second home.”
Campaigning on Campus
That sense of community—and the ties she formed with her professors and administrators—inspired her to become a campus leader.
“Freshman year, I ran for treasurer of the Student Government Association,” Angela says. “If I didn’t have such great connections, I would have never had the guts to run.
“I knew that any other school would look at me and be like, ‘How is an 18-year-old in charge of that money?’ Suffolk really built that self-esteem that maybe I didn’t have or maybe was looking for someone to fire up.”
And she didn’t stop there. Now she’s SGA president.
Commuting with Love
One of her chief constituencies is commuter students—a group she knows well because she’s one of them. The commuter rail whisks Angela back and forth from Boston to her home in Seekonk.
Her commute is her chance to unwind with a book, map out meeting agendas, or reread course syllabi to make sure she’s on track. “Other times,” she says, “it’s just putting on music and getting fired up for school.”
It also adds a touch of Hollywood glamor to her journey to Boston. Growing up in Saudi Arabia, Angela watched American movies about college students taking trains and daydreamed about riding the rails someday.
For Angela, trains are also a symbol of Ram pride.
“I have to love Suffolk enough to commute in every day for an hour,” she says with a laugh. “I’m so excited to be here, and talk to people, and take my classes. And the opportunity of South Station being just a 15-minute walk away is something I don’t take for granted.”
Addressing the Future
This September, Angela found herself in exactly the high-profile situation she never thought she could conquer: giving an address in front of hundreds of students.
Just as generations of SGA presidents have done before her, she confidently took the floor at Convocation to welcome the newest Rams to Suffolk and the city.
“These experiences were surreal to me,” she says of all that she’s accomplished. “They still are. I genuinely think if I went to a school with a traditional campus, I would still be as shy as I was when I moved here.”