Abby: Keep In Touch!

The other day I was catching up with my best friend from high school whom I hadn’t talked to in a couple of weeks. I was telling her about some problem that came up which I had stressed over, but by the time I was filling her in the issue was resolved and old news.  She said, “Abby! Why didn’t you tell me this happened?!”

And I asked myself the same question. An outside opinion would have helped me so much and gave my Boston-centric issue a fresh perspective (And it is always great to catch up with friends). Sometimes you get caught up in the BU bubble of lectures, studying, dining hall lunches and roommates that it is really easy to forget about the other aspects of your life.  I think it is so important to keep in touch with family and loved-ones and they are equally grateful to be kept in the loop.  With things like iPhones, and Facebook and Skype it is so easy to iChat your mom in Florida on your walk home from class, IM your best friend studying abroad in Dublin, Skype with your boyfriend abroad in Morocco and then call your family who lives in New Orleans.  Old school snail-mail is also a thoughtful and often overlooked way of keeping in touch.  I just sent an actual letter to my great Aunt who doesn’t have a cell phone and she was so grateful to be kept in the know about what I’m up to in college.  Sometimes things can get overwhelming when you text a friend to tell them to get on Facebook so you can send them a link to a video another friend saw on Twitter and then emailed you about.  So be careful to not get overwhelmed and only reach out when and for how long you want to.  If it takes you a day to respond to a text that is absolutely fine.  I’m sure your loved one will appreciate it no matter what.

Technology really does amaze me. Morocco is 3,515 miles away. I’m surprised I even get to see a picture.

This isn’t how it is every week, but sometimes you just have to call your Mom four or five times in one day. (We were making holiday plans and I kept losing the call in the elevator. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it, okay?)

 

Anneliese: Registration Survival Guide

Ah, the possible pain or glory of spring registration. For underclassmen, the day can seem daunting, as you are often left scrambling after upperclassmen claim the seats you were coveting. Here are some tips and reminders to keep you from having a meltdown when the melee begins.

1)   Wi-Fi or Die

Okay, so that’s a little dramatic, because you won’t sustain any bodily harm during registration. BUT, you want to make sure you have the most pristine Wi-Fi connection during your fated time slot. You don’t want to miss out on your ideal schedule simply because those annoying, little bars are blinking.

2)   Back it Up

Make sure you have a back up in case one of your preferred classes fills up. Then, have a back up for your back up.  And maybe even a triple back up. Better to be safe than sorry.

3)   Brunch it Out

My friends and I had a pre-registration brunch to help cope with the stress of choosing classes. It sounds stupid, but hey—if we couldn’t have the class we wanted, at least we had pancakes. Pancakes, and each other to rant to about the ordeal we had just survived.

4)   Gimmie a Break

Just because registration is over, doesn’t mean you should lose all hope. Winter break is basically the flea market of course shopping, with people dropping classes and picking up new ones during this time. The victory of claiming your desired class is made even sweeter, since you really have to wait and hunt for it. Crappy metaphor aside, my point is: Stalk the registrar over winter break.

5)   Don’t Sweat it

Even if you don’t end up with all of your number one choices, don’t freak out! BU offers a wide range of great courses with awesome professors, leaving you with a better chance of having good ones than bad ones. Who knows—your favorite course of the semester may even end up being one you hadn’t picked initially.

Happy registration, everybody!

 

Steph: Travel the World with COM

I recently found out that I will be spending my Spring semester abroad across the pond in London! I absolutely cannot wait to begin my adventure. The best part about it is, through COM, I will not only be living and studying in a totally different country, but I’ll also be working there!

When you study abroad through COM’s programs, you get to fulfill an internship while you’re there too. How cool is that?! And, you’re guaranteed to find an internship, with a little help from a placement agency that the Study Abroad office works with.

COM has study abroad programs in London, Spain, Dublin, Paris, Sydney, and “abroad” in D.C. and L.A. Want to write for a music magazine down under? Wanna make documentary films in Spain? Or maybe you want to work PR in London? All those options are open to you through BU COM Study Abroad.

Stay tuned for my blogs from across the pond! Cheerio!

Morgan: So You Failed Your First Exam…

It happens to the best of us. You had no idea what to expect from your professor for your first COM101/AR100/PS101/anyotherlargelecture exam. They might have given some very vague details about what would be on it and how it would be set up, but still, you struggled to find the right way to study for your first big college exam. So now what?

Unfortunately, crying in your professor’s office rarely works. So the best thing to do is STAY CALM, and follow these steps to success.

1)   Head over to your professor’s office hours to go over the exam. Were there concepts that you just didn’t understand? Did the set up or the wording of questions confuse you? Figure out what went wrong so you can be prepared next time.

2)   While you’re there, ask about extra credit opportunities. There may not be any available, but it never hurts to ask.

3)   Start PAYING ATTENTION in lecture. I know, shocker. Get yourself this nifty little self control app so you can block all those tempting websites you want to surf during lecture. Or if possible, take notes the old fashioned way – pen & paper.

4)   Make sure not to lose any more points. If there are homework assignments, papers, etc. that are part of your grade – make sure you do the absolute best on these you can. Use the COM writing center and your TF’s as resources – their job is to help you! So take advantage of it!

5)   Next time, study like crazy. Some of my study methods include…

–       Studyblue.com

–       Making outlines of each chapter.

–       Spending 5 hours in the library until I memorize absolutely everything.

–       Trying to put all of the information for each chapter on a single piece of paper – color-coded.

–       Studying with friends! Sometimes trying to explain a concept to someone else helps you understand it better.

–       Not leaving it until the last minute. Start studying 4-5 days in advance so it really sticks in your brain!

You can do it!!

 

Maria: How to Avoid the Graduation Crisis

Commencement weekend is a little less than 7 months away. It may sound exciting to your mom and dad who don’t have to pay tuition after May 18th, but to me and other seniors, it’s one of the most terrifying thoughts. College has been the most amazing three and going on four years of my life, and to think that that will all come to an end soon is very scary. And it makes frightening questions come to mind – what do you mean no more four-day weekends? How am I going to afford anything without a student discount? And the question that is without a doubt on everyone’s mind: where am I going to work once I graduate?

Fortunately, BU and COM specifically prepare you well for graduation… or at least the best anyone could be prepared for graduation. COM has a great resource that I encourage everyone to utilize during his or her time at BU, and that’s COM Career Services. COM Career Services is there to help you with getting a job, even before you graduate. They have an online database full of internships and jobs in Boston and around the country. You can even access the database once you graduate, which is extremely helpful if you find yourself in a bit of a rut a couple months down the road after graduation. They also have cover letter and resume critiquing, which I take advantage of often. Who knows what companies are looking for on resumes and cover letters more than the people in COM Career Services? They also have fun activities that can help with your professional appearance – one example being a LinkedIn headshot photo opportunity, where you could go in and get a professional picture done for your LinkedIn!

On top of that, internships are highly encouraged in COM. Some students are required to intern as part of their curriculum, while others just take advantage of the amazing companies in and around Boston. I’m on my fifth internship during my college career, and I can honestly say that internships teach you more than you’ll ever learn in a classroom. You’ll never know the full experience of what it’s like to work in a certain industry until you immerse yourself into it. Internships prepare you for the real world and being a “real person” as I like to refer to people with jobs and careers. In addition they are amazing resume builders, and they can only help you get a job and further your professional life. Sometimes internships that you’ve interned with will even offer you a job after you graduate and are usually more likely to hire you over someone who is not familiar with the company.

All in all, it almost makes me cringe hearing the word graduation, but I know that COM has prepared me really well for the future and how to obtain a job. Take advantage of everything COM has to offer; it can only help you and make you a better student and candidate for a job in the future, and that will make you worry a little less about the g-word.

 

Kaitlin: Schedule With Intent and Heart

If you didn’t know it, there is an art to scheduling your classes. It’s a secret that is difficult to get a hold of, but once you do, you learn that it can change your entire BU experience. Whenever scheduling season comes around the corner, I think about my first time doing it during my orientation. To be blunt, I had no idea what the hell I was doing. My first semester was a disaster in terms of scheduling. Nothing made sense. I’d say that by my second semester, I kind of began to figure out what exactly I wanted in a schedule, and trying to stay as modest as possible, I’m now a scheduling wizard.

Explaining how to schedule well is a whole other blog post, but I wanted to take the time to tell you how important/incredible it is to schedule with intent AND your heart. This year, I’m a senior, and I have all of my requirements totally over and done with, meaning I can fill up my last two semesters with classes I really love and care about. COM really promotes following what you’re passionate about, and careful scheduling is really helping me to do that.

I’ve always had a love and a knack for photography. My mother is a photojournalist, so I pretty much grew up with a camera around my neck. When I first came to school, I became so consumed with my classes and ROTC and working that I ended up pushing my camera aside. Now, I’m taking two photography classes, and am having the time of my life. I’ve never been so happy. I take my camera everywhere I go.  But, even though I’m having such an awesome time now, I really wish I hadn’t given it up (so to speak) the past three years.

Don’t let yourself lose the things you love. Yes, do your homework and study and all that, but make sure you leave time for the things that excite you.

To put it simply, I’ll never let my camera go again.

 

Julianna: Finding my Zen in Yoga

Well, it is real: I am a SENIOR. This year has been quite an adventure so far (a semester in London, summer internship at Time Out New York), and now it just feels so great to be back in Boston. It’s the little things about Boston that make my heart skip, such as spending a leisurely Saturday on Newbury or taking in panoramic views of Cambridge and Boston as I lug grocery bags over the BU Bridge. These moments remind of why I came here and they help in staying sane as I journey through a busy fall semester. Aside from small ventures around town, I have found my “zen” in yoga. This semester I am in a beginner level Hatha Yoga class at FitRec. My favorite practices are the breathing exercises and long deep relaxation sessions. Even though I have taken  more rigorous yoga classes in the past, this class goes at a comfortable pace so I can correct my forms and gain balance and strength. I also stumbled upon Karma Revolution (971 Comm. Ave), a donation-based yoga studio located right next to the Paradise Lounge. I went to a Vinyasa class on a recent Friday from 4–5pm and absolutely loved it. I left the studio feeling as though I just completed a full workout at the gym. On my birthday I decided to treat myself, so I went to Sweat and Soul Yoga’s (1032 Comm. Ave) Vinyasa Basics Saturday Community Class, which only costs $5 for 90 minutes. Oh, and the class is taught by a fellow COM Ambassador, Kaitlin Daddona! If you’re looking to sweat out all your stresses this semester then check out Kaitlin’s class. She plays soothing music the whole time and encourages the class to focus on the breath, which proves essential for such an intense practice.

 

Sarah: California Dreaming

Hey, guys! I hope you are all enjoying a lovely northeast fall and lots of Dunkin’ pumpkin spice lattes (two things I’m really missing at the moment). After spending last spring in London, I’m currently tackling my second semester abroad – this time with a lot less tea and a lot more sunshine. I’m spending the semester – and hopefully many years to come – in Los Angeles with the BU in LA Program. The program is not technically an abroad program, but to anyone not from the area, LA certainly seems like foreign territory. Moving out here has been an adjustment, but one I am glad to have made.

For all of you interested in the LA program, know that it is an invaluable opportunity, but also know that it is no joke. While I spent most of my time in London at a pub or jet setting all over Europe, I spend the vast majority of my time in LA at internships, in class and learning as much as possible about the industry. I’ve been fortunate to find two fantastic and distinct internships that I’ve learned worlds from in just the past few weeks – one at the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and one in the writers’ office at Mad Men. These internships are my sixth and seventh (and hopefully last!) internships, and both of them have helped reaffirm a few key pieces of advice I’ve been hearing from the beginning:

Networking is a lot like making friends.

In fact, they are often the same thing. Everyone in the professional world puts so much emphasis on networking, and there is no denying its importance; however, it doesn’t have to be as scary as you think! Networking shouldn’t feel fake, insincere or like someone is being taken advantage of. Networking can be as simple as asking someone about their weekend or commenting on the cute dog on their desktop background. Successful networking starts with finding something in common and fostering a relationship based on it. Just be yourself and find some people you can connect with!

Be interesting.

You don’t necessarily have to be a tightrope artist to be interesting (although that is pretty cool). Simply knowing about the industry you’re in, especially topical news, will interest other people. What’s going on in the entertainment industry is relevant to everyone in it – and often times, it is pretty fascinating. Keeping up with news is a sure way to impress those you work with. Bonus points are awarded for knowing the history of your field.

A Positive Attitude Goes a Long Way

No task is too small for an intern. I can’t tell you how many copies I’ve made or how many dishes I’ve cleaned during internships over the past few years. It comes with the job, and I think most of us come to expect it. No matter how menial the task, do everything with a smile. Someone is always watching – the people around you will notice a positive attitude. That being said…

Respect yourself!

I work with an intern who constantly says, “We’re just the interns.” We may be on the bottom rung, but we are certainly more than just interns. The climate of unpaid internships is changing, and it is more important than ever to understand your roll. Use judgment – don’t feel pressured to do something you don’t feel comfortable with. And don’t hesitate to bring issues to an advisor! They are there to help.

Will: Breakfast at TIFF

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of interning for a company at the Toronto International Film Festival. Pretty awesome. I applied at the end of last school year, and while I was at camp all summer I had pretty much forgotten all about it. But on August 1st, I received an email informing me that I had been selected as an intern for the Creative Minds in Toronto Program. Creative Minds has programs in both Toronto and Cannes, which is hopefully where I’ll be headed next.

Companies who are at the festival contact Creative Minds asking for interns because while they’re at the festival, things are much crazier than usual and they need the assistance. I was lucky enough to get paired with APA, Agency for the Performing Arts, the fifth largest talent agency in the nation. I was able to sit in on meetings, attend their events and parties, and meet a bunch of cool people in a relaxed environment (**cough** Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson **cough cough**). And ultimately, the agents whom I was interning for told me that I would have a job waiting for me when I graduated.

What I’m trying to say is this: Yes, I had to miss the first week of school to attend TIFF. But, honestly, I never even thought twice about it. Sometimes, an advantage may appear as a slight disadvantage. But, if you’re ever in a position to do something awesome, do it. You might even get a job out of it.

 

Tom: A Glimpse of the Real World

Hey all! Hope you have been taking advantage of the pumpkin spice lattes, orange corduroys, and apple picking opportunities that come with the fall season. I have been having a very busy start to the semester, bouncing from meetings to meetings. However, the newest part of this fall is that I am taking part in Boston University’s AdLab.

Boston University’s AdLab is COM’s completely student-run advertising agency. This means we work with real clients and provide them real work over the course of a semester. And the best part about it for a COM Student is that you get real-world experience while also getting course credit. It’s like doing an internship and class all in one place!

This semester I am an Account Executive working for Osage Creek Amphitheater, which is a tier one live entertainment venue in Northwest Arkansas. While working with a client in Arkansas has definitely made my client experience different from most, it has been incredibly exciting getting real world experience for a huge venue. Also, since most of my background is in live entertainment advertising, I am also getting great resume experience in the field I most enjoy.

I have been awestruck by the level of work that AdLab produces. I would recommend it for any new ad students coming into BU. While internships are amazing, AdLab provides the awesome opportunity to work one-on-one with the actual client. Even in three short weeks, I feel like I have already learned new skills, such as how to run an effective meeting and how to manage an advertising timeline. I look forward to this semester’s work and future semesters with AdLab!