Kaitlin: Unleashed PR

Kaitlin ImageInternship.  The ten-letter word has the power to totally freak out college kids.  Thoughts of how to land a dream internship causes students to panic and lay awake at night, because sometimes it’s hard to get your start and find hearty experience to put on your resume.  Luckily, the Boston University chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (BU PRSSA) realized this and created Unleashed PR in response.

Unleashed PR is the BU PRSSA student-run public relations firm, which provides students with real-world experience. Students have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real clients, gaining hands-on experience to build their resumes and portfolios, which in turn, sets them up for internships and jobs.

I had the opportunity of experiencing two completely different sides of Unleashed PR- being an Account Executive for a client, and running the show.

Last year, I was happy to be placed on the Sweat and Soul Yoga account.  I worked on a team with four other students, and we spent the Spring semester brainstorming ways to increase the yoga studio’s clientele through fun and creative campaigns and events.  I learned so much about writing press releases, pitching to clients, and creating campaigns, all before I even took my first Public Relations class.  And the best part? I was able to put all of this on my resume.  After all, it was real-life work for a real-life client.

This year, my experience with Unleashed PR was entirely different.  With my friend Ellen Cohn, I decided to step up to be the Agency Director, or in fancier terms, the Vice President of Public Relations.  Although it was tough, this was the perfect opportunity to see exactly how a firm runs from the top.  I managed the student teams for clients like Inside Films, Project Mailbox, Sweat and Soul Yoga, Zaarly, Of Rags, and NYC rapper Hassan Salaam.  The wide range of clients allowed me to see inside the fashion, non-profit, technology, consumer, and entertainment PR fields.

Working with Unleashed PR as an Account Executive as well as an Agency Director has been invaluable.  Taking that first step into the public relations world can be terrifying, but I did it with ease through this internship-like experience.  So if you didn’t know where to start, now you do! Any member of BU PRSSA is more than welcome to join the team! Email me or visit buprssa.com for more information.

Dany: A Very PC Weekend

Daniela ImageHey everyone! Since coming back from spring break, I’ve had only one thing on my mind: SPF’12!

For those of you who don’t know, I’m part of the Executive Board of Programming Council, which is BU’s student-run organization that puts on really awesome events throughout the year. This year, we have brought you PC Glow, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mr. and Ms. BU, Winter Weekend, Back Bay Ball, and tons more. Our final event of the year was this past weekend. It was called SPF ’12 (for Spring PC Frenzy!) and it consisted of a free concert at the House of Blues featuring Gym Class Heroes and a free comedy show in Metcalf featuring Michael Ian Black!

If you came out to either event this past weekend, thank you so much for making PC’s last event of the year so wonderful. I want to emphasize how awesome an experience I had and encourage everyone who’s interested in helping out with next year’s events to come to our meetings on Wednesdays at 7pm in SAO!

Now that I have that shameless plug out of the way, I’m going to tell you just how awesome an experience this was and how much I love being a part of PC.

The evening started off normal enough for an event. We arrived at the House of Blues early and made sure everything was running smoothly in terms of tickets and equipment. We divvied up tasks and got ready for doors to open. One of my friends who, along with being a PC Event Manger, is also an editor for the Daily Free Press, told me frantically that the reporter that was supposed to come interview Gym Class Heroes could not make it. She was nervous and didn’t want to do the interview alone, so I eagerly offered to do it with her. I am an opinion columnist for the Daily Free Press, and because of my COM education, I knew how to conduct a journalistic interview.

I never expected when I woke up on Friday morning that in a few hours I would be sitting in a small room backstage at the House of Blues shaking hands with Eric and Matt of Gym Class Heroes. I was still reeling from the group hug that Travie McCoy (the lead singer) had insisted on with all of PC backstage before going on. The interview went flawlessly, and I have to attribute a lot of it to my COM education.

One of the things I love about COM is how all of the majors relate to each other, no matter what class you’re taking. There is a synergy among all the fields that make it fascinating to study. I love that even though I am a Public Relations major, I was able to use some journalistic skills I had picked up on in CO201 and deliver a great interview.

The next night, we had Michael Ian Black perform at Metcalf. PC perks meant meeting up with him after the show and getting a group picture. I’m quite short, and somehow I ended up standing a little bit behind him. I had to stand on my tiptoes and lean against his shoulder for the shot. I think that surprised him, and it came out really funny in the picture.

All in all, I had an incredible weekend. It’s a great testament to the many amazing opportunities I have because I’m here, and I’m so glad to be a part of BU and COM and PC. I hope to see some of you in our meetings this semester and next fall. I promise you won’t regret it!

Lauren: The COMmunicator’s Got No COMpetition

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It was just a typical day when Ashley Waxman, a first-year graduate student here at COM, stopped by one of my COM classes to talk about “The COMmunicator,” the official newsletter for the Department of Mass Communication, Advertising and Public Relations at COM.  She encouraged the students in my class to attend one of their meetings, and lured us in with the prospect of free cookies and baked goods.  I figured that I would give it a shot and was pleasantly surprised by what “The COMmunicator” had in store for me!

I quickly learned that “The COMmunicator” gives its readers insight into anything and everything that is going on in the MC/AD/PR Department!  From special awards that COM has received, to cool upcoming events and interviews with successful alumni who are working in the industry, “The COMmunicator” covers it all!  All the writers, editors and staff members are graduate or undergraduate students at COM and their website contains blogs, funny videos (check out “Good COM/Bad COM”) and tons of articles relating to everything COM.

Before I knew it, I was placed on the marketing team for The COMmunicator.  We meet once a week in the COM study lounge and brainstorm creative ways to promote the website!  We come up with clever designs for the flyers we hang around the COM buildings and research happenings in COM and the Boston area to tweet or post about on Facebook.

Working on “The COMmunicator” has helped me feel more connected with COM than ever before!  I definitely suggest that any students who want to get more involved with COM check out “The COMmunicator!”  They are always looking for students to write articles or help with their marketing/social media efforts!

The COMmunicator” will also be hosting a special event on Thursday, April 12th that will feature COMpetition, COMedy and much more!  Keep an eye out for more information!

Get connected with “The COMmunicator”:

Website: http://bucommunicator.com/

Blog: http://bucommunicator.com/categories/five/

Twitter: @bucommunicator

Facebook: BU COMmunicator

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Kate: PR Advanced: Unleash Our Generation Recap

Kate ImageThis past weekend, I partook in PR Advanced, an annual conference hosted by the BU Public Relations Student Society of America as a participant and a member of the planning committee.  Each year we bring together 200 students from across the United States (people came all the way from Ohio and Louisiana!) for a keynote speech, breakout sessions, a career panel, and a career fair.  Our keynote speaker this year was unfortunately snowed in and unable to make it to the conference.  But there to save the day were Kenneth Elmore, BU Dean of Students, and Professor Steve Quigley, PRSSA 2011 Educator of the Year, to fill in, offering students advice on where to take their careers.  In this day and age, students have many options after graduation:

  • Agency vs. Corporate
  • Corporate vs. Government vs. Non-profit
  • B2B (business to business) vs. B2C (business to consumer)
  • Start-up vs. Established Company

And with so many options, PR students must understand the importance of culture and finding a niche where they feel comfortable.  These motifs continued throughout the day.  In the start-ups breakout session, BU alum Kris Ruby shared her story.  Knowing her strengths and the market, she decided to take advantage of the changing field and started her own social media and PR firm.  Tom O’Keefe a.k.a. Boston Tweet and Joseline Mane, co-founder of Boston TweetUp, shared how they are using social media to further their careers.

After lunch, student attended a career panel with representatives from across the field of communication.  Brandi Boatner, an external relations professional at IBM, showed that B2B communication can be just as exciting as traditional B2C.  And Mike DiSalvo (probably my favorite speaker of the day) from Ogilvy reminded students to have fun in an interview because that’s when you know the culture is a right fit for you.

Ending the day was the career fair.  With a company as small as Ruby Media Group (four employees) to Burson-Marstellar, one of the largest international PR firms in the world, students had the opportunity to find out where they fit into the market.

As the career fair coordinator for the last two years, I have come to understand the importance of attending conferences and networking events like PR Advanced.  Public relations is an ever changing field and the best advice you can get doesn’t come from a text book, it comes from the professionals who are in the thick of it all.  And the business cards and potential future opportunities don’t hurt either.  I highly suggest all students taking advantage PR Advanced in the future.

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Tom: I Wanna Be a Producer

Tom ImageHey guys! Last time you saw me I gave you guys the rundown about how to conquer auditions at Boston University. This time I’m back with some more theater for you guys. Now I bet you guys are thinking – “yes, Tom’s really into theater, but what does this have to do with the College of Communication?” Through my involvement with BU On Broadway, I managed to find a way to combine my major in advertising with my passion for theater: I became a Producer.

Last semester, I took on being a producer for the first time for our production of The Producers (I know… producer of The Producers, way too much producer in one sentence.) Taking on the role of producer was a much bigger commitment than I thought it was, but it provided me with a huge resume and experience booster for the future. Plus, it was actually something I enjoyed doing and was applicable to my future career.

So what does a Producer do exactly?

1. Advertising, Advertising, and more Advertising. The Producer’s main job is to sell the show. This involves everything including poster design, T-Shirt design, and handouts for us to give out in the George Sherman Union. We also ran a social media campaign for the production using the hashtag: #PrOBucers (note the “OB” (On Broadway) in the middle).

2. Managing the Budget. Ah, the budget. A COM kid’s least favorite word. Unfortunately, being a Producer isn’t all fun and games advertising. You also need to take the cost of the whole production into account. The producers are responsible for making sure that the tech crew stays within their budget and are reimbursed through the Student Activities Office for all the purchases they made. While very tedious, managing a budget is an extremely valuable skill I picked up that’s relevant to any future in Account Management.

3. Work with the Student Activities Office. As On Broadway is a student group on campus, someone needs to be responsible for checking in with the Student Activities Office. This is where the producers come in. The producers need to fill out numerous forms in addition to making sure everything is set for opening night.

Here’s some advice:

While I’m not recommending everyone interested in communication run out and be a producer, I would advise new COM students to do what their passionate about. I got involved with On Broadway as an actor, and managed to blend my love for theater with my future aspirations in advertising. My advice: be a good student and stick to what you love. Your career aspirations will eventually work out.

That’s all for now! I hope to keep you updated with my newest producing endeavor: this spring’s production of Spring Awakening!

Jason: The BU Ski Club

Jason ImageSo as most of you guys know, this has been a pretty strange winter. There have been record highs across the nation, and every state has noted (with the exception of Alaska) of the lack of snow.

Well this is a real problem for skiers like me. We all know that when it’s cold enough, the resorts can make snow but that’s just not the same. Not all mountains have the capacity to make snow though! That’s left a lot of resorts with a lot less money this season. But let’s be honest, any mountain in the Boston area really isn’t going to be that great anyway. (I phrase it that way because I have never been skiing in MA but us skiers who have been skiing since they could walk get the idea)

But don’t fret! There are options to escape the smaller mountains that bless the great state of Massachusetts. If you don’t have the time or energy to commit to the ski team, the BU ski club is for you! I’ve been a proud member for two years now so let me tell you a little bit about it.

We have a bunch of trips through out the year, starting with the Killington trip in the first weekend in December. We stay at these awesome condos right at the base of the mountain and for those of you who haven’t been to the mountain before, it’s one of my favorites in New England. (Stratton is my home base where I spent some time with the freestyle tream) The Killington trip’s got nothing on the trip I’m going on this weekend. This weekend we’re bussing off to Quebec for four days! We ski at Mt. St Anne and Le Massif. It’s still not like skiing out west, but definitely better than anything around here. Other than the skiing, I’m definitely looking forward to reviving my Quebecois French and many rounds of poutine.

Our other big trip is to Sugarloaf in the spring and we’ll sometimes take sporadic day trips to VT. If the BU Ski club aren’t enough for you, an outside company called New England Snow Bus has trips to Stratton, Killington, or Okemo almost every weekend.

If you guys are interested, I put the links for the Ski Club and NESB below. Hope you all get some skiing in during the long weekend!

BU Ski Club: http://people.bu.edu/skiclub/

New England Snow Bus: http://www.newenglandsnowbus.com/index.html

Jon: Please Don’t Stop the Music

Jon ImageWhat’s up guys? We’re about three weeks into the new semester, and as classes start to pick up, it’s great to have something to de-stress and take your mind off of all the work that is quickly piling up. For me, my a cappella group fills this role in my life. The BosTones are one of BU’s premiere co-ed a cappella choirs, and I am so glad that I’ve been able to dive into the group as a freshman.

I sang all throughout high school, and I loved being able to hang out with a bunch of great people and make awesome music. Naturally I was a little distraught over the idea of finding another group like my high school choir, which had been a part of my life for the past four years. However, when I got to BU I was blown away by the size of the a cappella community, and since all the groups were so welcoming I decided to audition for as many as possible. Fast forward a few weeks, and I was a new member of The BosTones, a jazzy, poppy, belty, and crazy group of people.

The thrill of the stage is great, but the truly wonderful part of being in an a cappella group isn’t the glamour, or the performances, or the recording sessions – it’s the people. Being able to know that on Tuesday and Sunday nights I’m going to walk into the Mugar Library (yes, we have a practice room in the library, and no, we don’t get shushed by librarians, it’s sound proof) and hang out for a few hours with a great group of people who all love coming together to have fun, support each other, and make some sweet music. Everyone in the BosTones is brought together by a love of singing, and I’m glad they’re in my life. When college gets crazy and hectic, as it sometimes does, it’s great to know that I always have BosTones to come back to.

The BosTones are just one more reason I love BU: there’s a student group for everyone. For me, it’s a cappella music, and for others, it might be gaming, or student government, or even Kendo (a Japanese form of fencing). No matter what your interest, you’ll find it here, and you’ll find people who are just as passionate about it as you are. I can’t end without a little shameless self-promotion, so if you want to see some of what The BosTones do, check out our concert footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOZo55830tA&list=UUTX5kWZUchPOI2KVfWWRUuQ&index=8&feature=plcp. Also, congrats to our two new members Harry Meltzer and Jun Tsuboike! We’re looking forward to working with them.

That’s all for now! See you at auditions…

Kaitlin: Bending Over Backwards for Yoga

Kaitlin ImageHello friends! I’m so excited to be writing as a COM ambassador for the first time. I hope you’re getting excited about starting your COM journey with all of us! It’s going to be an amazing experience that I’m sure you’ll never forget. And with that, there are few moments in our lives that can truly be considered milestones. Finishing high school, entering college, obtaining your first job, getting married. But for me, my biggest milestone so far in my life was reached last weekend. After 200 hours of training in six months, I officially became a certified yoga instructor.

I’ve been a yoga practitioner for quite sometime now, but I have Boston to thank for my pursuit of a teaching certification. At the beginning of my freshman year, I started to miss going to the yoga studio all the time as I did back home on Long Island; I had the blues. So, I started to explore the Boston yoga scene on the internet, eventually leading myself towards Back Bay Yoga Studio (BBY), which is right off of the Arlington T stop on the Green Line. First off, if you’re looking to begin practicing and don’t know where to start, this is the place to go. BBY offers an awesome new member special, which includes two weeks of unlimited classes for only $25. This is exactly how I got my start. I found myself going everyday, sometimes more than once, diving into the awesome facilities the studio has to offer, and learning from the city’s best and most well-known teachers. I learned so much, and I automatically rediscovered my deep passion for the practice.

My decision to go through teacher training wasn’t a hard one. I was profoundly inspired by my main teacher Ame Wren, and when I learned she was leading a training with the studio’s owner Lynne Begier, I called my dad right away, and told him I was investing the $3,000 that I barely had to my name into the training. It was the first time I found myself so incredibly excited and ready to begin a new journey.

But it wasn’t so easy.

As I mentioned, it was a 6-month long endeavor. I often found myself in the studio for more than 20 hours on the weekends. I was assigned various book reports and other extra homework on top of my work here at BU. Nonetheless, I cannot explain how worthwhile the reading and writing was. I had the pleasure to work alongside thirty wonderful people, all of whom were going after the same achievement as me. We shared unlimited tears and laughs, and I feel so lucky to have them all a part of my life!

This experience transformed the way I think, look, act- basically my whole way of life. I pay so much gratitude to every thing I learned about yoga, myself, and the world around me. I’m so eager to start teaching, of course, but I also simply look forward to growing my own practice and to continue expanding my mind and keep learning.

If you’re interested in starting yoga, please don’t hesitate to let me know! I’d love to help out and give some suggestions on where to go, who to see, what to wear, etc. Among the stress that comes with being a college student, sometimes all we need to do is sit on a mat, close our eyes, and breathe.

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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.