By Anai Ramos
Pulse Staff Reporter
A 32-year-old returning adult student began his journey at Palo Alto College in 2012, but his hard work and dedication drove him to the Big Apple.
Oscar Gonzalez’s passion for gaming inspired him to create his own Original-Gamer website in 2008. While gaming, he decided to pursue journalism, and he knew PAC was the right place for him.
The knowledge he developed at PAC impacted his success. He learned what proper journalism was from his work on The Pulse. He had an idea of what it was, but he didn’t know what it meant to write news style until he took COMM 2311.
“Don’t settle for what’s comfortable. Being from San Antonio doesn’t mean you’re inferior,” said Gonzalez.
The Academic Honor recipient received his Associate of Arts in 2014, and his bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Texas A&M-San Antonio in 2016.
“He came into the program as a non-traditional student. He had a lot of digital media experience and advanced knowledge of social media and analytics. He was fabulous. He pulled together a very strong staff…really got us thinking about how to push the needle in terms of online leadership and audio engagement. He was a very strong reporter. He has a lot of tenacity and drive,” said Jenny Moore, director of Student Media at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
While attending TAMUSA, he was a social media manager, reporter and–in the end–editor in chief of The Mesquite. He produced his own podcast called JagCast, where he interviewed students and administrators.
His outstanding work and determination earned him multiple scholarships, honors and awards, including McGraw, Hearst, San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists, Society of Professional Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalist Pepsico Scholarship.
“I was his first interview on the podcast at A&M. That was the funniest hour I’ve had doing an interview,” said Allison Garcia, a former classmate and student body president of TAMUSA’s SGA in 2015-2016. “Always kept it important, getting the information, but you were engaged, and it was fun at the same time. We have such a great respect for him because he’s such a hard worker. He was there all day, every day, in that Mesquite Room. We saw him at every single event doing interviews right there with us. How can you not respect someone with such passion and grit?”
Gonzalez was eager to accomplish more. He saw a goal and ran with it. After researching, he decided to stretch his wings and make a move to New York City, where he attended City University of New York and received a Master of Arts degree in Journalism in 2017. In graduate school, he was a reporter for Times Square Investment Journal.
“He has the type of ambition that he doesn’t give up. He will follow his dreams through. He is very presentable, modest, confident, always prepared, ready for his next interview. You knew he was going places,” said Armando Padilla, a former classmate at Palo Alto and Texas A&M.
Gonzalez has worked for the San Antonio Current, NBC, CBS Radio, The Street, Inverse and WNYC. He is currently a staff reporter for CNET in New York.
While in New York City, he has reported a variety of stories, including speaking to local politicians, health stories, stock market, video game reviews, health science, transportation, politics, pop culture, technology and business.
Gonzalez’s ultimate goal is to take a senior role at a news outlet, not only planning news for the day, but to guide it to become better.
Despite his busy work week, he enjoys video games, watching movies, catching comedy shows, collecting shoes and hanging out with friends. A few things he misses about his hometown is the Tex-Mex food and lower rent.
Gonzalez never thought he would be in New York, living his dream.
“When it came down to it, the more I progressed, the more it made sense that I had to be here. I really can’t stress enough the importance of not falling into the self-defeatist trap that comes in San Antonio,” said Gonzalez “When I decided to move to New York, I was constantly asked why risk it and just stay where I’m at. I thought I was going to be so far behind the people that I would meet up here and embarrass myself. The reality was so much different than expected, and I can’t stop thinking how many people I knew from San Antonio who could easily make it in New York.”