Ohio State alumna Zuri Hall will interview plenty of celebrities as a correspondent for E! News this award-show season, but she probably won’t get starstruck.
“I don’t get starstruck very often because my father always raised me to believe that we’re all just humans at the end of the day, some of us with really cool jobs, some of us with with really cool talents, some of us with really good looks,” Hall said.
Hall, a 2010 graduate in strategic communication, said she knew she wanted to be in the spotlight from an early age. In her time at OSU, she pursued these passions through involvement with Ohio Union Television and the Black Student Theater Network.
It was not until a few months before she was set to graduate from OSU that Hall fell into television hosting. A television station in Indianapolis was looking for a new face, and Hall was hired right out of college. Shortly after, in 2011, Hall won a regional Emmy in Indiana for her hosting. Since then, she has hosted for the NBA, the Super Bowl, MTV and since July 2015, E! News.
“It’s been a long time coming and it’s a network that I’ve wanted to be at for a long time so I’m happy it all worked out,” Hall said.
With the E! Network, Hall got to conduct interviews with athletes at the most recent Olympics in Rio, which she described as a “bucket list moment.” Sharing the stories of those athletes and the celebrities on red carpets during award-show season is a special experience for Hall.
“I just feel really blessed when I’m a part of sharing a moment, even if I’m just a middleman, or I’m the person who got you the content that you were interested in getting,” Hall said. “That is special to me.”
Having been a Morrill Scholar on academic scholarship, Hall said she took academics very seriously during her time at OSU, but she found that her experiences in internships and the like outside of class were the most valuable in getting jobs.
“Some people made it seem like it was more about the books and the exams, the book smarts, and they didn’t put as much emphasis on experience,” Hall said. “I don’t think that people emphasized that enough to me. I was just lucky that I did it and then when I graduated I realized it’s really what saved me.”
Hall also attributes her success to her ability to adapt to the changing media landscape, and she is heavily involved in social media, boasting close to 95,000 followers on her personal YouTube channel. She said having a social media presence is imperative in order to stay with the times, but it’s also something she has fun with.
“YouTube and social media, those are just fun platforms for me to have a direct connection,” she said. “No matter where you may go, no matter what TV station you may go to or what job you may have next, the social media platform is yours to keep and those supporters stay with you.”
During her time at OSU, when she was not doing school work or internships, Hall did what most college students do.
“Outside of theater and television stuff, I just liked laying out on The Oval,” she said. “For me it was all about hopping up and down High Street, eating Cane’s every other day. I was pretty chill when I wasn’t in class.”
Often prompting her YouTube subscribers from around the country to throw up the I-O in response to her O-H, Hall described herself as an obnoxiously proud Buckeye.
“I love Columbus, those were some of the best years of my life and I still feel like if there’s one place in the country that I could raise a family happily, it would be Ohio,” she said. “The tricky part is this whole career that has to happen in LA.”