Tom: August, the Month of Intense Packing

Hey guys! The month of July is shortly coming to a close which only means one thing… August is right around the corner. Before you know it, you guys will be new freshmen here in the fall moving in to Warren Towers, using your dining points for the first time at the GSU, and pulling all-nighters to push yourself through finals.

While spending the end of my summer in Boston, I’m using most of August prepping for when I direct my first show, All Shook Up, in the fall. But for all you new terriers, I know you will be spending August trying to decide what to pack for what will become your new home for the next year.

Regardless of if you live in Warren, West, or some random brownstone on campus, all college freshmen need the same things. Here’s a tip guide to walk you step by step through the packing process so grab your nearest parent and their wallet and get ready to shop! Most of the things below can either be bought at Bed, Bath & Beyond or similar retailer (Target can be super helpful as well), or can be bought at BU Barnes & Noble on campus for those of you far away.

1) Outfitting Your New Room – The most important place to start is to fix up your new bedroom. You’ll need all the necessities: pillows, comforter (Extra-Long Twin!) and sheets. You should definitely invest in getting a good mattress pad – you can use it all four years and it will keep you super comfortable for all those times when you just need a good night’s sleep. Pick a color and design that you like for your bedspread and match it with wall decorations that will make your new room as much like home as you can.

2) All the Extras – In addition to the necessities, a few small things throughout the room will really make your room perfect. A fan, alarm clock, and trash basket will go a long way. A fan will help you stay cool throughout some hot days in September. Although most people use their phone, I would invest in an alarm clock for all those times you drop your phone and are helpless until the apple store has an available appointment. A trash basket for… well trash.

3) Bathroom Essentials – Chances are, most of you will be sharing a common bathroom with your floor. As horrifying as it may sound for you clean freaks out there, trust me you’ll be fine. Invest in a shower caddy, a bunch of big bath towels, and some shower shoes (cheap Old Navy $2 flip flops go a long way) and you’ll survive sharing your first bathroom just fine.

4) Noms, Noms, Noms – What food to pack!? A key question for every freshmen coming in. Really – it’s up to you. It’s hard to advise students here because everyone is so different. Personally, I try not to fill my room with food since I spend most of my time heading to the dining hall to eat. If you think you’re someone who likes to stay home and have your own time, I’d definitely get some food for your room. But if you think you’ll be out and about most of the day, I’d say keep the snacks to a minimum. Tip: Ramen Noodles are a great purchase to break out for when you are stuck inside with a cold. Also – a brita filter goes a long way to keep you hydrated late at night.

I hope you found this guide helpful. Feel free to tweet me up (@tschrank) or shoot me an email throughout August and I’ll help you on the packing hunt, or any other things that may come up. Have a great end to another wonderful summer!

Tom: It’s Internship Time

Tom ImageHey guys! Hope the summer months have treated you well and you are all excited to come to BU in the fall. I’ve already met some of you at Orientation and I look forward to seeing all of you over the next few weeks.

This summer I’ve begun my first COM summer internship at SpeakEasy Stage Company over in Boston’s South End. I am one of SpeakEasy’s Marketing Interns, which means that I intern under the company’s marketing director to assist in gaining new subscribers, advertise for their upcoming season, and help out the office in any way I can.

SpeakEasy is the perfect first stop for my first internship as it is exactly in the field where I want to end up. I was able to combine my passion for theater with my COM education in the advertising industry. My advice to incoming students is to take advantage of the summers to find the best internships. Since you are not bogged down with schoolwork, you can focus on getting the most out of your internship.

The greatest part of my internship at SpeakEasy (besides the free show tickets) is that I have managed to get FOUR COM Credits for the internship. If you are a junior or senior in COM, you can get course credit for your classes that actually count towards your major requirements. This was ideal for me because I can get the four credits out of the way and focus on different things coming my way during the school year. I definitely recommend COM students do multiple internships in their time here. While this is my first internship, I plan on doing 3-4 more in the rest of my time here (including one abroad in London in the spring!). It’s a great time to gain experience, build up your resume, get some course credit, and of course, have a good time in a field your passionate about.

I’ll be back later in the summer with a bit of advice for new students moving in to BU in the fall. See you all at Orientation on Thursdays this summer!! Reach out to me when you get here – the student advisors and I can’t wait to meet you guys.

“TomKat”: We’re Back!

Tom ImageKate ImageWe’re back for summer blogging! Although our COM Ambassadors are off for the summer pursuing internships, summer jobs, and vacations – we will continue blogging  and getting you excited to come to COM in the fall.

Our COM Ambassadors will be blogging every Wednesday and Friday telling you what they’re up to when school isn’t in session and giving you tips, tricks, and pointers for moving to BU in the fall. Consider us an inside guide to surviving the summer before your first semester.

Hope you all are having an excellent end of your school year. We’ll both see you at Orientation this summer and stay tuned for more updates from our COM Ambassadors!

“TomKat”: Get Ready for Summer

Tom ImageKate ImageCongratulations to the recently admitted, and now official, BU COM Class of 2016! We know that picking a college can be one of the most stressful moments in your life, but we are so happy to see you guys here in the fall! “COM’s the Bomb” as you’ll soon come to know and love.

Our COM Ambassadors are settling their things at the end of another great semester. We have CA’s ready to graduate, coming back from abroad, finishing up their finals, and just arranging to start their summer plans. We’re sure you guys are having back to back graduations, grad parties, and beach trips to get to this summer – but we wanted to give you some tips of getting prepared for BU this summer.

1. RSVP for Orientation – Orientation will be one of the highlights of your summer and your first stepping stone for your start at BU. You will make your schedule, get your terrier card, hear about everything going on in the fall semester, and most importantly: meet other 2016-ers! You can RSVP and read FAQ’s about Orientation at www.bu.edu/orientation.

2. Check out the COM Ambassadors – If you have been following this blog, chances are you know a bit about each of our COM Ambassadors. You will be notified soon about the opportunity to choose your own COM Ambassador. The COM Ambassadors will be your upperclassmen mentor when you come in the fall, so choose wisely. You can check out their blogs on this site or check out our main homepage.

3.Think about FYSOP – If you are interested in moving in early and doing community service with fellow incoming freshmen, you should think about FYSOP – The First-Year Student Outreach Program. You can see all FYSOP has to offer on the Community Service Center (CSC) website or hear about Sarah’s experience.

4. Sit back and Relax – The most underrated tip of the summer. Chances are you are a mix of excitement and anxiety right now. Some days you can’t wait for BU and other days you are worried about making the big transition. Not to worry – you will find that adapting to college will be easier than you think. Sit back, relax and enjoy your final summer before starting college.

Our CA’s will be blogging about their summer adventures at the beginning of June so stay tuned until then. Remember – feel free to reach out with any questions you may have to either of us: tschrank@bu.edu or katescott10@yahoo.com. We’re happy to help! Congrats again! We can’t wait to see you in the fall!

Tom: Getting the Most “Noms” from Your Dining Points

Tom ImageHey guys! Unfortunately, it’s my last blog for you guys for the semester. First off – Congrats on your admittance to the College of Communication! We hope to see all newly accepted students at our Open House dates on April 14th and 21st!

For this blog post – I’ve decided to give a Top 5 guide to the various places on campus where Dining Points are accepted and tips for using your dining points wisely. Follow this guide and the George Sherman Union (the GSU) will become your new friend and customized salads will become a way of life.

Place #1Looseleafs

Location Union Court in the GSU

Looseleafs is a customized salad station where students can come and make their own salad. You choose your own base, then six toppings of your choice and a choice of dressing, bread, and extra topping (chicken, steak, etc.). The salads are HUGE and you never get bored because you can customize a different salad every time. My favorite part of looseleafs is the themes. Each week, looseleafs takes on a different theme (favorites include Italy and Southwest) and you can customize your salad with different topping options related to that theme! By far, looseleafs is my standard go-to option in Union Court.

Place #2Cranberry Farms

Location – Union Court in the GSU

Are you the type of person who wishes Thanksgiving could be every day of the year? If so – Cranberry Farms is your one-stop shop for a delicious home style dinner. You get the choice between a variety of dinner options such as Turkey Dinner, BBQ Pulled Pork, and Meatloaf and then you get to add two sides. Some of my favorite sides include the Mac and Cheese and the stuffing. If you are looking for a lighter lunch meal, they also offer sandwiches!

Place #3 Breadwinners

Location2nd Level of the School of Management (SMG)

I love having my own private place to study and unwind after finishing my classes in the afternoon. My ideal pick for weekday lunch is at Breadwinners in the School of Management (open to all students at the university – not just those in SMG). At Breadwinners, you can pick from delicious sandwiches, sushi, yogurt, soup, and much more. Breadwinners is also right across from Starbucks, so you can pick and pair your favorite coffee with your favorite sandwich.

Place #4 – Café 575

Location – 575 Commonwealth Avenue (Hojo)

If you are lucky enough to live in beautiful 575 Commonwealth Avenue (also known as “Hojo”) you will have access to Café 575. A small café style, Café 575 is an excellent place to get delicious coffee in the middle of your day or for late night studying. They also have a customize your own Panini station so you can pick and pair ingredients to make your own grilled cheese.

Place #5 – Einstein Bros.

Location – Basement of The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS)

If you are looking for a pit stop for a coffee or bagel sandwich in between your classes, stop down to the basement of CAS. Einstein’s has a variety of options to choose from for both breakfast and lunch. I love stopping there on Friday mornings and picking up a Ham/Egg/Cheese on a bagel thin with an iced coffee. They also have sandwiches, salads and a variety of muffins and other snacks.

While this is my Top Five, there is also a number of other locations on campus that accept dining points. Feel free to explore the campus if you come here in the fall – I find something new to fall in love with each semester. Spend wisely! Have a great summer and I hope to see you at the Open House!

Tom: The Balancing Act of College

Tom ImageHey guys! I am back and blogging for you guys again. Earlier in the semester I told you guys that I was auditioning for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Time sure does fly by as I am now in the final week of rehearsals before opening night!! For the past month, my life has been schoolwork, work, rehearsal & sleep, all day everyday. But I’ve still managed to find time for a social life. For this blog post, I’ve chosen to write my Top 5 Tips for surviving the balancing act of college.

1.     Caffeine… but with a limit. I am so grateful to be on a campus that has five Starbucks locations on campus. When I’m trying to balance all of the different things, I find my daily dose of caffeine a necessity. However, you need to keep it within limit. Pulling all nighters with a redbull in hand is never productive. A cup of coffee or two will do you fine.

2.     Find the best study space. If it wasn’t for my favorite go-to study space (The Starbucks in SMG), I would never be productive. Find a productive place to do all of your work and you will get work done in half the time!

3.     Get plenty of sleep. You will only be able to function with enough sleep. While it may seem like a better idea to stay up all night and finish all your work, trust me – getting sleep will lead to more efficient work.

4.     Know when to say “no”. My classic problem is the “over-achieving, I want to take on the world” problem. You know what I’m talking about – you want to be on the Executive Board for five different clubs, while working and while maintaining a 4.0. Trust me, learn when is enough and learn to say “no” to commitments that come your way.

5.     Stay Calm! Probably most important of all. College is a time to have fun – not be stressed. Do things that keep you calm – take a mental health day and go shopping or go to the movies, and never let yourself get too overwhelmed.

Follow these five tips (and maybe even learn some of your own) and you will be good to go! I’ve managed to balance a part-time job, COM Ambassador duties, my school work and all of my work with BU On Broadway. I have confidence you’ll be able to handle the balancing act of college the same way.

Signing off,

Tom

“TomKat”: Spring at COM

Tom ImageKate ImageHey guys! A big shout out to all of our followers! Whether you are a prospective student, an incoming freshman for the fall, or just enjoy reading about life in COM, we hope you have been enjoying the blogs this semester. We will continue blogging as the university is open so we still have plenty of new things coming at your guys in the next two months.

Here’s just an overview of some of our other social media outlets if you guys want to take a look:

Twitter: Follow @comugrad (College of Communication), @DeanSaboSays (Asst. Dean Sabovik), and @COM_Ambassadors for daily tweets about what’s going down at COM.

Facebook: Were you recently accepted to the College of Communication? Make sure to “like” BU COM Class of 2016.

Website: Check out our COM Ambassadors Website! Soon to be updated with all of our newest ambassadors.

Youtube: Be sure to see our youtube channel. And follow fellow COM Ambassadors, Kate, Jason, and Alexa on COMlife.

We look forward to blogging for you guys for another fun two months! Hope you stay tuned in.

Signing Off,

TomKat

Tom: I Wanna Be a Producer

Tom ImageHey guys! Last time you saw me I gave you guys the rundown about how to conquer auditions at Boston University. This time I’m back with some more theater for you guys. Now I bet you guys are thinking – “yes, Tom’s really into theater, but what does this have to do with the College of Communication?” Through my involvement with BU On Broadway, I managed to find a way to combine my major in advertising with my passion for theater: I became a Producer.

Last semester, I took on being a producer for the first time for our production of The Producers (I know… producer of The Producers, way too much producer in one sentence.) Taking on the role of producer was a much bigger commitment than I thought it was, but it provided me with a huge resume and experience booster for the future. Plus, it was actually something I enjoyed doing and was applicable to my future career.

So what does a Producer do exactly?

1. Advertising, Advertising, and more Advertising. The Producer’s main job is to sell the show. This involves everything including poster design, T-Shirt design, and handouts for us to give out in the George Sherman Union. We also ran a social media campaign for the production using the hashtag: #PrOBucers (note the “OB” (On Broadway) in the middle).

2. Managing the Budget. Ah, the budget. A COM kid’s least favorite word. Unfortunately, being a Producer isn’t all fun and games advertising. You also need to take the cost of the whole production into account. The producers are responsible for making sure that the tech crew stays within their budget and are reimbursed through the Student Activities Office for all the purchases they made. While very tedious, managing a budget is an extremely valuable skill I picked up that’s relevant to any future in Account Management.

3. Work with the Student Activities Office. As On Broadway is a student group on campus, someone needs to be responsible for checking in with the Student Activities Office. This is where the producers come in. The producers need to fill out numerous forms in addition to making sure everything is set for opening night.

Here’s some advice:

While I’m not recommending everyone interested in communication run out and be a producer, I would advise new COM students to do what their passionate about. I got involved with On Broadway as an actor, and managed to blend my love for theater with my future aspirations in advertising. My advice: be a good student and stick to what you love. Your career aspirations will eventually work out.

That’s all for now! I hope to keep you updated with my newest producing endeavor: this spring’s production of Spring Awakening!

“TomKat”: Meet Our Newest COM Ambassadors!

Tom ImageKate ImageHey all! As you can see, our COM Ambassadors have been busy blogging away for the past few weeks telling you everything from their first week of classes to their adventures studying abroad!

Each year, we have a new roster of COM Ambassadors ready to meet and assist prospective and incoming students at Boston University’s College of Communication (BU COM). With that being said, it’s time to introduce some of our newest COM Ambassadors for this upcoming year.


Julianna Image

Julianna Flamio:

Year: Sophomore

Major: Magazine Journalism

Hometown: Eastchester, New York


Jon ImageJon Mayer:

Year: Freshman

Major: Undeclared (Advertising Track)

Hometown: Carlisle, Massachusetts

Kaitlin Image

Kaitlin Daddona:

Year: Sophomore

Major: Public Relations

Hometown: Southold, New York

Taylor Image

Taylor Walker:

Year: Freshman

Major: Undeclared (Broadcast Journalism Track)

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Lauren Image

Lauren Haslett:

Year: Sophomore

Major: Advertising

Hometown: Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Steph Image

Stephanie Semet:

Year: Freshman

Major: Undeclared

Hometown: Miami, Florida

Daniela Image

Daniela Vasquez:

Year: Sophomore (Transfer Student!)

Major: Public Relations

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida


Alexa Image

Alexa Galloway:

Year: Freshman

Major: Undeclared (Broadcast Journalism Track)

Hometown: Santa Maria, California

You may recognize Alexa from COMlife.

Our newest CA’s come from a wide variety of majors and backgrounds and are excited to begin blogging for you guys! They are also working on a COM Ambassador Video and Profile to place up on our website! Look out for their profiles coming in the near future!

Signing off,

TomKat

Tom: Auditions, Auditions, and More Auditions

TomHey guys! The second week of classes only means one thing for students involved in theater on campus: Auditions.

While running between my own auditions, I figured I would share with you guys the procedure for auditioning for some of our theater groups on campus. For the purposes of this blog post, I’m only going to go into auditions for BU On Broadway and Stage Troupe, but there are also many other theater groups on campus you can get involved in!

First Up: BU On Broadway.

Here’s some background. BU On Broadway (OB) is our premier musical theater group on campus. The group typically puts on two shows a semester (this semester being Spring Awakening and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee). Like all extracurricular theater groups, everything is student run from its direction to its acting. Students are welcome to pitch shows as long as they have a director and musical director on the pitch and a committee, along with the executive board, choose the plays that go up each semester.

Now, how to audition. You are welcome to audition for both shows for the group, but are only able to be cast in ONE. After auditions and callbacks, the directors of both shows meet to discuss who is cast in what. Both directing teams are in the same room at the time of the audition, so to make it simple, you just need to prepare one song (16-32 bars) for both shows. If you are lucky enough to get called back for both, they will coordinate with each other to make sure everyone is seen. My favorite part of having two shows is that it casts many more people each semester, as opposed to having just one show that everyone is auditioning for.

Next Up: Stage Troupe.

Here’s some background. Stage Troupe is our oldest and largest theater group on campus. While they predominantly put on straight plays, students are also welcome to pitch a musical for the group. The group puts on four plays a semester ranging from works by Arthur Miller to more contemporary works such as Farragut North and Dog Sees God. The same as OB, students pitch the shows they are interested in directing. Slightly different from OB, the shows are voted on by the general membership.

Now, how to audition. For auditions, the directors are in different rooms, but you are still welcome to audition for more than one (or all) of the shows. In the same fashion as OB, the directors will meet at the end to discuss who is cast in what show. For any straight play you audition for, you do not need to come with anything prepared: The directors will give you a side from the show for a cold-read. If the show is a musical, you will need to prepare 16-32 bars of a song (like OB).

To wrap it up. I’m sure you guys are thinking right now: “wait… how do we know what group to audition for?” The best part is, both groups coordinate with each other as well so you can audition for both groups. You are definitely open to audition for all six shows put on my both groups if you so wanted. My first semester I auditioned for four of the shows and got called back for three. Let me tell you: it certainly was a rough callback night.  A word of advice: I would choose just a few shows to audition for.

That’s all for my audition guidelines. Stay tuned through the semester while I blog about everything from theater to advertising.