Small school offers big opportunities

By Jake Verterano
April 6, 2010

Opportunity. You never know when a chance to do something incredible for your future will come up. It could happen when you least expect it and you need to be prepared at all times for every and anything that may occur.

I can honestly say that I’ve never had the chance for more opportunity than at Cabrini College. I’ve taken every chance I got and capitalized on it.

As a communication major I received a chance to show who I am and what I’m capable of on my very first day of classes. As a freshmen you are given a chance to take on a unique program called “Real Life in the Media.” You get the chance to work side by side with a medium of your choice at school (something that is usually not permitted until your sophomore year).

I was able to observe how Cabrini’s newspaper, The Loquitur, really works and get the inside details within a week of being in the school. I knew then I had chosen the correct major.

Since that Intro to Mass Com class I’ve been involved with every single media there is to offer at Cabrini College. I became the Arts & Entertainment Editor for the newspaper as well as the Graphic Designer. Currently, I’m one of the Web editors for the Web site. I would not have had these positions without proving myself and doing twice the amount of work that was asked of me.

I’m a DJ on the radio station at Cabrini, WYBF 89.1 FM “The Burn.” I have the chance to host my own weekly radio program and have creative control. It’s like being in my own world for two hours and just having fun while producing something incredible for my portfolio. I also had the chance to conduct a live audio interview with “Project Runway” star, Tim Gunn, as part of WYBF.

While my written and audio accomplishments have gotten me far, it’s my video skills that have really made me proud of my work. I created the concept for “Loqation,” our school’s web video program. I was the original news anchor and am now the entertainment producer and entertainment anchor. I have done triple the amount of videos for the show than every other student in the class has done.

Since “Loqation” I have created my own entertainment based program, “The Dirt Sheet.” I direct, produce, anchor and edit the entire program along with Gianna Shikitino. We took something fresh and an idea that was ours and ran with it. We weren’t afraid and it has paid off. Within a week we received more views than any episode of “Loqation” has ever gotten.

All of this hard work paid off in the end. I was chosen as project manager for a class called convergence. In this class you create a Web site using your multimedia skills and work as a team with your other students. While this class may be a huge obstacle, in the end you really feel accomplished knowing you put something together.

It might sound scary. All this work, all this media…but you don’t have to do it all. It’s your choice. It’s how much of the opportunity you’re given you want to take. If you’re okay with just doing enough to get by, that’s awesome.

But if you want to be the best, then be the best. Do more than what’s required, step up.  Don’t let professors or peers tell you what you are capable of. Only you know and only you can accomplish it. I am proof of this statement and Cabrini College has helped me realize that.

I have never backed down from an academic challenge and I have never quit. I never will. I won’t stop until I’ve reached my goal of being in the entertainment industry.

Over the next four years, remember who you are and remember your strengths. You might even find a few new ones along the way. Just be true to yourself…and when opportunity knocks, answer the door.

Jake Verterano

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