Sara: Surviving Transfer Student Orientation

Hello all! I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer and looking forward to the fall semester ahead in Boston, I know I certainly am. In fact, I’m already dreaming of Red Sox games, cozy scarves and pumpkin flavored everything. I know I shouldn’t be wishing away summer but hey, fall is my favorite.

Shout out to all the new transfer students coming into BU this year! A year ago I was in your exact position and I know I wasn’t exactly looking forward to going through another college orientation. But I will say it was well worth the experience, I met my best friend and now current roommate and it really helped me to get my feet on the ground and get my transfer credits taken care of before school started. I also walked away with a great mantra that Dean Elmore, our Dean of Students, shared with us. He quoted Howard Thurman saying, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

This really stuck with me because it made me feel in the right place at the right time. There’s nothing better than feeling like your decision to leave a school was the right one. It is not easy to transfer schools and it takes courage to make the leap of going to a new school. So basically what I’m trying to say is take a deep breath because you’re in great hands.

That being said, I came in as a transfer student last year knowing I wanted a career in the entertainment field and soon after I realized this dream, I read Dany’s blog post- a fellow COM ambassador and transfer student- about her amazing internships in LA for the summer. That really lit a spark in me and I swore to myself that this summer I would be interning in Los Angeles. Being someone who lives and breathes the awards season December-February, I feel so grateful to find myself in my dream internship at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. I have had the best experience and I know this never would have happened if I hadn’t come to BU.

My biggest piece of advice to transfer students coming in is to not be afraid of your dreams. Don’t feel like you’re already behind just because you’re coming to a new school as a sophomore or a junior. You still have time to figure out what makes you come alive and go do it. The best part is, there are so many people here who will go out of their way to help you make your dreams a reality.

So enjoy the rest of your summer, bond with some fellow transfer students at orientation and get ready for a great fall semester!

 

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

 

Tom: The Best Broadway Summer

Hey all! After spending the past two summers in Boston, I am finally back in my home state (NY) spending the summer interning in the greatest city in the world, New York City! After coming back from London, I transitioned right into my summer internship at AKA NYC, a live-entertainment marketing and advertising agency right near Times Square. I am interning in the Marketing & Promotions department, which basically means all of the promo deals, events, and corporate sponsors you see sprinkled through the Great White Way come from our department.

Meeting Zachary Levi and Krysta Rodriguez at 'Broadway Rocks'

Transitioning from my soon-to-be-completed degree in Advertising to the world of Marketing & Promotions was an interesting jump, but my time at BU has helped me in more ways than one to navigate my first real-time Broadway internship.

BU Lifesaver #1 – The COM Connection

While I am sure you are tired of hearing “network with COM alumni” – this advice could not be truer. While searching for NY internships while I was still out in London, I messaged a past “BU On Broadway” President, Abby Schreer, for any leads for Broadway advertising internships. She sent me the contact information for my now-supervisor at AKA. I sent an email with my resume, had a phone interview two weeks later, and finally got the confirmation email a week after that. Word to the wise – join clubs and meet as many people as you can. Friends can end up being your greatest lifeline.

BU Lifesaver #2 – Presentation 101

For our summer intern project for the company, all of the company interns are collaborating to create a mock advertising pitch for the fake musical adaptation to “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (the 90’s, Julia Roberts and Burt Bacharach, anyone?). While this project would seem daunting, I am helped by class experience (shout-out to Intro to Advertising) in presentations that have made this project a bit more manageable. Powerpoint is every agency’s best friend.

The AKA Marketing Team

BU Lifesaver #3 – Know the Industry

The biggest lifesaver of them all was my knowledge of the industry. Back in Professor Cakebread’s Account Management class, we had to research agencies that interested us, which is how I stumbled upon the Broadway agencies. Having a working knowledge of the theater industry and how it related to advertising have helped me every day. Most importantly – my recent internship in London Theater was even more helpful, especially since I now intern at a global agency (with a base office in London!).

The big take-away is make the most of your time at COM, because you will find little “lifesavers” that will help you throughout your internship and eventual job search. Without these BU connections and experiences, I am not sure I would have been able to make the most of my dream internship.

See you all on campus in the fall!

Hanging Out with Spider-Man at the Brooklyn Cyclones

 

Julianna: Finding a Place in Journalism

Happy summer, everyone! It feels as though the days until the start of the semester are whizzing by. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was writing up features for World Travel Guide in London or spending a weekend in Prague? Now, I’m two months in (and exactly one month to go) at Time Out New York where I’m interning in the travel & guides department. As I prepare for my last year at BU (yikes!), I’m starting to see how past decisions and goals are stringing together into my future. I came to BU knowing that I wanted to pursue print journalism, but was unsure of my direction. Should I write about politics? Music? Or both? And so, along the way I’ve reported on various topics – fashion, concert reviews, neighborhood hard news from a school board meeting to business stories. In the spring I had my “ah-ha” moment at my London internship when I realized that I want to pursue a career in travel, life&styles  journalism.

Just as my future career became a clearer vision I was offered my dream internship at Time Out New York. I’ve been reading and using TONY as a source of NYC recommendations since the beginning of high school. Plus, I read Time Out London religiously in the spring. To have my own desk at my favorite media company feels surreal even if it’s just for three months. I work under one editor who has assigned me to several projects such as fact-checking listings for an NYC guide book and writing up pieces that will be published in the coming weeks. This internship has been a change of pace from previous ones where I was doing extensive reporting and writing. At TONY I’m honing my editorial skills, which will prove vital to my dream job in magazine journalism.

The point of my ramblings is make some suggestions to other aspiring journalists. If you’re looking to pin-point what drives your desire for journalism then work your way through writing about different topics for on-campus publications and consider an internship at a newspaper so you can experience reporting as a trade. It’s okay to be “all over the map” in terms of figuring out your place in journalism because after all this is a vast, ever-changing industry. As the semesters roll on you’ll start to see your role as a student journalist take shape into visions of your ideal beat, company or editor position. My path in journalism at BU isn’t over just yet, but at this point I could already say that it’s been so exciting. So embrace bouts of uncertainty, feel the pressure of deadlines and as always, stay curious.

 

Sarah: Mastering the Skype Interview

Hey there, terriers! I hope you are all having a fabulous (and not too rainy) summer!

After spending the semester in London, I decided to spend my summer working, writing and relaxing at home before the big move out to LA. In preparation for my second semester “abroad,” I’ve had to face a particular challenge that plagues those of us living in remote locations – the dreaded Skype interview.

Skype interviews come with a number of concerns – What if the power goes out? What if my roommate decides to blast her music? What if the screen freezes on a horribly embarrassing face? But as with most things, video interviews have their perks. Here are a few tips to conquer your next long-distance interview with confidence.

1. Dress to impress

For me, one of the hardest parts of an interview is figuring out what to wear, so I am always tempted to forgo the headache for Skype interviews. However, I usually decide to suck it up and dress as if I were interviewing in-person (Although I did only iron the front of my blazer last time – shocking, I know). While your interviewer may only see from the shoulders up, dressing professionally from head to toe will help put you in the right frame of mind. Plus, there is that ever-so-slight chance you will have to leave your seat, revealing your SpongeBob pajama shorts to your potential employer.

2. Keep paper and a pen nearby

Use the medium to your advantage! Just like a regular interview, you can and should do research on the company. When you interview via Skype, it might not be a bad idea to jot down some notes on a piece of paper – company news, goals, questions, etc. – and keep it near by for reference. Be careful, though – you don’t want to write notes like it’s your Oscar acceptance speech. The interviewer will know if you’re reading from a set of cue cards. You should also be ready with a pen to take notes. It shows that you’re prepared.

3. Look into the camera

This is probably the most difficult video interview tactic to master. It’s only natural to look at the interviewer – at the computer screen – when you video chat. However, looking at the screen means that, to the interviewer, you are looking down. To add a personal touch, try looking at the camera instead. It will feel like you’re avoiding eye contact when, in fact, you are giving your interviewer the closest possible thing.

4. Think about the location

This is another difficult one. If you live alone, skip ahead to number 5 because you have it made. For those of us who live with roommates, parents, pets and little brothers, we know how precious and rare quiet can be. Do a bit of location scouting – find a quiet place where you’ll be free from distractions. Make sure your dog knows that you have an interview so he knows not to bark between 4 and 4:30 (this is always and issue for me). Also, be mindful of the background. You don’t necessarily want your dirty laundry or your One Direction poster on display. Or maybe you do.

5. Roll with the punches

There is a 99% chance you will experience some kind of technical issue. It could be something as simply as a fuzzy picture or something as troublesome as a broken microphone. Be prepared for any complications that may arise. Always keep calm and do your best to troubleshoot it. Also, make sure your computer is fully changed!

6. Don’t yell!

My parents always seem to think that I can’t possibly hear them on Skype unless they are shouting at the computer screen. Your interviewer may be on the other side of the country, but your mic is inches from your face. Speak in a confidant and professional, yet normal voice. If they cannot hear you on the other end, they will turn up the volume.

Smile through those video interviews – they’re not all that bad! And if anyone has figured out the secret to a successful phone interview, please let me know!

 

Anneliese: Summer Reads So Far

As a working girl this summer, I have an hour commute to and from the office. A lot of people would complain about the travel time, but I don’t mind because I don’t have to drive; instead, I take the commuter train that drops me off a quick seven minute walk away from WXPN, where I’m interning (see my previous blog for details!). I love taking the train for the following reasons: I’m not required to be awake during the ride–yay for not risking falling asleep at the wheel!; there’s excellent people watching (I’m looking at you, lovely bearded man with a penchant for plaid); and, when I’m not catching up on sleep or checking people out, I have ample reading time. Seriously, I haven’t had this much time for pleasure reading since high school.

For those of you searching for a good read for your own morning commutes–or for the beach, you lucky kids!–check out what I’ve read so far this summer:

1) Nobody’s Perfect: Billy Wilder, a Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler

I received my first introduction to Billy Wilder in my junior year of high school when my film studies teacher showed us Some Like It Hot, Sunset Boulevard, and Stalag 17. Wilder instantly won me over with his quick-witted dialogue, deep understanding of human nature, and original stories. I’m not a huge fan of biographies (I actually think this is the first one I’ve ever finished), but I sped through Mr. Wilder’s in a couple of days. The biography commences with Billy’s humble beginnings growing up as a Jew in Galicia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and moves through his extraordinary career one film at a time. The biography is written through Billy’s own words, as he recounts his tales to Chandler, and is bolstered by the memories of some of Old Hollywood’s greatest stars–Groucho Marx, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and Gloria Swanson among them. Billy Wilder was an incredible filmmaker and led such a colorful life. The biography is a must-read for all film buffs, but would be enjoyable for and accessible to even the most casual reader.

2) Fargo Rock City by Chuck Klosterman

I’ve been a longtime fan of Chuck Klosterman, having read Chuck IV; Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; Killing Yourself to Live; and Downtown Owl over the years. He’s probably one of the most politically incorrect, yet hilarious and intelligent writers I’ve ever read. Fargo Rock City has been sitting on my shelf for the past four years, but I had never gotten around to reading it because it didn’t interest me at all; the topic of the book is social commentary about hard rock–specifically metal–framed by Klosterman’s memoir of growing up as a metalhead in rural North Dakota. Sure, a fair amount of the metal references soar so far over my head, but this is a book I can enjoy purely for style and voice. I received multiple dirty looks while sitting in the quiet ride car of the train and chuckling at phrases like, “That leads us back to Ozzy Osbourne, who was rarely boring and usually hilarious. At various times in his career, Ozzy has behaved like a satanic pope.”

3) A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Fire & Ice, Book 5) by George R.R. Martin

Yes, I’m one of those awful people who reads Game of Thrones. I don’t even know what to tell you about this book, other than it’s just under 1000 pages, and I read it in a week. So, yeah, it was really good. Martin’s series is so much better than its HBO counterpart (but that’s always the case for book-to-tv/film adaptations); the show skims only the surface of Martin’s highly complex world, and that’s a shame because it’s in the tiny details of his plot that we uncover the most intriguing mysteries. C’mon, there is almost two months of summer left–you have time to catch up!

4) L’ecume des Jours (Foam of the Daze/Froth on the Daydream/Mood Indigo) by Boris Vian

I ordered this book on Amazon for two reasons: 1) The novel is the source material for Michel Gondry’s (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Science of Sleep) new film, and 2) As a French minor, I wanted to keep in practice over the summer. The book is a surrealist work and tells the story of Colin, a wealthy and extravagant young man, who marries Chloé, the woman of his dreams. The couple should live happily ever after, except Chloé falls ill while on their honeymoon, as a water lily begins growing in her lungs. The novel mocks existential ideologies (Vian loathed Sartre) and is full of double entendres and wordplay. Between the dense content and my shoddy knowledge of the French language, it’s slow slow going, but I’m really enjoying the novel. I’ll probably read it in English after I finish the French version to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I’m super stoked to see Gondry’s film adaptation with Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou! (Check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4HIAwI4irs)

 

Steph: Never Lose Contact

Hey everyone! I hope all of you are having an amazing summer so far. It’s SO weird to think that two years ago, I had already gone to Orientation and was anxiously awaiting Freshman Move-In.

Two years later, here I am, back in Miami. Only this time, I have a really awesome internship instead of just hanging out by the pool all day. Well…okay, I’m still hanging out by the pool a lot.

This summer, I’m working as a Production Intern at Zimmerman Advertising in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. As a production intern, I spend my days in the studio, which at Zimmerman is known as StudioZ. This internship has been a really ideal situation for me, since I’m majoring in Film/TV and minoring in Advertising. This way, I get to combine both my interests! I’ve been putting a lot of my Final Cut Pro skills to use, creating video bases for TV spots. I’ve also been learning a ton of After Effects, which is the program that creates awesome animations and graphics…essentially Photoshop, but for video. It’s super intense and overwhelming, but hopefully by the end of the summer I’ll be a pro!

I wouldn’t have this awesome internship if it weren’t for the connections I’ve made at COM over the last two years. During my internship search in the spring, I decided to meet with Professor Cakebread, whom I had for Introduction to Advertising the semester before. Since I met with him extensively during the class, I figured he would be a good person to talk to because he knows the advertising world, as well as what kind of experience I was looking for. He got me in contact with a BU alum who was working at Zimmerman, and the rest is history!

The moral of the story is, never lose contact with those that help you along the way. Professor Cakebread was a great teacher and really helped me out in that class, and helped me out now with landing an internship! Don’t be afraid to reach out to these people–they are there to help, and, they really do love to see their students succeed. Keep all of this in mind as you start to prepare for your first year at BU!

 

Lauren: Work & Fun, but Mostly Fun!

Hi COM kiddies!  Hope everyone is having a fantastic summer!  To COM2015 & COM2016- I can’t wait until I get to see you guys back on campus!  And to COM2017?  Welcome to BU!   Get ready for the time of your life!

While I’m anxious to get back on campus and start my senior year (NOOO I never want to graduate!), I’m having the best time in Boston this summer!  I’m subletting an amazing apartment in Coolidge Corner, and it’s been quite different than living on campus!  I’m also cooking for myself for the very first time, which has definitely been a “trial and error” sort of experience, but I love it!

I’ve actually had my summer planned out for a while.  Since February, I knew that I’d be interning full time and singing a cappella for fun on the side.  It seemed like an ideal situation: mostly work, and a little bit of fun.

But the second I walked into Digitas and started my internship at this amazing advertising agency, I knew that, while it was going to be long hours, late nights and tough work, it was also going to be TONS of fun!  The company has a fantastic internship program!  The interns get to enjoy bonding activities (like Red Sox games), training sessions, community service days & more!  We’re also working on an internship project and growing really close as an intern class.  Plus, they have many great past interns who now work at the company (like our very own Tiffany!)

The best part is that no day is exactly the same.  You’ve got to be on your A-game if you’re working at an agency, because it’s very fast-paced and exciting.  There’s never a dull moment at Digitas, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  And, although I’ve only been there for three weeks, I’ve already learned so much.  I know I’m always writing about how important internships are, but I really mean it.  No textbook or lecture can teach you this stuff!  It’s an experience like no other.

But I only get to add on to the fun this summer by being in B Line Breakdown, the summer a cappella group at BU!  Comprised of singers from many of BU’s a cappella groups, we spend our time together bopping and harmonizing to some really cool jams!  It’s a great way to bond with my fellow Terriers over our love of a cappella.  There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by people who share the same passion as you!

I feel so lucky that I’m able to do two things that I truly, deeply love.  My challenge for you all this summer is to find your own perfect balance between work and fun.  But maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll find that your work, and your fun, are the same thing!

 

Kevin: When in Doubt, Talk it Out

If it’s anything worth saying, don’t say it over text. Obviously email and texting is great and helps us all stay in touch, but can also be very unclear.

This summer I’m doing an internship with Crisis Response Journal, a magazine based out of the UK that deals with disasters and emergencies around the world. Last week I went down to NYC to meet with the editor, Emily Hough, who was incredibly helpful and nice. Until then we had only talked over Skype and email, and getting to meet her in person was great. We were able to cover things in just a few minutes that would’ve taken dozens of emails to talk about, really making me a firm believer that if something is important, talking it out in person is more than worthwhile. Over email, sending lots of questions can get overwhelming, but being able to ask her about little things in person and bring up specific things on the computer I had questions about made me feel much more confident that we were on the same page.

That being said, sometimes email is unavoidable, so another lesson I’ve learned is to take time writing your emails! Read through it a few times and try to make it as clear and concise as possible, so that you don’t have to waste the next few emails clarifying!

Can’t wait to meet COM 2017 in the fall, hope you guys have an awesome summer! Enjoy orientation!

 

Kaitlin: A Yoga Summer

It’s been quite the busy summer, and I really love it! I spent the entire month of May in San Francisco completing my second yoga teacher training and it was absolutely the best experience I’ve ever undergone. I learned a ton and truly began to step into myself as a teacher! Now I’m back home on Long Island teaching several classes a week and even leading some Stand Up Paddleboarding tours on the Sound! I know, my life is paradise.

But perhaps the coolest part of my summer is that I get to do some public relations work for my home yoga studio! As some of you may already know, an internship is required for all PR majors, so I decided to apply what I’ve learned to a job that I know I’d love.  I talked to my boss about potential PR work that I could do for her business, got it approved with Professor Quigley, and voilà- the most ideal summer job. Not only am I in an environment I’m quite obsessed with, but I’m also adding a lot of experience and material to my resume and portfolio while earning college credit!

So, you might have a ton of time before you even want to think about interning (and that’s okay), but when you do, make sure you work hard to settle into a place that you’ll know you’ll enjoy working in. Here are a few things I considered when finding my internship spots:

1. Am I interested in the work that is being done? For me, deciding on this internship was easy. I’m a yoga teacher, and I love yoga, so it was pretty much fate. You might not get this lucky all the time, but seek opportunities that you really want to get involved in!

2. Does this agency/business/etc align with my ethics? It’s really important to try to work at a place that not only does business you’re interested in, but one that does it in a way that you’ll be proud to be a part of.  Make sure you agree with the work you’re going to get yourself into!

3. Will I get paid? I know no one really likes to talk about money, because it’s awkward and you want to prove to a supervisor or boss that you’re so passionate about your work that you’d be willing to do it for free, but alas it is really important. Value yourself as a worker, and recognize that you deserve to be valued by other people. Of course, it’s not so common for internships to be paid, but if you can find one that you’re interested and is in line with your ethics, go for it.

No matter what you get into for a job or internship, do your work and do it well. Really use everything you learn in class and apply it! Your hard work will be recognized, and there’s no way you’d regret it.