Dany: Hello and Goodbye

First of all, a big congratulations to all of you newly accepted COM Terriers! I’ve already met a few of you guys in our admissions office for Admitted Student Visits, and I can’t wait to meet the rest of you at our Open Houses these next two weeks.

As a senior, this is my last blog post as a COM Ambassador which sadly means I won’t be around campus next fall to help you guys adjust and watch you grow into amazing professionals. I know you must all know exactly how I’m feeling, being seniors yourself in high school. It’s time for your next big chapter, and that can definitely be a little overwhelming.
So here a few final pieces of advice, from one senior to another:
1. Sign up for everything. Your freshman year is about jumping out of your comfort zone. The great thing about BU and COM is that there’s no hierarchy or requirements for joining clubs and organizations. Go to meetings, get on email lists, talk to the E-Boards. This is your chance to try a little bit of everything. And when you find something that sticks, dive into it heart and soul.
2. Explore the city. I cannot stress this enough. Don’t wait for the weekends to make plans. Grab dinner in the North End on a Wednesday night. Have a picnic in the Common on a Monday afternoon. The weather gets cold quick so take advantage of any free moment. Let yourself be a tourist. Because it’s amazing how you can live somewhere and never visit it.
3. Be nice to people on the way up. You might meet them again on your way down. College isn’t a straight line – it’s a roller coaster. And along the way, you’re going to meet some truly remarkable people. People who will go out of their way to help you. Always look for the next opportunity to return the favor. The most valuable thing I’ve learned is that COM isn’t a competition. It’s a community.
You are all part of our COMmunity now. Even though I’m graduating this May, please don’t ever hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. You guys are in for a phenomenal ride. Make the most of it!
Congratulations again, and welcome to Boston University!

Dany: On That Internship Hunt

Hey guys! I imagine some of you are starting to think about what you want to do this summer. I know I’ve been a job-applying machine the past few weeks. Luckily, the pressure to find an internship is much less than the pressure to find a job, and as a seasoned internship hunter I’ve got a few tips to help you on your search:

 

Know where you want to go

It helps when you have a few set locations in mind of where you want to intern. It narrows down the search, and makes it a lot easier to find what you’re looking for.

 

Know what you’re looking for

Similarly, nailing down your specific interest will further narrow down your searches. You want to make sure that what you find will give you the best learning experience and long-term benefits.

 

The Search

Start browsing on internship websites and follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Some of the ones I use are InternMatch.com and YouTern.com as well as following @InternsNtheCity (which tweets about opportunities in NYC), @BostonInternshp (and no that’s not a typo!) and @PRJobLA. Twitter is an incredible resource. Even by just typing “Intern” and the location you want to work in the search bar will give you a ton of solid results. After exhausting that, browse the Center for Career Development and the COM Career Services databases. Update your profile and look for jobs that match you. And of course, don’t forget to look up specific companies if you have a couple in mind!

 

Get Organized

After searching every last form of “I need an internship” on Google, you’re bound to have a couple solid leads lined up. Bookmark all the ones you find and organize them into priorities. Some applications may have deadlines. Work on those first, as well as the ones you’re most interested in. Don’t leave your dream job for last! While you’re getting yourself organized, be sure to follow their social media. When they look at your application and begin doing some research on you, it looks good when they see the extent of your interest.

 

Tailor your resume to each company

Before you send in your resume, make sure it is organized in a way that will best represent your skills and what you can do for that specific company. Go to COM Career Services and get a second opinion if you’re having trouble. When you’re absolutely satisfied, send away!

 

Tweet about it

Continue to show your interest in where you are applying. Keep an eye on your email and your phone calls.

 

Finding internships takes a lot of work. You need to be proactive. With a little bit of luck and motivation though, it will all pay off. So get searching, applying, and hope for the best!

Dany: Last Minute Halloween

I don’t know about you guys but for some reason, October is always the busiest month of my semester. And it sucks cause it also happens it’s my favorite month of the year. I love the beginning of fall, the leaves, the pumpkin-flavored everything, apple pies, and of course Halloween.

Every year, I’m forced to come up with a super lame last minute costume cause I just don’t have time to really come up with something great. BUT this year I’ve thought of some still-lame-but-super-awesome costumes that you can throw together in a moment’s notice.

1. Nudist on strike

Regular clothes and a sign around your neck. Done.

2. School spirit

White sheet and BU jacket. Done.

3. Quarterback

Tape a quarter to your back. Done.

4. Social butterfly

Draw some apps on a white t-shirt and throw on some fairy wings. Done.

5. Broke

Just add tears. Done?

Half-kidding about that last one. But really, I absolutely love Halloween and no amount of work or midterms or papers will take that away. These are lame but they always make me laugh. It’s the laziest creativity I’ve ever seen and I love it. But there’s also brilliant ideas for groups or duos that take little time and effort and come out awesome.

After all, it’s only one night. So be safe and have fun!

 

Dany: Time Management…WHAT NOW

Yeah I’m right there with you. Now that we’re a month into the semester (WHAT) our schedules are pretty much set and our routines are all but written in stone. If you already feel like you’re falling behind, then now is a good a time as ever to revisit some good ol’ fashioned time management skills! Make October your practice month so that when the busy second half of the semester rolls in and you got finals and projects and papers coming at you from every direction, you’ll be absolutely prepared.

1. Wake up early.

I know. Easier said than done. I’m definitely not nor will I ever be a morning person. But it really is insane how much you can get done in a day when you take advantage of the morning. If you’re already a morning person, then congratulations! You can skip ahead! But if you’re a night owl like me, my tip is to give yourself an activity in the morning that will make you get up and moving. And it doesn’t have to be every day! Even sacrificing two-three days a week to get up early will do wonders for your time management. For example, on Mondays and Wednesdays I take spinning classes at FitRec from 7am-7:45am. The workout wakes me up and I’m refreshed, showered and ready to go by 9am. Something that I guarantee you does not happen like ever on a normal basis.

2. Keep an agenda.

Whether it’s the traditional pen and paper booklet or using the calendar and reminders app synchronized through all your devices, there is nothing more important. I use both for different reasons. My day-to-day activities are on my phone and computer, and I keep track of my classes and other little reminders in my planner. Whatever works best for you, just do it. Write everything down. As soon as it is told or planned, make sure it is either on your phone or in your planner. This is the only way to guarantee you won’t miss something (which is totally possible given the thousands of things we have to keep track of nowadays!)

3. Set a weekly “organizing hour.”

This sounds weird but hear me out. Every Sunday night, I set aside at least one hour with my computer and planner and go through the week. First, I flip through the syllabus for each of my classes and check what I have due and scribble down on my planner what days to work on what. Then I go through my planner from the last week and make sure there’s nothing I missed. I give a quick glance at my weekly meetings and events for the week to make sure I know what’s coming and plan out anything I need to do for them. Lastly, if I have time (and I usually do on Sundays) I try to get a jumpstart on readings or assignments for a few classes.

These are the three tips I find the most useful when my semester starts getting too crazy. It’s easy to fall behind and get caught up in everything but trust me, you’ll want these skills perfected when finals roll around. And every semester after. And after graduation. Basically for the rest of your life. So take advantage now to find what work for you! You won’t regret it.

Hope everyone had a fantastic September!!!

 

Dany: A Summer in Sydney

G’day from the land down under! I hope everyone has been having a great summer (even though it’s technically winter over here!) I have been having the most incredible year traveling the world through BU’s study abroad programs. Last spring, I spent four months working in London and I am now wrapping up two months living in Sydney. Only a few more weeks before I get back to Boston for my senior year!

That said, I don’t know how I’m going to leave Sydney. Our program ends on Tuesday but I get to stay a few more days because of my internship. I’m working as a publicity intern at eckfactor, a public relations agency focusing on entertainment. It’s a small team (I’m only the 7th person in the office!) but I have learned and done so much in the past two months, it’s going to be really hard to say goodbye.

The reason I’m staying is to work an event called the ASTRA Awards (basically the Australian Emmy’s for subscription television). The event is on Thursday, so since I have been working on it the whole semester, my supervisor and internship advisor worked it out so that I would be able to stay a few days after the program and see it through.

Our office has been working hard, especially this past week, to put it all together. I have met so many great people, both in talent and behind-the-scenes, through photo-shoots and media calls, and I can’t wait to see how it all comes together.

Besides work, I have been having the time of my life exploring this city and safe to say, I’ve completely fallen in love. I am seriously considering returning for good after I graduate. I can either hope to get sponsored (maybe through my same internship!) or get a year-long work study visa. Two months just isn’t nearly enough time. I’ve done so much, but I know I’ve just barely scratched the surface.

Either way, there’s plenty to look forward to in the fall! I must say I really can’t wait to be in Boston again. And I’ll also have one month to just relax back home with my family in sunny South Florida before classes start, so no complaints there.

If anyone is thinking about going abroad, I have one thing to say: stop thinking and just do it. I can’t even begin to tell you how much these experiences have done for me. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to shoot me an email (vasquezd@bu.edu) or check out my blog (www.danyvasquez.com). Hope you guys have a great rest of the summer, and can’t wait to see you in Boston!

Until then, cheers mate xx

 

Dany: Lessons from London

Hello everyone and greetings from across the pond! For those who don’t know me, I’m Dany and I’m currently studying abroad in London (along with fellow CAs Tom, Julianna, and Sarah!) It’s crazy to think I’ve been here for nearly two months. These weeks have flown by and I hope the second half slows down somehow because I honestly never want to leave.

Though I’m only halfway through my semester, this experience has taught me so much about everything from traveling to cooking. So I’m going to do what I do best and give you a list.

What I’ve Learned from London:

1. How to cook.

Before London, my complete menu boasted scrambled eggs, easy mac, and the best bowl of cereal you’ve ever had. Sometimes I would be adventurous and microwave a frozen dinner. But here in London, I share a kitchen with 14 people and they all cook. And they like it. And they’ve encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone (the fridge) and splash around the deep end (the stove). I am proud to say that I can now successfully fry an egg, cook chicken, make rice, prepare vegetables, and create some really good pasta meals. Yeah it’s still pretty standard but believe me, it’s a significant improvement from my frozen dinner days.

2. How to travel.

Sometimes things go exactly like you plan. Sometimes plans fall completely apart. Traveling, unfortunately, is not as easy as clicking a button, hopping on a plane, and taking selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower. When you’re on a budget, it may take a while to find the best prices and deals for flights and hostels. There’s a lot of details that need to be worked out beforehand so that once you actually arrive, you can throw away the map and forget about planning and explore. But at the same time, it is just as important to not let that stress overwhelm you and take over the excitement of the entire trip. In the end, these are your adventures, and it’s about what you want to get out of them. You don’t need a first class flight or the perfect hostel or even a huge group of friends to do what it is you came here to do: get lost in a beautiful city you’ve never been in before.

3. How to be British.

Three things: tea, accents, and the Queen. Although the last point is tricky because I do believe Queen Elizabeth shares her throne from time to time with Queen Adele and Queen Rowling. That said, the best way to really take advantage of being abroad is to fully embrace the culture you’re in. Learn how to make an authentic cup of tea. Try fish and chips everywhere you go. Ask people about their accents and where they are from. Introduce yourself in an intelligent manner and dispel the stereotypes about Americans. Be proud of who you are and where you come from and show a genuine interest in where you are and what you’re doing there.

I encourage everyone to go abroad at some point during their college career. This has been the most rewarding experience and it’s not even close to over. I’ve met some really great people, explored some fantastic cities, and done some really amazing things in the past few months. I can only hope the second half is just as good. I do miss Boston a lot but at this moment, I honestly don’t know how I will be able to leave.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a fantastic semester! If you have any questions about abroad or any tips or recommendations, please drop me a line at vasquezd@bu.edu! Also if you’re dying to go abroad and want to live vicariously through me until you get your chance, check out my blog at danyvasquez.com!

Cheers!

Sara: The Amazing Race-Internship Edition

The arrival of February brings about a vitally important time in the school year. That’s right, it’s summer internship hunting time. For me, it’s a time to bundle up indoors and daydream about warmer days– and hopefully interning in California. It’s time to get your game face on and the blizzard this past weekend  presented the perfect opportunity to get myself organized and begin what I like to think of as my own personal version of the amazing race.

Having been a transfer student, I feel a bit behind when it comes to seeking out internships. However, the best thing I have found to do in such circumstances (if you’re like me and have never had an internship) is to research, research, research.

BU and COM both provide numerous services and workshops to help you with resumes, cover letters, and your overall search. Every week the Center of Career Development, located in 100 BSR, sends out an e-mail about their different career building workshops, so be sure to look out for those! Last week I attended one of their resume workshops and they were really helpful. COM career services also offers resume and cover letter reviews daily- check out the @comugrad twitter handle for more information or visit the career services website. You can also view samples of resumes and cover letters.

To find internships online that are available through COM, check out The Career Insider. This database is a gold mine. You will have to create an account through the website but after that you will have full access to everything it has to offer. I personally used it as a basis for my internship search, typing “publicity internship” for the keyword and an LA zipcode, which brought me to a list of numerous summer opportunities at companies such as The Walt Disney Studios and NBCUniversal.

Because of my highly organized, type A personality, I also chose to make a list of all the internships I want to apply for along with  individual requirements, descriptions, documents to submit, and addresses with contact information. This helps me when it comes time to personalize cover letters and figure out whom I need to send references or transcripts too. Also make sure you research the different companies you’re applying for! This is extremely important when it comes to writing a cover letter or an essay so that you can really mold the descriptions of your experiences and accomplishments around exactly what their company stands for and what they are looking for in their next intern.

Of course you can always look outside of BU for summer internships as well, using the ever-so-glorious Google or other resources you can find. One website I have heard a lot of positive feedback about is Intern Sushi which I’m just starting to explore. Another website is Intern Queen powered by Lauren Berger who completed 15 internships during her college years. She regularly tweets about different internship opportunities as well  @InternQueen, and has published a book entitled “All work, No Pay” which gives her perspective on how to build your resume, make connections and gain job experience.

I guess overall my point is just to explore your options! There are a lot of resources out there to aid you in the overwhelming process that is your first internship hunt, it doesn’t have to be as stressful as competing on The Amazing Race.  You’re putting yourself in the best position possible by doing your research and getting organized.

Good luck everyone! And maybe the odds be ever in your favor 🙂

Dany: Must-Follow Twitter List

Hello everyone! Hope these last few weeks of the semester are going well. Hard to believe we’re almost done with the fall semester. I hope your classes have been going great and you’re adjusting to the COM life flawlessly. In my opinion, the most important part of this lifestyle is being ridiculously fluent in social media. So to help you guys along, I decided to make you a short “Must-Follow” list of BU-related Twitter handles. You should already be following @comugrad, @DeanSaboSays, @COM_Ambassadors, and me of course, @danyvasquez_. So who’s next?

@BU_Tweets

Self-explanatory. Whether you want to brag about how great BU is, get the word out about an event, or just give a shout-out, you definitely want to be following this Twitter. They give updates when things are happening on campus, re-tweet student groups, and even ask you some fun questions every now and then.

@BUDiningService

Probably the most popular BU Twitter. Speaking from a PR student perspective, they are a great example of how to use social media to improve customer service and satisfaction. They are extremely responsive and up-to-date with everything going on. As an example, my friend and I went to Rize Late Night a few weeks back and had a terrible experience. We waited over an hour for fondue and when it finally came, it was basically a layer of oil with a murky chocolate base. We tweeted a picture of it to BU Dining Services and got a response within seconds. They apologized, talked to the manager, and invited us back for dinner on them. So, even if their many constant tweets get annoying sometimes, it’s definitely worth it to follow and interact with them.

@theGSU

Named Activities Info, this Twitter is like the GSU Link. It knows everything about every student event going on throughout campus. Whatever organization you’re involved with, you’ll definitely want to make sure you follow them and they follow you! It’s a great way to spread the word about events or meetings. They re-tweet student groups, give shout-outs, and keep you updated. So no matter what you’re involved with, make sure you follow them so everyone at BU knows it too.

@DeanElmore

Our very own Dean of Students is super active on social media. Whether it’s cheering on our Terriers at a hockey game or Instagramming the first snow of the year, you can bet he’ll be tweeting about it non-stop. He also shares really interesting articles or information about a variety of subjects. Sometimes, he’ll even tweet back at students and join in conversations. A lot of student groups use him to help spread the word about events or even invite him to come!

@BUAthletics

Again, pretty self-explanatory. Whether you’re following hockey, basketball, soccer, baseball, golf, rowing, or any other sport, this Twitter’s got you covered. They’ll tweet about score updates, game times and any changes, shout-outs to exemplary student athletes, and just general BU pride. There’s no better way to keep up with the Terriers.

BU is an extremely social media oriented university. It’s one of the things I love the most about it. This is only a glimpse of all the BU-related Twitters out there. There’s hundreds when you consider all the amazing student groups, and thousands when you consider all the individual students, faculty, and alumni. It’s an incredible network and as a COM student, it’s the best way to hone those skills and always stay up to dated with everything going on. This list skims the surface. It’s up to you now to dive in.

 

Dany: Music, Concerts, and Shows, Oh My!

Hey guys! Hope your semester is going well. I know we’re reaching that midway point where everything starts to pile on and get really stressful. So what’s keeping me going these days? Well I’ll tell you. One of my favorite things about Boston is the incredible music scene. So many fantastic bands and artists come through here and I love going to shows and checking out new venues. The promise of seeing my favorite band is an incredible motivation to keep going during this time of the year. Here a few upcoming concerts in the Boston area that I’m looking forward to.

Freelance Whales – November 3 @ Paradise Rock Club

This is literally one of my favorite bands. They’re not too well-known but I highly recommend checking them out. Anyone heard of Darren Criss? His brother Chuck is in this band! They were here last November too and I met him after the show. Cool guy. They just released their second album a few weeks back which I was able to download for free when I bought my ticket to this show. Listen to “Hannah” and “Starring” and “Generator (Second Floor)” to get you started. You’ll love them.

The Script – November 9 @ Agganis Arena

A little more mainstream and right at home! I work at Agganis as a Guest Services Representative so I’ll actually be getting paid to watch this concert. Gotta love those perks. The couple songs I have from them I absolutely love and I hear they are fantastic live. So if any of you guys are going, I’ll be working the floor and you should definitely come say hi!

Motion City Soundtrack – November 9 @ Paradise Rock Club

Oh this band reminds me of high school. Their album “Even If It Kills Me” was played nonstop for a good four months during junior year. It drove everyone crazy but this is one of those throwback bands that I still love to go see. They just have a very distinct style. I’m not as crazy about their newer stuff than their old albums but I love them just the same. Unfortunately, it’s the same night as The Script (and right next door too!). I’ve seen them before though so no harm done. So if you guys are looking for something to do that weekend, look no further than West Campus!

Of Monsters and Men – November 19 @ Orpheum Theater

I fell in love with this band over the summer. Just so refreshingly different from the indie/rock genre. This band is really picking up speed. Orpheum is a really nice theater right next to Boston Common. I saw Snow Patrol (with Ed Sheeran opening!) there back in April. When I heard that’s where they would be playing, I got really excited cause they definitely have the talent to sell it out. I still haven’t bought my tickets yet for this but I’m dying to go. Check out “Little Talks” and “King and Lionheart”. My personal favorites.

The Killers – December 17 @ Agganis Arena

Another concert I will get paid to watch. I’ve been listening and loving them for years, and I’m so stoked to work this event. I’ll still be here for finals so if anyone of you are in the area, don’t miss out. It’s really going to be a fantastic show. If anyone can deliver an unforgettable modern rock concert, it’s The Killers.

So there you have it! A little something to keep you going in these next few weeks. At the very least, you have some awesome new music to check out. If anyone knows any other shows coming up, let me know. I’m always down to check out new artists. And if you ever see me rocking out at any of these, come join me!

 

Dany: Do You Have Your Study Buddy?

I don’t know about you guys, but it’s getting to be that time of year again for me. Midterms. When all those times spent procrastinating on Tumblr and Netflix and barely skimming long, dense readings come back to haunt you. Well, here are some pro-tips for getting through the battle.

1. Take breaks.

Believe me, nothing productive will come from a 15-hour cram session. Your brain needs to relax. Focus on what you need to do but when you start to read the same sentence eight times and the room gets blurry, it’s time to stop. Walk around, stretch your legs, get something to eat. Smoothies help me concentrate and they always perk me back up when I’m starting to lose focus.

2. Know your study pattern.

My notes always look like Office Depot threw up on them. Everything is color-coded by highlighters and sharpie pens with the appropriate post-its where I jot down questions I have while studying. It helps me stay organized and during exams, I can visualize my notebook and remember the answer. That’s how I work. Everyone learns differently, so my point here is find your routine. Establish your study method and stick to it. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it works.

3. Plan ahead.

This one is the hardest one for me because my schedule tends to be packed to the minute. But I know that if I make little sacrifices and set guidelines for what to study, I’ll be much better off. Usually about a week or so before an exam, I’ll take a look at the syllabus and see what’s going to be on it. Then I just divide it up into sections and study a little bit everyday, leaving the day before the exam as a review. This keeps me from not getting stressed and if I have any questions, I have plenty of time to stop by my professor’s office hours and ask.

4. Find your study buddy.

One of the first things I do when I walk into a class for the first time is look for someone I know or make friends. It’s always helpful to know at least one person in each class to compare notes with, quiz each other, and just talk about the material. When you’re really struggling to understand something, simply having a conversation about it with someone else and speaking in layman’s terms can help put you on the right track. Two heads are better than one!

That said, it’s back to the Mugar Marathon for me! Good luck everyone!