Suneet Mahandru is a graduate student at Hofstra University, where in August of 2016 she will receive a Master of Arts degree in Journalism. She initially pursued a career in law, graduating from Hofstra in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. While studying for the LSAT, Suneet watched a reporter interview Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, and a friend suggested that she would make a better reporter than the one on screen. Initially wanting to be a lawyer to be a “voice for the voiceless,” she realized that she could do this in another way – by telling their stories herself. Thus, she began to pursue a career in Journalism.
As a participant in the NBC News Digital News Journalism Program, affiliated with the New York Film Academy, she built the foundation for being a great digital journalist by learning how to shoot, edit, write, direct, and produce shows and packages. She then became a Game Operations Intern for the New York Islanders, where she not only produced her own packages and assisted in athlete interviews but also coordinated in-game graphics during live games. As a freelance journalist, she helped family and friends preserve events and memories through video as well as photography. Once she returned to Hofstra University to pursue her graduate degree, she continued to tell stories within the sporting world; covering everything from the New York Giants’ 2008 Super Bowl victory to the impact that the 2015 closing of Nassau Coliseum had on an usher who had worked at the venue for fifteen years. She also discovered her love of photojournalism, covering local events such as Hofstra athletic events, a local farmer’s market, and a religious service.
Upon completion of her graduate studies, Suneet hopes to begin her career as a professional journalist the same way she started as a journalism student – with a passion and commitment to telling the stories of those who cannot tell it themselves.