Her Campus Hofstra has some badass women, so let’s meet them!
Up this week we have: Madie Mento, Her Campus Hofstra Co-President
Major: Public Relations
Minor: Spanish, Photography
Hometown: Somerset, NJ
Member Since: September 2017
Why did you join Her Campus?
“I joined Her Campus my freshman year because I was walking around the club fair and Jessica Harrington was the President at the time. She seemed super enthusiastic and the table looked really nice. So, I walked over and I’ve never heard of anything like it before, and once I found out about the organization, it just felt like somewhere that I belonged.”
What is your favorite part about being involved in Her Campus?
“My favorite aspect of Her Campus as an organization is the opportunity to grow. There are so many positions you can move up in and there are so many ways to get involved. It is not just writing. My favorite part about our group specifically is that we are all very different. I think we all have similar interests, but we all come from very different backgrounds and experiences and I think we all bring something unique to the table. It’s always a surprise, at every meeting, every time I talk to a Her Campus member, I never know what to expect, in a good way.”
What is your favorite Her Campus article you have done?
“Last fall I wrote an article called ‘Everything You Need to Know about Hempstead High‘ because it’s the high school that is right around the corner from us. I was the director of the tutoring program at the time, and I was tutoring there. I was seeing the disparity of wealth on Long Island first-hand. It was something I got really passionate about and then I realized that no one else knew about it. I wanted to push it as an issue because it doesn’t matter what gender you are — educational inequality is a people’s issue. I thought that was important and I got a lot of good feedback on it.”
What is your favorite punctuation?
“I am going to say the colon because I love lists. I love leading into lists and I love a good introductory list.”
What else are you involved in on campus and what is your involvement like?
“I was definitely involved in a lot more things before this year, but I dropped a lot of things to focus on what is most important to me this year. Right now, I am Co-President of Her Campus Hofstra, and I am a Student Assistant in University Relations. I write articles for them, I do the TikToks, I am doing vlogs now, which is exciting. I do a lot of event coverage for them, and so I’m basically at every Hofstra event doing social media. I also go to the gym every morning. I take the fitness classes, and my favorite is the spin class.”
What was your study abroad experience like?
“I was studying abroad in Granada, which is in the south of Spain. It is near the tip of Spain, actually relatively close to Morocco. I was studying abroad for four weeks with the program Sol Education studying Spanish for my Spanish minor. It was amazing and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I got to swim in the Mediterranean Ocean; it was so nice and so clear! But, I think the culture was the best part. Everyone is so nice, and everyone is so much happier there. Life was just better there.”
What was it like being a part of Hofstra’s TikTok within University Relations?
“It was introduced to us by Carley Weinstein, the social media director of Hofstra. She saw how Tyrone, the other University Relations Student Assistant, and I worked together, and she said ‘I have this idea, lets run with it’. The platform is very popular in China, so she wanted to market it to our international students, which is really cool, and it’s been very popular so far. I think we definitely succeeded in that. I’m not that into memes. I’m not really with the trending stuff. I just know what makes a quality video and the type of platform it is. It’s very quick, funny and kind of cheesy, but it embraces its cheesiness. So, I feel like we’ve embraced that to make good videos. Some of them have been very corny, I will say that, but we love making them and I think people like watching us because we look like we have fun.”
What is your overall take on social media?
“My current opinion is that Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are becoming more corporate, and it’s becoming a business tactic and marketing strategy rather than a personal platform “for fun.” Facebook originated as a way to connect with people you’ve lost touch with, Instagram originated as a photo-sharing app, and then Twitter was for quick thoughts, and now it’s all moved and it’s definitely corporate. I might just be saying that because I do two jobs in social media, but especially with influencers and with Instagram brand-building, everything is becoming ‘do this, buy that.’ It is very much how magazines used to be for our moms. Now it’s on a digital platform. You see an influencer in the same way that you see a model, and they say it’s real life, but now it’s becoming all these manipulated toxic displays of something that is not attainable. I think it’s great for people who want to do it as their life but people who don’t work in it, everyday average people who want to use social media need to be more media literate. You can’t trust everything you see there – and don’t take it so seriously because you are going to hurt yourself.”
What is your relationship with #hustleculture as a communications student?
“There is validity in hustling your ass off and working hard to achieve your dreams. I think where it turns into hustle culture is when people lose sight of their dreams just to be working hard. There is NO reason to be working hard for the sake of hard work. Everyone should be a hard worker, you should be dedicated, but if you are not dedicated to something, what are you doing? Especially when I was in Spain, it really taught me that there is so much more to life than just working. It is not the only part of life that is important, and you have to find other things in life to satisfy you. If you are only working hard for the sake of hard work, that’s not a life I want to live. You need to work hard for the sake of your dreams because you know it’s going to get you somewhere that you want to be.”
What is something that New Jersey has that Long Island/New York is missing out on?
“The diners, but I don’t think it is possible to put a New Jersey diner in Long Island.”
What is the biggest misconception about New Jersians?
“That we know Snooki. Literally, Snooki is from Long Island! We don’t all know Snooki. I don’t know why everyone has asked me that! And I don’t have an accent. I feel like New Jersey people get so attacked.”
“So, the south of Spain was not my dream place to travel to before I went there, but it would 100% be my first plane ride back if I could go anywhere right now. But, the next place I want to go to, like really, so badly want to go to is Holland. I want to see the tulips. I have wanted to go there for so long, the Netherlands and Amsterdam.”
What do you want to do when you graduate?
“I have about 20 different directions I want to go in, but I’ve narrowed it down to three right now. They are starting my business right away, joining AmeriCorps for a year, which is like the Peace Corps in America, or moving to the city and get a job right out of college. I would really like to start my own PR firm in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). I want to go into working with companies to be more sustainable and to be better for the future and to have better practices — how to get the company to do that and then get the message out to people. I think I would be good at it so I kind of feel like I want to do that.”
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“I wanted to be so many things! First, I wanted to be a pop star, then I wanted to be a veterinarian, then I wanted to be a spy for a little while, then I wanted to be a racecar driver. I wanted to be that for like a year, that was a long time, and then I realized they can die (I watched Herbie Fully Loaded and then I was like ‘no’), and then I wanted to be a pop star again. I always kind of wanted to be famous. Anything I was going to be, I was going to be famous at it. Like, I was just going to be a celebrity because that’s “big Leo energy.” And then, I wanted to be an actress, and that lasted for like four years. I was just like ‘yeah I’m going to be an actress.’ And then, I just decided my only dream in life is to own my own foster home instead of having my own children. So that’s what I now say is my big dream because that’s the only thing I’m sure of.”
What is the best class you have taken?
“Probably Photography 5 in High School.”
Do you have a mantra?
“I got a tattoo of it, ‘Keep Moving Forward.’ I got a tattoo of an arrow to remind me time always moves forward, so you have to move forward.”
What is something you try to teach others?
“I want everyone to know that the present person they are is enough, so they should be staying in the present because everything is changing so quickly. I have had my share of mental health issues, but one of the ways that I have coped with my anxiety is remembering that this moment is so unique and it is never going to come back, so you might as well be here now because it is the only time you get to be here.”
What is one thing you do or have that makes you feel like you have your life together, at least just a little bit?
“I just started getting my nails done regularly. I now go every month to get a manicure because having my nails done makes me feel like an adult.”
What is the best gift you have received?
“Ok, so the right answer is my parents sending me to Spain this summer and I am so grateful for that, thank you, parents. However, they also got me Sam Smith tickets in 2013, and that was one of the best days of my life.”
Do you have any pet peeves?
“Yes. I have a few. I really hate when people put the empty box back in the cabinet whenever they take the last thing it had in it. I don’t do well with spelling mistakes. I am definitely impatient with spelling mistakes. If I see you have a spelling mistake, I cannot control myself, I have to say it. When professors don’t erase everything they have written on the board and there are still marks of pen on the board, I literally want to scream. I can’t list anymore, I’m going to get rilled up.”
Do you have a celebrity idol who you look up to?
“So, not necessarily celebrities, but I really look up to the founders of The Skimm, Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin. I don’t look up to a lot of famous people, like celebrities and stars, because I think famous people are fake. But, I look up to a lot of female entrepreneurs.”
Do you have a go-to power outfit?
“Yes. I used to, but I don’t anymore because I grew out of it. In high school I had this totally basic blazer, but then I would wear it with jeans and a white t-shirt, which I definitely still have and could put that together now, but I can’t get the image out of my mind of the specific t-shirt, jeans, and blazer because it just made me feel so important, like, ‘I am hot shit.’ That outfit was important to me.”
What is your favorite fashion trend from any era?
“I hated them for a while, but I’m really into bell-bottom jeans right now.”
Least favorite fashion trend?
“The sandals from the ’00s that have no strap on the back!”
What are your phobias?
“I have a fear of wet food. If you put a chip in a glass of water, I’ll probably pass out.”
Do you believe in ghosts?
“No, but I believe in spirits. I do believe that one time I was doing laundry and my great-grandmother spoke to me. I feel I have a very deep connection with her. She passed away when I was 16, so I was pretty old and I knew her well. She didn’t say anything to me, I just felt her presence. I just felt like she was there.”
If your life could be told in a movie, a book or a playlist, how do you think it would best be retold?
“Honestly, I have this playlist on my Spotify called BIG LEO ENERGY, and I think it’s pretty accurate.”
If you could make up your own national holiday, what would it be?
“National Redhead Day. There is National Kiss a Redhead Day, but I think that’s a little inappropriate.”
“The Doll People.”
“Good Will Hunting.”
“The Hannah Montana Movie.”
Favorite childhood TV show?
Most essential part of your morning routine?
“Taking off my gym clothes and putting on my robe to get in the shower.”
Favorite part of your nightly routine?
“I would say using my Dermalogica exfoliator because, wow, it gets all the sh** off my face.”