Bio: Serving as Vice President of Digital News for Altice USA, Chris Vaccaro ‘11 oversees the digital platforms for News 12, i24, News 12 Varsity and other media properties. He is also an adjunct journalism professor at Hofstra University and LIU Post and the Executive Director of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame. Vaccaro is the author of six books and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, ESPN and Sports Illustrated. He previously served as Editor-in-Chief of The Topps Company and as an editor for the New York Daily News and AOL.
Job Title and Company: Vice President, Digital News at Altice USA
Stony Brook Degree: MA in Public Policy, Class of 2011
What piece of advice would you offer students looking to get into your area of interest and expertise?
Take advantage of every opportunity around you. Extra-curricular activities in college are probably the most important aspect of your well-rounded academic experience because of the lessons you can learn and the people you can meet. If you utilize the opportunities effectively, you can build your resume and Rolodex at the same time and it will do wonders for you at various points of your life and career.
How do you think experiential learning (internships, service-learning, volunteering, etc.) impacts career success? Have you ever participated in experiential learning?
I’m biased because I’m a journalist and the only way to learn is to write and tell stories. I have been an experiential learner since my freshman year at Sachem High School. Every angle of my career has related to key out-of-classroom experiences that allowed me to grow and build very specific skills that I have used throughout my career.
How did you decide to enter into your field of work?
I was positively impacted by my parents and then guided by some very passionate teachers in high school who pushed me to try new things. That led to an experience at my high school newspaper in my freshman year that I have been building on ever since. The ability to tell stories about things happening around me that affect large amounts of people is a privilege.
In what ways can students make the most of their free time?
What’s free time? Your time should be budgeted so that you are balancing your work, striving to reach your goals and making time for your family and friends. As a student, your free time should be used to grow, or at least flex your thoughts to think about ways to get ahead. Always challenge yourself to be better. You’re not going to achieve your goals sitting around worrying about free time. You’re going to be successful because you outworked everyone in your way.