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Farewell to the Voice: Suffolk was the place for me after all

I’ll be honest, Suffolk University wasn’t my first college choice. Or my second.

The vision throughout high school was that my college classes would be somewhere along Commonwealth Ave. And if that didn’t work out, I always thought Huntington Ave. would be a decent detour.

Suffolk was smaller than BU and Northeastern, its resources and clout around town not as impressive.

Fast forward four years, however, and it’s pretty clear that Beacon Hill is where I belonged.

I’m not sure I quite understood that as a wide-eyed freshman, but I realized rather quickly that I was going to be just fine as a print journalism major at SU.

Sitting next to my pals on the set of Clash of the Rams.

Sitting next to my pals Jeremy Hayes and Jared Doherty on the set of Clash of the Rams.

My first Suffolk Voice meeting made that clear. It seems like yesterday that I wandered into a cramped room on the second floor of the Donahue Building and signed up for my first college writing assignment.

It wasn’t to cover one of Suffolk’s fall sports teams. It was, of all things, to recap that Friday’s Red Sox-Rays showdown at Fenway Park. Here’s my lede from Sept. 17, 2011:

On a night when chilly temperatures made it feel like October, the Red Sox may have sealed a playoff spot with an exciting 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.

The lede to my next Red Sox story, just two weeks later, was a bit different:

After eight years, two World Series championships, 744 wins, and the second-highest winning percentage in team history, Terry Francona is out as the manager of the Boston Red Sox.

Whoops.

And so that was the beginning of a wild and crazy ride as a member of the Suffolk Voice – and as a member of the Suffolk University community.

It was my work at the Voice that led me to an opportunity with a budding sports talk show that was set to premiere at Studio 73. Clash of the Rams: The Sports Talk Show was going to provide a platform for Suffolk students to analyze the latest issues and headlines dominating the Boston, national, and Suffolk sports scenes.

When classmate Jeremy Hayes asked me if I was interested, it was a pretty immediate answer: “Umm, yes…don’t you know I’ve always wanted to be on a sports talk show?” OK, I wasn’t that crass. But you get the idea.

Our first show in December 2011…let’s just say the only way to go was up:

And up we went. With lots of help from Studio 73 manager Jerry Glendye, the show blossomed quickly. We all soon seemed to find a home in front of the camera. (Although, I still can’t seem to figure out how to clip that damn microphone onto my lapel.)

We started from the bottom and now we’re here:

It was also during my first semester that I got what I consider the opportunity of a lifetime. I’ll never forget when, in early November, then managing editor Andy Deossa asked me to cover a Bruins game at the Garden.

I remember calling my parents to tell them the news. It was a dream come true.

When I walked into the Bruins locker room for the first time, it was all such a blur. But little did I know, I’d have plenty of time to cherish it (and perfect my avoidance of the big spoked-B in the middle of the floor).

During the fall semester of my sophomore year, I began exploring internship opportunities and I came across one that seemed impossible to pass over: BostonBruins.com web intern.

Now at this point, the NHL was in the midst of a lockout. I knew that if the season was scrapped all together, the experience would be diminished. But I applied.

And there is little doubt that, in addition to my work at The Boston Globe, my experience covering the Bruins for the Voice was one of the reasons that I got hired.

Trust me, I actually was happy to be manning the microphone during this Chris Kelly scrum at the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

Trust me, I actually was happy to be manning the microphone during this Chris Kelly scrum at the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

When I started in January of 2013, just prior to the spring semester of sophomore year, I once again couldn’t have envisioned what was ahead.

The lockout ended and the Bruins went on a magical run to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks. But those six months were the best six months of my life. Going to work everyday for the Boston Bruins at TD Garden was…well, it was awesome.

I witnessed TD Garden join as one to sing the national anthem in the days following the Marathon Bombings. I watched the Bruins pull off one of the greatest comebacks in sports history against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. I covered the Stanley Cup Final. I interviewed coach Claude Julien and players like Tyler Seguin. I got to know the writers and reporters I grew up hoping to be. And I gained invaluable experience.

Working the beat for a professional sports team as a college sophomore? I know how special that is and I make sure to cherish my time there.

But most importantly, I made friends and memories for life. At the Bruins, at the Globe, at Clash, and, of course, at the Voice.

I could not have scripted a better four years at Suffolk University. I was part of what I believe is one of the most underrated communication and journalism programs around. I learned from incredible professors. I became sports editor of the Voice. And I got to enjoy the city that I love.

I may have had grand visions of being a Terrier or a Husky. But being a Ram is what I was always supposed to be.

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