Rutgers Student Profile: Ariel Lopez

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Hometown: North Plainfield, NJ

Major: Economics

Year: 2014

Major Interests: Music, Food, Cooking, Economics, Science

AB: Being from North Plainfield, why did you choose to come to Rutgers-New Brunswick? Was it your first choice? What other colleges were you accepted into? Do you believe you made the right choice?

AL: Rutgers-New Brunswick was definitely not the university I wanted to attend, it was my last choice and “safety school”. I applied to several other universities but due to the amount of financial aid I received from Rutgers and the lack of support I got from other schools, I had to choose Rutgers. I did not want to attend Rutgers because it was so close to home and I knew I would know an immense amount of people that would be attending in the fall. I also wanted to attend a university where I wouldn’t know anyone, it would’ve been sort of a fresh start but now that I attend Rutgers, I have fallen in love with it. 

You entered Rutgers on the Animal Science/Pre-Vet track but changed your major to Economics, what was the motivating factor behind the switch? Do you ever find yourself wanting to go back to the science field?

Organic Chemistry. Although I appreciate “Orgo”, it deterred me from continuing science for eight more years. I switched to Economics because I have always been fond of business and at the time I was in a learning community for business majors, where we took several Economics courses such as Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. I would say it was probably one of the most helpful courses I have ever taken. I could read a newspaper or watch the news and fully understand what was being said.

Something about you people don’t know is that you came into college already accredited as a junior. Do you think that was both a gift and a curse, as you only needed two years of college to receive your Bachelor’s Degree but you also aren’t allowed to get the full undergraduate experience of being in college for four years?

It absolutely was a gift and a curse. It was a gift because I could graduate early, save myself a ton of money and also not have to deal with a lot of the annoyance that comes with being a first-year like WebReg shutting down on me. But at the same token it was a curse because I had to figure out what I wanted to do and did not have a lot of time to explore my options. I also did not have a lot of time to find an internship, job, or make a huge impact in a lot of things I would have liked to.

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We established a friendship through our work with the Rutgers radio station, 90.3 The Core. Anyone who knows you, knows that you’re a busy body. Why do you choose to be so active, what other clubs are you planning to join next year?

I have always been extremely involved and overly busy but I also know the importance of giving back to your community and I am a firm believer in that. I also feel that I am the most disciplined when I have a lot of things on my plate. As of now, I don’t think I’ll be joining any other organizations this year.

You’re also involved in the Society of Dominicans which is an on-campus club that promotes Dominican heritage at Rutgers. How important is spreading Dominican pride and raising the Dominican voice around RU to you?

Although I think raising the Dominican voice and spreading Dominican pride is important at R.U., I don’t think it’s more important than unifying the Latino community together. With this club, I am hoping to join together with other Latino organizations to make the Latino voice as a whole more heard on campus.

Last summer you worked as a counselor for the New Student Orientation, how gratifying was that experience? I’m sure it was hectic getting all those new, overzealous kids acclimated to R.U.

By far the best job I have ever had. It was more than an incredible experience. For one, it did not feel like work. I learned and gained so much from the program and all the inspiring people that I was around and got to meet. They taught me more about myself and life in six months than I could have ever imagined and I am extremely grateful for that.

We often talk about you wanting to do something in music management, where did this love for music stem from and what exactly do you want to do in the industry (A&R, Talent agent, performance production)?

I am not sure where my love for music stemmed from. It is sort of indescribable, I just can’t go a day without music but its more than that. It’s more than just the way the music soothes every emotion I could be feeling or the excitement I get from hearing new music, it’s just something I love and cherish. In the music industry, I pretty much want to do it all, I want to be well-versed and be able to handle and manage everything about an artist. My goal is to be the next P. Diddy, if not better.

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Since you’re pretty active around the Rutgers community I’m sure you have had your fair share of good memories. What would you say has been your most memorable Rutgers moment, and why?

My most memorable Rutgers moment would by far be the entire summer of 2012, which was when I spent the entire summer here as an orientation leader. I gained some of my closest friends, had incredible life changing experiences, and grew the most I have ever grown as a person. I will never forget the summer of 2012 thanks to Rutgers.

Lastly, where do you see yourself in ten years? Married? Traveling? Trying to achieve another degree?

In ten years, I see myself traveling quite often, being a manager in the entertainment industry with different artists and hopefully having already completed another degree or working towards another one. I would like to get married in that time but do not want to put any pressure on that, I am “low-key” superstitious.

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