Kate: We Made Our Mark

KateEvery January, about a week before classes start, the campus fills with girls—thousands of them—all getting ready for sorority recruitment.  Whether a sorority woman or a potential new member, everyone has a certain excitement and anxiousness that can only be found during recruitment.

Sorority Recruitment 2012
Sorority Recruitment 2012

This year, over 600 PNMs came out to the Marriot Hotel in Copley to “Make Their Mark” on Greek Life.  Only five days later, the same 600+ girls received their bids and excitedly joined their new sisters!

I’ll be honest, Greek Life is not huge at BU, definitely nothing like the “Go Greek or Go Home” schools I grew up around in the Midwest.  But we are a growing community and each year, more and more freshmen and sophomore women are joining the nine chapters we currently have on campus.  I went through recruitment as a freshman and it was a stressful, exciting, tiring, thrilling, and completely worth it week of small talk, pictures, cheering, and lots and lots of girls.   But without it, I wouldn’t have met some of my best friends on campus and future bridesmaids… yes, I went there with that cliché…but its true.

And in addition to the sisters, one thing about BU Greek Life that I really love is the support.  We attend each other’s philanthropy events, help when our community is in need, and encourage each other through everything.  Last year, the nine sororities worked together during Sigma Chi Derby Days, a weeklong philanthropy event to benefit cancer research, and raised almost $30,000! And when a house that members of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity live in caught on fire this semester, the entire community bought supplies and food to get them back on their feet. That service and support will always make me proud to be a member of the Greek community.

My Bid night!
My Bid night!

Greek Life at BU is one of those things that you get out what you put into it.  If you want to get really involved, that opportunity is absolutely available to you.  And if you want it to be one of the many different things you do on campus that’s fine too.  But it has provided me an incredible support system over the past year and given me some of the best experiences I’ve had at BU!

For more information about Greek Life, check out www.bu.edu/greeklife or @BUGreeks on Twitter!

Tom: Auditions, Auditions, and More Auditions

TomHey guys! The second week of classes only means one thing for students involved in theater on campus: Auditions.

While running between my own auditions, I figured I would share with you guys the procedure for auditioning for some of our theater groups on campus. For the purposes of this blog post, I’m only going to go into auditions for BU On Broadway and Stage Troupe, but there are also many other theater groups on campus you can get involved in!

First Up: BU On Broadway.

Here’s some background. BU On Broadway (OB) is our premier musical theater group on campus. The group typically puts on two shows a semester (this semester being Spring Awakening and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee). Like all extracurricular theater groups, everything is student run from its direction to its acting. Students are welcome to pitch shows as long as they have a director and musical director on the pitch and a committee, along with the executive board, choose the plays that go up each semester.

Now, how to audition. You are welcome to audition for both shows for the group, but are only able to be cast in ONE. After auditions and callbacks, the directors of both shows meet to discuss who is cast in what. Both directing teams are in the same room at the time of the audition, so to make it simple, you just need to prepare one song (16-32 bars) for both shows. If you are lucky enough to get called back for both, they will coordinate with each other to make sure everyone is seen. My favorite part of having two shows is that it casts many more people each semester, as opposed to having just one show that everyone is auditioning for.

Next Up: Stage Troupe.

Here’s some background. Stage Troupe is our oldest and largest theater group on campus. While they predominantly put on straight plays, students are also welcome to pitch a musical for the group. The group puts on four plays a semester ranging from works by Arthur Miller to more contemporary works such as Farragut North and Dog Sees God. The same as OB, students pitch the shows they are interested in directing. Slightly different from OB, the shows are voted on by the general membership.

Now, how to audition. For auditions, the directors are in different rooms, but you are still welcome to audition for more than one (or all) of the shows. In the same fashion as OB, the directors will meet at the end to discuss who is cast in what show. For any straight play you audition for, you do not need to come with anything prepared: The directors will give you a side from the show for a cold-read. If the show is a musical, you will need to prepare 16-32 bars of a song (like OB).

To wrap it up. I’m sure you guys are thinking right now: “wait… how do we know what group to audition for?” The best part is, both groups coordinate with each other as well so you can audition for both groups. You are definitely open to audition for all six shows put on my both groups if you so wanted. My first semester I auditioned for four of the shows and got called back for three. Let me tell you: it certainly was a rough callback night.  A word of advice: I would choose just a few shows to audition for.

That’s all for my audition guidelines. Stay tuned through the semester while I blog about everything from theater to advertising.

Anna: It’s not too early to think about summer!

AnnaHey everyone! I hope you all had an awesome winter break.

I can’t believe it’s January and I’m already getting started on my last semester at BU. Really though, every time I look at a calendar and see that it’s 2012, I get a little confused. Time really does fly by!

I recently decided to finish up my time at BU by going back to work at a place that has had a huge impact on me throughout the past four years. I’m talking of course about Boston University Orientation! I first started working there as a Program Advisor the summer after my freshman year and had an absolutely amazing time. Since then, I’ve worked in the office as an academic year Program Advisor and now I’m back as a Coordinator of Programs.

Not only have I met a ton of cool people through Orientation, but I’ve also learned a lot more about BU and what it has to offer… all while getting paid. (For everyone dreading finding an unpaid internship this summer, listen up!)

Each spring, Orientation and the Community Service Center (CSC) hire Program Advisors, Student Advisors, Community Advisors, FYSOP Coordinators, and CSC Program Assistants to work all summer long. As a Program Advisor in the summer of 2009, my main responsibilities were to help the parents of incoming freshman and transfer students learn about BU’s academic and social programs and also to introduce them to the city the Boston.

Whether you want to help parents (like I did) or you want to welcome new students to BU through Orientation or FYSOP, there is an opportunity for you at Orientation or the CSC.  Check out our website bu.edu/orientation for more info on specific jobs!

Now, I know you may be thinking, ‘Shouldn’t I be getting COM related internship this summer?’ Sure, you totally can. I’ve had three great journalism internships since being in college, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, but I will tell you that working for Orientation was an equally rewarding experience. I gained incredibly valuable communication and public speaking skills, networked with BU administrators and parents, and developed as a leader.

Also, working for Orientation or the CSC is just simply fun. You get to hang out with people from all over campus that you may have never otherwise met, and you get to stay in Boston for the summer (for free…housing is paid for)!

We are now currently accepting applications for Summer 2012 Leadership positions, so again totally check out bu.edu/orientation or bu.edu/csc for more information about some of the best summer jobs on campus. The application deadline is on Wednesday January 25th, though, so if you’re interested, get going!

Brittany: COM-portunities

Brittany

The last time you heard from me, I was interning at Chronicle on Boston’s WCVB Channel 5. I told you all what a great experience it was for me, but the best had yet to come. By the end of the summer, my hard work earned me the opportunity to be an associate producer for a segment of a show! I came up with my own story idea, organized, planned, made contacts, filled out paperwork, and accompanied the crew on the day of the shoot—all the responsibilities of a real (read: salaried) producer. The episode aired a few days after I left for school, and it was the best way I could have ended my time at the station.

After Chronicle, I started working for New England Sports Network (NESN) in the fall. I’m a Boston Bruins/Hockey East Studio Production intern—a position I’m convinced is the best job in Boston. When the Bruins are home, I ride along to the Garden, where I do one of many things—learn how to run tech equipment from the truck, stage manage the pre-, post-, and intermission reports from the in-house studio, or stage manage the color and play-by-play commentators from their booth. After the game, I usually run tapes of post-game interviews from the locker room to feed them back to the office. There’s a lot of running around the Garden, but there’s no place I’d rather be on game day.

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of work for Hockey East. I was the time out coordinator for the Frozen Fenway games (check out the picture that Dean Sabovik took off of the TV that day!), and I’ve put in countless hours working on Beanpot features in preparation for the tournament in February. My internship at NESN is so multifaceted, I never know what to expect as I walk in in the morning. COM has given me the preparation to handle whatever is expected of me at any given time, and complete the task at a professional level.

Last semester, I applied and got into a class going abroad to London this summer to cover the Olympics with COM. Come next year I will have graduated, and I’m so thankful that I will be able to cap out my three years at BU with such an amazing work experience. You can read more about it here: http://www.bu.edu/com/2011/12/13/students-tapped-to-cover-olympics-in-london/.

The point of my post is this—everything that I talked about truly is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Through COM, I’ve had opportunities and experiences that many college students can only dream of. I’m happy to answer any questions about internships that you might have, and I look forward to sharing my contacts with the next batch of COM students!

photo

Sarah: True Life: I’m an Intern

SarahHey terriers! While many begin the hunt for a summer internship, I thought I’d reflect a little on my own.

This past summer, I had the most incredible first internship a film student can ask for – being a production assistant on the set of a feature film. The Place Beyond the Pines, a film written and directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), and starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, began filming last July in Schenectady, NY. Schenectady might not sound familiar to you, but I grew up practically next-door. It was a BIG deal for such a small town.

Being on set was unlike anything I’ve ever done before. I gained practical knowledge, made connections and experienced feature filmmaking first-hand. It turned out to be the most rewarding (and brag-worthy) internship I could have hoped for. It was also the most overwhelming. I went through a trial and error period in the beginning, but I learned more from my initial uncertainty. Here are just a few things I picked up as a first-time film intern.

1. Comfortable shoes are essential.
Twelve-hour days are average. Fourteen-hour days are typical. Sixteen-hour days are not unlikely. Production assistants do not sit. Ever. You might get twenty minutes to scarf down lunch, but that does not guarantee you any time off of your feet. Flexible shoes with some support will help prevent throbbing feet at the end of the day. After day one, I ditched my tennis shoes for an old pair of running sneakers.

2. It takes a LOT of people to make a movie…
…and you have to know all of them. I was astonished to discover how many people it takes to make a feature film (this was a low-budget, independent film, mind you). Directors, producers, gaffers, electricians, personal assistants, sound mixers, location scouts, prop masters and makeup artists make for a substantial crew. When you consider all of the work done both before and after filming, the crew on set is just a portion of a larger team – a team of hundreds. As the eyes and ears of the assistant directors, production assistants are responsible for knowing who everyone is and what everyone does. Study up right away – there will inevitably be seven Mikes.

3. Filmmaking has its own lingo.
Do you know what sides are? A hero house? A squib? Neither did I. There isn’t any kind of vocabulary list you receive before hand, but nearly everything on set has some shortened ID. The key PA might brief you on your first day, but just like knowing every person on set, it’s your responsibility to know all of the terms used on set. It will mostly come with time and repetition, but doing some research beforehand can’t hurt.

4. Everyone is your boss.
The only position lower than a PA is an interning PA. There is a key PA who all others will generally report to and receive instructions from. The higher-ups will relay instructions, requests and problems to the key PA, who then delegates responsibilities to everyone else. It seems pretty common, however, for other crew memebers on set to ask a PA for assistance. Whatever they ask – do it. For me, most times it was someone asking for a pen or a new radio battery (or to hold an umbrella for Ryan Gosling so the rain won’t smudge his tattoos). If a crewmember asks you to do anything that requires you to leave set or an assigned post, make sure you tell the key PA. They must keep tabs on their minions at all times!

5. Days are long, but not necessarily busy.
On my first day, my key PA told me that the job involves doing everything and doing nothing – bizarre, yet true. There is no single responsibility of a PA. Tasks change with current needs and circumstances on set. Most days, my responsibilities required me to run around set for twenty minutes and then act as a human traffic cone for the rest of the day. It’s the nature of the business; I had to do my job so the actors and directors could do theirs. If you want to impress the crew, be the happiest, most attentive traffic cone on set. And don’t sit down!

6. Call sheets are tricky.
Call sheets hold SO much information. This one piece of paper holds almost everything you need to know for the day – call times, weather, scene numbers, props, location and the entire crew list. It isn’t of much use, however, if you don’t know how to read it. My key PA tried decoding it for me on my first day, but barely made it through the heading before he got pulled away. This is another thing you kind of have to learn through experience. The interns on set would often band together to decipher the scene descriptions. I found out, though, that interns are not the only ones who have trouble reading call sheets. The assistant directors would often joke about holding a Call Sheet 101 class.

If you have the opportunity to work on a movie set, take it! Maybe my rookie mistakes and lessons learned will help you through your first few days!

The Place Beyond the Pines is scheduled to release in the fall – go see it!

Richie: PDPs: Schedule a Bit of Time For Fun!

Richie

Now, we all know Boston University’s College of Communication is a top-notch school with the best in terms of academic classes, but we seldom hear about the other classes available to us as BU students.  It’s true, while completing our general requirements, we’ll likely be exposed to a wide variety of classes in the many colleges throughout our university.  We’ll probably take an incredible philosophy course or a foreign language course we’ll fall in love with.  But what I’m talking about are PDPs.

“What’s a PDP?” you may be asking yourself (along with the question, “Does BU purposefully abbreviate everything to confuse new students”).  I’ll be honest, don’t ask me what “PDP” exactly stands for, but I do know they’re BU’s Physical Education Credit Classes.  Offering an insanely huge amount of diversity, students can sign up from anything to rock climbing, yoga, or even scuba diving with a PDP course!  You can check out over a hundred different classes in categories like court sports, dance, mind and body, aquatics, and more!

Courses are usually somewhere in between 0.5 and 2.0 credits, and since our regular academic classes usually only take up 16 credits, why not fill up the remaining two credits available to you with a class like cardio-jazz funk?! Or if you have the GPA requirement for it, you could go crazy and literally overload with PDPs! (Yes, I am overloading with Hip-Hop, Tango, Springboard Diving, and Intermediate Sailing, but don’t judge me).  If your still hesitant to sign up for one (not sure why you would be after you read “rock climbing”) just think about all the added benefits.

For one, it would definitely have you visit the gym more frequently.  I know many of you are familiar with our state-of-the-art fitness center, but probably  only familiar with it from afar.  I’ll be honest, I visited the gym here in my entire freshman year probably a total of two times and know plenty of students that did the same.  Perhaps a cooking class that meets for two hours a week would help you learn a little more about FitRec.  It could even give you the little extra push you need to actually start visiting our gym independently!

You’re also bound to meet some great friends.  Whether you’re taking a class in something you already have an interest in and find people with common interests, or find someone who is just as clueless as you are about the class; you’re bound to make some great friends!

Finally, I know things can get hectic as a college student. With a part-time job, school work, and classes; scheduling some fun can be extremely beneficial.  Step out of your comfort-zone a bit and sign up for that dance class you’ve always wanted to learn.  The Pass/Fail system of PDPs won’t give you the same amount of stress a regular class would (since passing is only graded on attendance) and you’ll come out of it with a new skill.

By the way, you still have time to sign up for a PDP on the student link! As for me, I can’t wait for the weather to clear up and sailing to begin!

Jason: New Semester

JasonHey guys,

Well, here’s my first blog entry of the semester. Classes just started so I figured it’d be appropriate to talk about how my first couple went. I’ve only had my liberal arts classes so far, my film classes are tomorrow (although by the time you read this I will have had them) but for now I’ll just talk about my first day back.

First of all, I was skiing in Park City, Utah the week before I got back to Boston and it’s warmer there than it is at school; so that was a bit of a shock. Anyway, if you end up living in West Campus make sure you get to the bus pretty early through out the winter because EVERYONE will be waiting for the bus and they can’t all fit. I ended up taking the T took my first class because the bus was too crowded.

My first class was sociology of law and society. I’m taking this class because A) it’s applicable to the topic areas I want to cover in my documentaries and B) it fills a requirement. The professor is hilarious and we’re going to have the opportunity to sit on a criminal court case. After watching religiously watching every episode of SVU, that’s been a dream of mine for some time now.

The class immediately after is Spanish. Last year I switched from French so I can participate in the Madrid Film Studies and Documentary Video Production Program in the fall. Right I’m now at the 5th semester level so I’ll be all set to go next year. I can’t really say much because apparently the professor who taught the entire class yesterday was subbing for our real professor. Should be good though.

That’s about it on that front. It’s good to be back and I’m pumped for a great semester.

“TomKat”: Welcome Back!

Tom

Kate

Hey everyone! This is Tom and Kate – blogging together as “TomKat” – to bring you the launch of our blog site for 2012! This is the official Boston University College of Communication (BU COM) Ambassador Blog. This blog is written by our student COM Ambassadors for both new and prospective students to get a grasp about life at COM. If you are looking for a bit more on student life, you’ve come to the right place.

The CA program at COM features a select group of students who come from a variety of backgrounds and majors within the COM. We hope that no matter what your interests are, there is an ambassador that can help you out or at least point you in the right direction.

For more information on each student, check out our website: http://www.bu.edu/com/admissions/com-ambassadors/

All ambassadors are accessible directly through email, so if you’re wondering about anything at all BU-related, don’t be afraid to reach out.  That’s what we’re here for!

Stay tuned for regular blog posts, videos, and BU updates.  Welcome to COM!

Brittany: Summer Internship

Brittany Devane
Brittany Devane

Hey Terriers! I can’t believe how fast the summer is flying by! Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying the time off, but I’m definitely counting down the days until Scarlet Squad begins (you can find me running around Warren Towers during both move-in days!)

This summer I’ve been interning at the local ABC station, WCVB (that’s channel 5 for all of you locals) working on a show called Chronicle, a nightly news-magazine program. Before I started, I thought having an internship would mean making copies, getting mail and running for coffee. Boy, was I wrong… on my third day at the station, I went out on two different shoots with one of the producers! From staying late to sit in-studio for live broadcasts of the show, to helping brainstorm ideas for show content, my internship has been hands-on from the get-go.

The last two weeks have been particularly exciting for me. I had gone out on a shoot a while back for a show about Food Trucks in Boston, and while on set the producer had me take a bite of a sandwich on camera. Turns out, they used that shot in the final show! So there I was, in my on-camera debut for a major network, taking a huge bite of a pita. Even though I was just an extra, it was so cool to see myself on TV! (You can follow this link to see my shining moment—It’s at about 3:00 in: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/video/28480458/detail.html )

The highlight of my internship came one morning last week, as I was watching the show from the night before. As the credits rolled, I noticed that my name was on the screen! They ran a longer form of credits than they normally do, and all three Chronicle interns had our names included. Even though it was only a few seconds, Chronicle is an Emmy-award winning show—seeing my name broadcast as a part of that was surreal.

Brittany's Credit
Brittany's Credit

Internships are about exploring the field you’re interested in and getting some real-life experience in a professional job setting. Although I’m not looking forward to my days at Chronicle being over, I’m looking ahead to future internships, where I know other doors are waiting to be opened.  Next up, I’m looking for a sports journalism-related internship to try something new! But who knows, maybe someday my name will reappear in Chronicle’s credits as a more permanent fixture.