Tom: The College Experience from Little to Big

Four years flies by in the blink of an eye. I feel like it was yesterday that I said goodbye to my parents, settled into Warren Towers 1102C and embarked on the adventure that would be my four years at Boston University. Now I’m a second semester senior, looking at job possibilities and the future, and thinking to myself, “How did four years fly that fast?”

 

Well… It flew by with 12 musicals, 2 plays, 3 Open Houses, 1 Mr. and Ms. BU Pageant, countless tours of the College of Communication, and dozens of great friends. So I can’t say nothing happened in my time here. But I have spent my last semester of BU reflecting on the time I spent and the time I have left.

 

My favorite aspect of being a senior at BU is watching students just a few years younger than you, grow up and come into their own at Boston University. When you become a junior, a whole slew of new freshmen come at you that you literally get to watch grow up until they become upperclassmen themselves.

 

In “On Broadway,” the musical theater group I undeniably devote most of my time to, we have an informal “Big” and “Little” system, which is where we informally take underclassmen under our wing, who we feel are most like ourselves. I have taken so much enjoyment in watching all of these “littles” grow and get ready to take over our place in the group long after we’re gone. Being an upperclassman in college makes you half-father/half-sidekick/half-best friend with many amazing underclassmen and it has definitely been a highlight of my BU experience.

 

To any incoming students, I encourage you to look up to upperclassmen and learn all you can from them. This knowledge you will then use to pass on to the next batch of “littles” who will make your BU experience all the more worthwhile.

Tom: The Power of iCloud Calendars

Hi all!

 

Hope your semester and winter has been off to a great start (don’t let the snow get you down!). My semester has been off to a racing start following my auditions at the start of this semester, and I’ve already felt the excitement setting in. However, although exciting, a busy schedule can sometimes cause your stress levels to rise.

 

I’ve been living relatively stress free at the start of this semester by making use of my iCloud Calendar. If you are someone who has a plethora of Mac products, such as a Macbook and an iPhone, I strongly recommend calibrating your iCloud Calendar.

 

iCloud allows you to link your computer and phone calendars so that you have a consistent calendar on the go. Sitting with your MacBook answering emails and need to add in an appointment for next week? Just pop it in your MacBook iCal and it also pops up instantly on your phone. Want to add an appointment on-the-go? Pop it in your phone calendar and it will show up on your iCal.

 

I have found this technique of scheduling and managing deadlines key to living this busy semester stressfree. I am happily getting the opportunity to act in three shows in my last semester, which has been overwhelming, but I am so glad to be able to manage it all. Huzzah for technology!

Tom: Winter Internship

Hi all!

BU Students, Welcome back to Campus! I am very happy to be back on campus for my last semester ever (GASP!).

 

While most students spent their Winter Break streaming Netflix, catching up with old friends, and taking corny family photos – I spent my winter break by returning to my summer internship at AKA NYC. AKA NYC is a Broadway and live entertainment boutique advertising and marketing agency located in… yes, you guessed it… New York City. Some of their clients include MATILDA THE MUSICAL, ROCK OF AGES, and the recently closed SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK. I returned to the company as a Marketing and Promotions Intern.

Interning over the winter break was an excellent opportunity to get back to the swing of interning, reconnect with old friends and co-workers, and to continue to broaden my experience in the theater industry. You would be surprised how much you can learn even in just a three week internship, and are even more surprised by how much changes in just four months.

Most importantly, my winter internship reinvigorated my love for theatrical advertising moving into this semester. While my auditions are still in the works, I’m certainly hoping to get back at Theatre Producing in my last semester with BU On Broadway and BU Stage Troupe. When I have more info on what shows I will be working on this semester, I’ll be sure to share!

Cheers to a happy spring semester (and my last!)

-Tom

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!

 

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

 

Tom: Traveling All Around Europe for Dummies

Hello all! And “Cheers” from across the Atlantic, where I am studying abroad at BU’s London Internship Program. I arrived in London a little under two months ago and have been having the time of my life: from taking in all the culture and theater London has to offer, along with getting to travel around Europe on the weekends!

Now the thought of traveling around Europe and studying abroad can seem daunting but with a few tips, you can make travelling around Europe easy and seamless (and most importantly… cheap). This is precisely why I have titled this short guide: Travelling Around Europe for Dummies.

Plan, Plan, PLAN.

  • When choosing to go to a specific city, make sure you know what you want to do and how long you want to stay there. As a travel tip, get together with your travel companions the day before to plot out what you want to do and how you are going to navigate the city (walking, metro, bus, etc.). Also make sure your hostel (the cheapest and best way to book places to stay) is near all the major sights.

Pick your travel buddies carefully

  • When you are choosing to book a trip with a group of friends, make sure everyone is on the same page with what you want to do. I was lucky enough to have great companions for all the trips I’ve been on so far – but some other friends were not as lucky on other trips.

Make a Checklist… But be flexible

  • The greatest suggestion I have for travelling is to make a checklist for everything you want to do. For example, when I went to Paris, some of the things on my checklist were “See the Eiffel Tower, Visit the Louvre, Eat a Crepe, and buy a Baguette.” Make sure you allot enough time to do everything, but also be flexible.Some of the greatest things you’ll do abroad will happen spontaneously (such as when I found the beach in Barcelona or stumbled onto a parade in Paris).

No matter what happens… Stay Positive

  • No matter what may happen, always stay positive and remember you are having a once-in-a-lifetime chance to travel. Many people don’t get the opportunity to gallivant around Europe like BU Study Abroad students, so take in everything that the cities have to offer and don’t get worried if you don’t do “everything”.

Those are my top tips for travelling which have been helpful in my weekend trips to Paris, Barcelona, and Cardiff. I’m looking forward to the rest of the semester travelling to Rome, Venice, Dublin, Prague, and more! (and of course, getting to find all the hidden gems of London).

Thinking about going abroad? Shoot me an email (tschrank@bu.edu) and I’ll offer you plenty of tips and advice.

Cheers,

Tom

 

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

Tom: The Life of a Student Director

Hey all! I hope you have all had a great start to the fall season. I’ve always been more of a winter person so the change to the new season always puts me in a good mood.

Besides the change in weather, the biggest thing on my mind has been the production I am directing through BU On Broadway, our musical theater group on campus. For anyone interested in doing extracurricular theater on campus, I am going to discuss how people can balance both their coursework and their extracurricular activities.

To start from the beginning, I was given the opportunity to direct the musical, All Shook Up, after having pitched the group to the Executive Board back in the spring. Since the group is entirely student run, teams interested in putting on their own show (as director, music director, or choreographer) pitch which show they want to do. The Executive Board and a select pitch committee deliberate on which show fits the group and the season. After an extensive pitch, my team was given the opportunity to direct.

Directing has been both a stressful, but extremely rewarding, experience. Being granted the experience of running an entire production has always been my dream and has definitely exceeded all my expectations. At the same time, being a student director is never an easy task. While one minute I’m cramming for my COM midterm, at another second I’m thinking about how to stage a particular scene. All of this is in between thinking about scheduling, sitting in meetings, and giving constant pep talks to my cast members.

My recommendation to anyone in COM is to take advantage of every opportunity. Even if you think you may be overwhelmed, the experience will be rewarding in too many ways. The opportunities are also great resume boosters! While getting internships is almost a necessity within COM, sometimes the greatest opportunities also come in extracurricular activities.

Signing Out,

Tom

Tom: Falling in Love with Your Minor

Hey all! Hope your semester is off to a great start. It’s become that time of year around campus – the leaves are changing, the weather is getting cooler, students are breaking out the sweaters, and midterms are right around the corner.

This semester has been awesome thus far. I’ve been busy directing All Shook Up through BU On Broadway, and just found out that I will be headed to London next semester through BU’s London Internship Program. A ton of great blogs ahead about both!

But for this blog, I wanted to focus on how you can incorporate a minor into your schedule and how you can fall in love with this minor, as much as your major.

First – COM’s Curriculum makes it manageable to incorporate a liberal arts minor.

Since COM is focused on its liberal arts curriculum in addition to its COM classes, there is plenty of flexibility to take a minor within the College of Arts and Sciences. Through meeting with an academic adviser in COM, I realized I could make sociology my minor with only one additional class. Obviously, I took this opportunity and ran with it.

Second – Taking on a Minor gives you a break from your COM Classes.

I love COM Classes to death (hence why I’m an Advertising major). But there’s only so many advertising classes you can take in one semester without feeling like you’re going insane. That’s one of the greatest things about being able to minor. You get to change up what you are focusing on and try out some new things. Sometimes a break is exactly what you need to do your best work.

Third – You get to try other things you are interested in.

This semester I am taking Sociology 240: Sex and The Social Life, which is hands down one of the most interesting classes I’ve ever taken in my time at BU. While normally, I would not get a chance to take this class, having the opportunity to minor allows me to take the class and have it count for my requirements.

 

In short – take advantage of minoring while in COM. While most students come in and focus only on their major, sometimes a minor can go a long way.

Tom: Reasons Why You Should Live in StuVi

Hey all! Hope you are all off to a wonderful start to the fall semester – I know my junior year went off with a bang of new activities, new faces and new responsibilities. Just in the past three weeks, I cast my BU On Broadway production of All Shook Up (more to come on this in future blog posts!), we held the first annual #COMGames for freshmen, I started classes, and I applied to go abroad to London next semester. Lots of exciting things to begin – I’m slightly overwhelmed but overall ecstatic and thrilled with an exciting semester.

But easily the best part of moving in this semester was that I got to live at 33 Harry Agganis Way in Student Village (StuVi2, as we call it). I’m living in a double with my friend Shane in an eight person suite on the 7th floor (overlooking the Charles River). While the thought of an eight person suite may seem daunting, StuVi2 is definitely the best living situation I’ve been in yet.

Here are my top reasons you should live in StuVi if you get the chance:

1)      Appearance

You always hear “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” You 100% should judge StuVi by what it looks like because it is beautiful. My parents were awestruck by the lobby that makes you feel like you walked into a Marriott Hotel. When you get into the rooms, the good looks don’t stop there. And like I mentioned earlier, the glorious view of the Charles through the large windows is certainly an amazing sight to wake up to in the morning.

2)      The Air-Conditioning

While campus never gets too hot in the fall, there is absolutely nothing like retreating under a blanket after a long day of classes and activities. And with the air conditioning, your room will always be cool to do so.

3)      Space

The space in the rooms in StuVi is not to be believed. I’m in a double room in StuVi but the amount of space we have makes us feel like we have two separate rooms and are just missing the wall that divides them. As they say in Step Brothers, “So much room for activities!”

4)      The BU Bus Stop

This is probably the greatest of the reasons. Picture Me: First day of class, dressed all nice, new shoes. And I walk outside, and it’s raining. Obviously I was immediately distressed, but then when the BU Bus pulled up RIGHT IN FRONT of StuVi I was instantly relieved. I made it all the way to class without even getting a drop of rain on me. Talk about a wonderful place for a BU Bus Stop.

I can go on and on with reasons, but I think you get the point. If you want to see more, definitely check out what BU Housing put together on StuVi and check it out yourself! http://www.bu.edu/housing/residences/stuv/