Maria: Post-Abroad Life

It’s been almost two months since I’ve been back from the best semester of my college experience so far. I spent my first semester of junior year in London studying and interning through BU’s London Internship Program. Looking back on last semester, it’s crazy to think about how fast it all went, and how different it is to be home.

It’s actually weird to say this, but being back in America has given me more culture shock than I had when I first got to London! I quickly grew accustomed to everything that is part of London life, from saying cheers instead of thank you to co-workers to deciding to order food “for take-away” at a café so I wouldn’t have to spend an extra pound to sit down and eat. It even took me a while to cross the street and figure out which directions cars were coming from.

Even when it comes to being back at BU and taking classes, it’s a bit of an adjustment from last semester. Study abroad programs are known to have easier class and work schedules than a normal semester at college, and I almost forgot what it’s like to study for midterms and work on group projects. Especially with the London Internship Program, you spend the first five weeks taking two classes for four days a week, and then you spend the last eight weeks taking one class one day a week and interning the other four days. So now you might be able to understand how it’s a big change going from a leisurely semester in Europe to handling four classes, my involvement in COM, being President of my sorority, finding time to do homework, and having time to catch up with friends and family. Needless to say, I’m beyond thrilled to be back in Boston for another amazing semester here at BU.

Going abroad is probably one of the most recommended things to do in college by those who did and did not go abroad. Some people who did will say it’s the best time of your life, and some who didn’t will say they regret it. Feel free to shoot me an email if you’re interested in studying abroad in London.

Cheers!

Maria

Mike: From LA to the Real World

Hey guys,

Well, after a whirlwind of a semester in Los Angeles, I am now an official BU graduate! I handed in the final paper of my college career last night, what a weird feeling…It hasn’t really hit me yet and I don’t think it will until after the New Year when all of my friends will be heading back to Boston for their final semesters and I will be home looking for work! A part of me is disappointed I won’t be up in Beantown for my final semester, but after two amazing semesters abroad, I feel that I am ready to take on the real world.

Spending the last three months in Los Angeles has been such an incredible experience. Just from being in the entertainment capital of the world, I learned so much about the industry. Interning at a major studio like Paramount and a leader in independent film like The Weinstein Company, I was exposed to such different approaches to filmmaking. I read tons of amazing scripts and even got to work a few film premieres! The program kept me constantly busy– interning five days a week and taking classes at night– but it has prepared me immensely for the working world.

Leaving LA was bittersweet but I know that I will be back in the future. For now, I’m going to enjoy the holidays and take a breather after a hectic semester. After the New Year, I will begin the daunting task of searching for a job in New York. Luckily, I have connections in NYC and LA now from my previous internships that I will definitely stay in touch with and contact if I need help finding work. My main piece of advice to all of you guys is to network and stay in touch with people from your internships!  Introduce yourselves to the speakers at the Cinemateques and other COM events because you never know when you are going to cross paths with these professionals again. It is so important to keep in touch with people you meet in this industry because they are often the ones who will help you find work and put in a good word for you in the future!

I still can’t believe I am finished at Boston University. The two and a half years I spent on campus at BU flew by and I only wish I could go back for more. After a year of traveling (last spring in Europe and this fall in LA), I am ready to settle down and look for my first job. I learned so much during my time at BU and made such lasting friendships. Make sure you guys take it all in and have fun! I wish you all the best of luck in college and hope that you all enjoy your time at BU as much as I did!

Mike

 

Jason: Madrid Retrospective

Yesterday, December 5th 2012, I officially finished my classes and my internship here in Madrid and I have 8 days left until I return to the states.

As I’m sure you will here from every person who has studied abroad this has been by far the best experience I have had in my life. I have learned so much at my internship; not only technical skills but also many aspects of the cinema industry in Spain, the United States, and around the world. All of the three classes I took here (Spain and the European Union, The History of Spain through documentaries, and Advance Spanish Language) are all on my list of favorite classes. These professors are some of the best in their field and I have never learned so much in a class before.

Madrid and the entire country–the food, the people, the culture,–are incredible. Above all, the opportunity to live with a family (There is no question I had the best family of the entire program) hanging out with my host brother and his friends, and watching my Spanish improve every day… it just could not have been better.

I’m extremely exited to get back to the states though to see my friends, family, and SNOW! (I’m going through skiing withdrawal) And I’m very excited for my classes next semester! I’ll be taking my first creative television producing, understanding of film, production 2, and advance french language (yup that’s 2 foreign languages for this kid)

Anyway, good luck with all of your exams, papers, etc., happy holidays, and go abroad!!

If you have any questions about the Madrid program, going abroad, etc. please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!!!

 

Kate: London vs. Boston

Hello again from London!

I hope everyone has been having an amazing semester back in Boston and I am looking forward to joining you all in just over a month!  For the past seven weeks, I have been completing the internship portion of my abroad programme and I am happy to report it has been a successful experience! I chose to intern with a small fashion PR firm in central London who work with a variety of clients. I’ve always been interested in fashion PR but I’ve never known if it was exactly what I wanted to do so I decided, why not give it a try in one of the fashion capitals of the world?!

The internship was definitely a learning experience and the best way to get immersed in the culture and work life of London.  Here are the four most valuable (and fun!) things I learned at my internship:

 

  1. Difference in the style of journalism. Each day, I scanned through the local daily papers like The Guardian, The Daily Mail, and The Daily Telegraph for fashion coverage and mentions of our clients. Here, everything is so much more sensational and almost reminds me of the National EnquirerThe Sun even features a nude photo on page three everyday! No daily paper in America would get away with that!
  2. Running PR events. During my time, I helped the team with three client events including our major fall press day.  A press day is basically when you invite all local journalists to your showroom to see you client’s new collections. It’s a really important day for the agency and I learned a ton preparing for and helping at the event.
  3. Sending out press samples. This aspect of my internship may have been favorite.  A couple times a day, journalists sent us stories they were working on so we could send them clothes from our clients that could be featured in their publication.  It was my job to pick out the clothes and accessories and send them to the journalist.  This helped me learn what types of items look best when photographed and the difference between still life shots and model shots.  It tapped into my shopaholic tendencies a bit and I loved it!
  4. The lingo. For the first week of my internship, I was so confused when I would come into work and people would ask if I was alright. Did I look sick? Tired? Sad? I couldn’t figure it out.  Nope, that is just a normal greeting like “what’s up.”  Other confusing terms? A jumper is a sweater. A gillet is a vest. Rocket is arugula. A biscuit is a cookie. Chips are French fries and crisps are chips. The bin is the trashcan. And don’t forget to say cheers before leaving for the day!

Now that the internship is over, I just have my last class and final! I can’t believe I only have two weeks left in this amazing city and I will be sad to leave but it will be good to be home with my family for Christmas.

Happy Holidays COM Family!

 

 

Tom: Take a Break from Boston… Go Abroad

Hello all! I am in the midst of writing this blog post while checking through my London Visa Application – so I figured this would be the ideal time to discuss my own “break” from Boston this upcoming spring. As I alluded to in an earlier blog post, I will be heading to London this upcoming spring with the BU Study Abroad Programme and will be taking part in the COM Internship Program.

After an incredibly exciting and fast paced semester of COM, Advertising and more and more theater, I knew I was ready to take a break from the Boston University Campus Scene. This is why I decided to apply for the London Programme.

I understand that there are a number of myths out there that may make you concerned about studying abroad. I’ve decided to take this blog post to combat those myths and again, encourage you to GO ABROAD!

Myth #1 – The Program is Too Expensive

Undoubtedly, studying and travelling abroad can get costly – especially when you have the opportunity to travel and experience all the sights around Europe. However, the great thing about the BU Abroad Program is that the program costs are not much different than a typical semester at BU. For me, all of my scholarship, grants and loans carried over to the London Program. I also managed to cut down the program costs by applying to be a Resident Assistant.

Myth #2 – I Won’t Be Able to Graduate On Time

Not true! This is Reason Number One Million why COM is the best. COM offers COM Internship Programs abroad in a number of locations (such as London, Paris, Madrid, Los Angeles, to name a few). While abroad, with this internship and some liberal arts classes – you can actually satisfy all of your requirements while travelling abroad. Plus, the internship is so worth it when looking for jobs after graduation.

Myth #3 – I Won’t Be Able to Handle the Culture Shock

Yes, there will be Culture Shock. I won’t lie and say there isn’t. But as someone who’s known many people who go abroad, the culture shock is actually the best part of studying abroad. While some people may be turned away by the idea of a new culture – use this experience as a way to broaden your horizons. The new things you’ll get to experience may pleasantly surprise you.

Long story short – go abroad! You won’t regret it. I’ll keep you updated next semester with all of my exciting London adventures, along with fellow COM Ambassadors – Dany, Julianna and Sarah!

Signing Out,

Tom

Jason: Madrid!

¡Hola! In case you haven´t been following COMlife, Kate and I are both abroad this semester so this blog is coming all the way from Madrid en España!

Normally my blogs are more or less stream of consciousness but I´ll try to organize this one a bit because I have a lot to say. Also sorry if my English sounds funny but I´m at my internship now and it´s sometimes hard to switch between 3 languages (English, Spanish, and French- because my supervisor is French so I speak with her in French from time to time)

So today marks my 13th day in Madrid- although I have to be honest, for both my friends and me, it feels like we´ve been here for much longer than that; all for the better of course. It´s crazy thinking about how much my Spanish has improved in barely two weeks; to the effect that I can understand almost everything. And although I don´t speak perfectly, I´ve got the confidence to try now and thats 50%!

I have three classes and one internship. My classes are Spain and the EU, Advance Spanish Language, and a documentary class. All of my professors are beyond incredible and are so passionate about what they teach. Of course my favorite class is the documentary class because it´s a mix of European/ Spanish history and sociology with technical documentary through out.

My internship is with Lopez- Li Films, located only one block away from the Instituto Internacinal where we take classes. It´s a documentary company of about 8 people and just happens to be one of the most well respected documentary production houses in Spain. I´ve been working here less than 10 days and I´ve already been working with Photoshop and After Effects on real projects for the company. Yesterday I got to help out with a set of interviews for a new documentary that the company is making about professional story tellers- actors who recount fables that have been passed down through out the generations. We heard from someone from Galacia, el Pais Basco, and Madrid- three places in Spain that speak very different languages. My official title was auxiliary camera man (I think.)

But yeah, everything has been going extremely well so far! I´ll post some photos from the interview below. If you guys have any questions about my experience so far feel free to send me an e-mail or a message on Facebook!

¨Ta logo!

Mike: LA Living

Hey guys!

Greetings from Los Angeles! I’ve been here three weeks now and I’m finally settling in and getting adjusted to the whole west coast lifestyle. I must say, I really do miss September time in Boston. Yesterday it was 102 degrees here! I would do anything for a cool fall day on Bay State right about now!

The BU in LA program puts us up in Park La Brea, an apartment complex located in West Hollywood, right in the center of everything. We are walking distance from The Grove, the giant outdoor shopping center, as well as Whole Foods, Trader Joes and an awesome Farmer’s Market. It’s really convenient! Those are about the only places I can really walk to though… Unfortunately, the public transportation system out here is not nearly as efficient as in Boston or New York, so I rented a car and find myself driving everywhere, often stuck in painfully long traffic jams!

But I am certainly keeping busy out here. I am interning five days a week, 3 days at Paramount Pictures and 2 days at The Weinstein Company. Paramount is awesome because I get to be on the lot every day where they are shooting shows like American Horror Story, Glee, and Happy Endings. It’s so awesome to be right next door to the very sound stages where Hollywood classics like Rear Window and Sunset Boulevard were shot so many years ago! Over at Weinstein, I am doing lots of script coverage for their development and production departments. It’s cool to be able to see film from the studio side as well as from the side of an independent company like Weinstein, which has had success with hits like Inglorious Bastards and The King’s Speech. So far it has been an amazing experience just being out here and meeting different people in the entertainment industry.

I think I’m going to graduate after this semester in December so I can start the job hunt early and take advantage of the connections I made out here and the ones I have back home in New York. It’s really weird and hard to grasp the idea that I’m done with BU though!

I hope all of you are enjoying the starts of your semesters as much as I am! For all you film and TV kids, the LA program is definitely something to consider, what an awesome opportunity this is! I can’t stress that enough. If you guys have any questions at all about the program or about Los Angeles in general, please feel free to shoot me an email!

Best of luck this semester,

Mike

Kate: Three Tips to Picking Classes Abroad

I cannot believe I am finally in London! After a six month long countdown, I finally made it over The Pond and have been living the abroad life for the past 10 days. So far it has been everything I had hoped for and more and I am so excited to everything to come. In fact, I just booked my fall break to, wait for it… ITALY! Five days of eating pizza, drinking wine and sight seeing until I can’t walk anymore is just a mere four weeks away (I’ll be sure to catch all of you up on that in my next post)!

However, study abroad is not all about traveling the world, there are courses involved too. So here are my tips to getting the most out of your classroom experience:

Find the Program you will get the most out of. You don’t necessarily have to do the same program as your major. Do something that interests you or that you have always wanted to try because that is what your core class will be in and the field in which you will do your internship. For me, I live and breath PR so that decision was a no-brainer. However, I know a fellow COM student who is majoring in Journalism, however he chose to do the Pre-Law program because he has aspirations of attending law school when he graduates. The Study Abroad office offers hundreds of options (there are at least 15 just in London!) so you will definitely something that works for you.

2. Take one class that takes care of a requirement. Whether it be a liberal arts requirement or a class towards your minor, find something will check another class off your list. All your major specific classes must be taken at BU so don’t spend all your time taking electives here and then stress about getting all your requirements done in Boston. There are a lot of options for CAS courses and you will easily be able to fulfill at least one required course.

3. Take something fun! Again, as someone who dreams about PR in her sleep, I took a COM-related course for this one. Its called International Brand Management and I am literally jumping out of my pants excited. BUT, my best friend is taking a British Pop Culture class. Hello, Beatles! Also, every class in the London program has at least one field trip (and I am sure this applies to other locations too) so a fun class equals an interesting field trip!

The first word in Study Abroad is study so make sure to work hard in your classes and get good grades. But, have fun and learn a lot because most people will never have this experience again. I have already learned so much about British culture and daily life from my professors (who also happen to have fantastic accents). And if I have any other advice it is to STUDY ABROAD. Go. Do it. I’ve been here a week and I already never want to leave.

 

I’ll be sure to update y’all later in the semester (be sure to follow me on The Twitter @KateScott10) and I hope you are loving BU so far!

Cheers!

 

Jason: Summer’s Coming to an End

Wow. It’s pretty crazy that the summer is almost over. As you all know I stayed in Boston for a few different reasons.

My internship at WGBH has been a great experience. I have enjoyed working with the production team behind the upcoming JFK documentary and the rest of the American experience team. It has been a great opportunity because not only was I doing work directly related to the film but I know my colleges and other contacts I made in the last four months will be beneficial to my career.

The graduate thesis film I am producing is in post production and I am currently working with my director on financing. Unfortunately we did not have time before production to secure a budget so we are now working on fundraising. The film will be complete by the end of the fall semester so I should return from Spain in time to attend the screening.

Speaking of Spain, in the last few weeks I’ve found out my internship and the family that I’ll be living with. My family is a mom, dad, and son who is 20 years old, and 3 dogs. The housing form for abroad programs that involve homes-stays is great because you can include a preference of the type of family that you would like to stay with. I will be interning with a documentary production company called Lopez-Li Films. One of my friends participated in the summer version of the Madrid internship program and she was happened to be also be at Lopez- Li Films. She said she had an incredible time with the 8 person team and was heavily involved in the company’s work.

It’ll be tough to not have my friends and family so close by for the four months that I’ll be away but I’m extremely excited for the four month adventure that is to come.

Sarah: Tales of a Nicktern

Hey there terriers! Whatever you find yourselves doing this summer, I hope you’re making it fun and meaningful. Make these next few weeks count – fall will sneak up on us before we know it!

Your first summer after your first year of college tends to go a bit differently than the previous, especially if you’re a COM student. But fear not! This change is often for the best. Come springtime, if not as a freshman than definitely as a sophomore, you’ll be hit with the same question countless times: “What are your summer plans?” This year, with a smile and maybe just a hint of smug satisfaction, I was able to respond with something that makes the 8-year-old kid in all of us do cartwheels: I’m working for Nickelodeon.

As of last Monday, I officially started my internship with Nickelodeon Animation in beautiful Burbank, California. The program hosts roughly 30 interns on various shows and in various departments. I’m working in the post-production department with the vault librarian, and after only my first week as a Nicktern, I can tell that this will be a near life-changing experience. Nickelodeon has built a climate of genuinely passionate and friendly people who are excited about their jobs and excited to teach interns.

This really isn’t your typical internship program. Our supervisors trust us with a lot of the work and responsibility given to employees. And because of it, we’re held to very high standards. But it’s not all work – being a Nicktern certainly has its perks. Interns have the opportunity to take classes, see screenings, attend networking events, meet with some big names in the industry, and just have a lot of fun (I play ping-pong almost everyday with co-workers in the outdoor courtyard). Nickelodeon really knows how to treat its interns.

Being on the west coast still feels a bit surreal to me. Just weeks ago, I was in student services planning out my schedule so I could participate in the LA program my senior year. Now, two years early, here I am. There were certainly a few bumps in the road. Moving out to the West Coast from New York was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to coordinate (I may have spent more time on Craigslist looking for a place to stay than I did studying for finals). But, it was absolutely worth it!

The perpetual follow-up question I got about my summer plans was, “How did you get that gig?” The simple answer: I applied. Having connections is a great way to get your foot in the door, but NEVER underestimate the power of a polished cover letter and genuine passion for a position. As a BU COM student, some pretty incredible internships are well within your reach. This summer alone, I have COM friends interning at Lifetime, Sirius Radio, VH1, ABC and some other pretty cool companies. Searching for internships can be one of the most stressful tasks as a college student, but in the end, also the most rewarding. Take advantage of all the career services COM provides. And just apply! You’ll never know until you do.

So soak up the sun and enjoy your last few months pre-BU. And be prepared to make next summer count!

See you new terriers in the fall!