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Devon Fernandez, '13

Posted: 6/1/2015

Devon, what was your experience at HSP? I had a great experience at HSP. With the education of a private school, I was given time to create personal relationships with my teachers and really learn what they had to teach me. The smaller class size allowed me to focus more attentively and create strong work habits. I loved being able to brag to my college friends that I had an education at Hogwarts with our House system.

What’s your favorite HSP memory? One of my favorite HSP moments was my classes’ senior prank. It was fun to be able to come up with pranks that related to the personalities and inside jokes of each teacher. I decided to make my English teacher’s room scary because all the books we had read in his class that year had to do with murder or crime. The class put forth a really creative effort as we stayed there working hard till dark. I also remember how much I enjoyed being able to drive my Jeep onto the quad the next morning.
Tell us about your exciting Semester at Sea experience this spring semester! What inspired you to participate in this program? I have always wanted to study abroad for a semester, but couldn’t decide which country I wanted to go to. When I heard about Semester at Sea, sponsored by the University of Virginia, I realized this was the answer to my dilemma. I would go to twelve countries instead! Our ship left from Ensenada, Mexico with 650 students. For the next four months we visited 12 countries including Hawaii, Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Burma, India, Mauritius, South Africa, Namibia, Morocco, and England.

I got the chance to go caving in Vietnam, trek through the terraced tea plantations in the Munnar region of India, balloon over the ancient temples in Bagan, Burma, shark cage dive in South Africa, safari in the beautiful Namibian deserts, and spend some time in the Medina, market area, with my closest friends in Morocco. While I was at sea, I was enrolled in 4 courses including Marine Biology and Travel Writing. What I enjoyed most about the ship was the friendships I made with the other students. There was no cellular service or Internet connection, and this really allowed for close personal relationships to develop.
Do you have any interesting opportunities coming up? This summer I am interning at Transitions Productions in New York City. I am really excited to see the inner workings of a company that handles all aspects of production including pre-production, production, and post-production. I will have the opportunity to work on their film set for the Spartan Race this summer. I also can’t wait to explore all the vibrant city of New York has to offer.

What are your plans after you graduate?  Well, my dream has always been to work for the CW Network as a cinematographer. So, hopefully after I graduate I will be working for Warner Brothers and pursuing my dream as the director of photography on one of their television shows.

Would you like to share anything else? In the summer of 2014, I lived on a sailboat in the British Virgin Islands working hard to receive my PADI Professional Divemaster Certification for scuba diving. I spent hours studying for the tests and dived about 6 to 7 times a day to help assist instructors. I believe this was one of my proudest accomplishments.