Zach: How to Send the Networking Email

HELLO so as I graduate and enter the real world (A HORRIFYING AND TERRIBLE THING) I figured it would be useful to COM students to impart a very simple but important lesson I learned in my time as a Film & TV major. That is the art of sending EMAILS! The type of email I will focus on here is emails with pre-exisiting connections. That means former internship bosses, family friends, professors, etc. Here is an example email I sent as a thank you to my former professor after my semester with her in class. This email was meant to keep me in her thoughts, and thank her for the opportunities she presented me. I have deleted some sensitive info.
“Hi!
Just wanted to email and say hello and say I am so thankful for last semester. It has definitely been a lot less interesting not working on _____!
I am meeting with my production coordinator from _______ on Monday, hopefully we might discuss post-grad options.
I am so appreciative for all the advice and everything you have taught me. Next time you are on campus I will come into the office!
I hope all is going well with your projects. ________ said it was very excited last time her and I caught up.
Thank you!”
A few things to note from this email:
1: Always start with thank you’s or flattery.
Remember that you are meek and nothing you are doing is THAT exciting. If someone like a professor or a boss gave you an opportunity, they are inherently making your life more exciting. Thank them for that! Remind them that they changed YOUR life! People love to feel useful and love to be reminded of when someone helped THEM get their first job.
2: Break things up into separate lines.
People in the entertainment industry notoriously have very short attention spans. DO NOT send them paragraphs. 2-3 sentences is the maximum per paragraph, and really try to keep things to 1-2 lines. It keeps each point clear and easy to remember.
3: Think about Order
While you don’t want to bury the point of the email (in this case to let my professor know I am seeking post-grad opportunities), you want to ease your way into it so you don’t seem like you are just soliciting for help.
4: Flatter AGAIN!
Flattery always goes a long way. Entertainment is all about EGO. Your email should serve as an ego boost to them.
5: Remember their projects!
Keep in mind that they too are a working professional! A great time to email someone is for a premiere of one of their shows, or just to keep tabs on what they are working on! It gives them a reason to respond to you and reminds them you would be interesting in working there!
6: Triple Check Spelling and Grammar
To stay on the safe side, keep your emails plain and worded simply! No one is going to hire you because you used a thesaurus to write an email. Make sure things are clear and concise and don’t give them a reason to think you were careless.
I hope this helps! Send away COM kids!

Zach: How to ease the pre-grad dread

Graduating is a very very very very very daunting event coming up for a lot of people (some even sooner than me… sorry December grads) and it is easy to get caught up in the fear of this pending doom. I have been overthinking ways to avoid these thoughts or turn them into positive ones and here are some tips!

1: Stay Busy

This semester I was the Vice President of Liquid Fun, Producer for Hothouse Productions, and I directed Spring Awakening for BU on Broadway… so I barely had time to think about how I was going to ripped away from all the things I love to start completely fresh and alone in 6 months.

2: Keep in Touch with Potential Employers

The most exciting part of graduating is putting your degree to work, so especially after your most crucial internships summer before senior year, it’s good to keep in touch with them and remind them you exist during senior year! Let them know what projects you are working on so you can carry a solid relationship with them post-diploma.

3: Start Saving

One of my biggest fears about graduating is that I have no life-skills to be able to live on my own with no family or college network, so I started a savings account on an app called Digit that rounds up all my purchases and quietly takes money from my checking and puts it into a savings account. I am trying to save for 3 months rent in New York City… wish me luck!

4: Focus on things that aren’t beholden to college

I was really scared recently that graduating meant I lost my identity because I am so involved at BU. I had to take a night to really think about all the things I am and CAN BE without my activities and friends here. Focus on things you love that transcend location: for me that was improv and theatre. I can still see and participate in both of those things once I am graduated and living in a major city!

5: ENJOY!

Take your last chances to get caught up in all the college stupid things because soon real things will be your worries! Let yourself get lost in roommate drama! It’s stupid and pointless but so is being young!

Zach: Ranking the Bagels of BU

HELLO I AM BACK and it is time for another BU Food Ranking… today I will be ranking the BAGEL options near campus. Now, I will admit, this is a little biased, I only ever order the same thing. I am a little old jewish man so therefore my order is a lox bagel sandwich on an everything bagel. I sometimes will go for a whole wheat everything if I am feeling healthy. So… here goes my thoughts…

6: Starbucks

These are not bagels. They are cardboard. I won’t even waste my words here.

5: Einsteins in CAS:

What a NIGHTMARE. The line is always such a disaster. The bagels are SOGGY because they were FROZEN. I know they are not FRESH. It is a disgrace and I am disappointed that BU thinks of this as a legitimate bagel option. They get points for location however.

4: Rhett’s in the GSU

Now I will admit, this has a low ranking because it does NOT have a Lox bagel sandwich… so @BUDiningServices… get on that. However, their bagels are delicious and the chipotle chicken sandwich is always a lovely lovely option. Again… points for location.

3: Bruegger’s Bagels

I really do love Bruegger’s bagels, and I have a lot of nostalgia for when I lived in Myles and would go there most mornings. They get points for putting capers on the bagel sandwiches, for having truly HOT bagels that have just been pulled out of boiling water. Also… the bagels here are not too expensive. So really great points here. Locations are okay, they have a location in Kenmore and one in Coolidge. This really would be higher on my list but for some reasons the bagels don’t have a WOW factor.

2: Kupel’s Bagels

Okay I know they are far away from campus, but holy wow these are good bagels. Yes they are more expensive, but they even have a distinction between NOVA LOX and SMOKED SALMON. I mean they are really getting into my old jewish nitty gritty here. Their bagels are stellar and they only lose points for price and distance and the LINE on weekends.

1: Pavement

So this is a basic top choice… I know… but they are so. good. I really truly love Pavement bagels. They are always consistent and never disappoint. They lose points for the line, the fact that you see people you know every time you go there and I don’t have time for that with cream cheese on my face. Also… all the employees look like they are in an SNL sketch about hipsters. Their delicious bagels make these oddities worth it though.

THANKS SEE YOU SOON KEEP CALM AND BAGEL ON.

Zach: Losing it Over Loose Leafs

As everyone knows, I love to rank foods at BU. If you know me at all, you know the GSU is incredibly important and near and dear to my heart and stomach. So today, without further adieu… I will rank the THEMES OF LOOSE LEAFS!

 

Pacific Rim

NO! NO! NO! This is so gross! This is not a salad flavor! No one ever asked for MANDARIN ORANGE themed DRESSING! The ONLY good topping is BABY CORN! The teriyaki chicken and salmon are fine additions though.

2/10

 

Flavors of Italy

This is overall fine. It is a boring theme with boring toppings and boring flavors. The pesto chicken is a plus, but the dressings are offensively lackluster.

4/10

Middle East

This is the ugly cousin of Mediterranean week, however, given how attractive mediterranean week is, this is not that bad. I am a big fan of the pita bread that is included and the tahini dressing. The toppings are where this week falls short, but I am a forgiving man.

6/10

Southwest Week

This used to be my favorite week, but I got bored with it fast. It is a bold collection of flavors with bold toppings, but you have to be in the mood, you know? Def a fan of the avocado caesar dressing and the toppings this week. Also obv love cornbread and even more love the flank steak.

8/10

Mediterranean Week 

GRAPES. ON SALAD. LEMON. FETA. DRESSING. I. LOVE. IT. This is ONLY slightly worse because it used to have bowtie pasta but now it is grains but that’s ok. I love the shrimp and I love the chicken. Such a fan. Woohoo!

9.5/10

Thanks for reading see you soon!

Zach: Best Apps for College

I am always on my computer and phone, in fact I should put them down more. But whatever! Here are some apps that have made my life easier at college!
1: Mint
I’ve mentioned this app in a blog post before but it’s a banking app that allows you to see how much money you have in all of your accounts. It allows you to set budgets (like ONLY SPEND $30 ON STARBUCKS THIS MONTH) and keep track of how much you spend and in what ways.
2: GroupMe
If you are like me, you hate it when people have green texts. We all know what that means, especially in terms of group chats. So, anytime you need to have a group chat, save yourself the hassle of seeing if everyone has an iPhone and make a GroupMe! There’s ton of fun things you can do that you can’t in a normal group chat (like “heart” people’s posts) and it’s super fun.
3: Find My Friends
This one is a recent discovery for me, but it’s built into an iPhone. You can track your friends. I know how creepy this sounds but its amazing. You will never have to send a “anyone in the GSU” text again, because YOU’LL KNOW! Things can get weird when people leave campus and you know where they went but whatever.
4: Foursquare
I eat out very sparingly, and when I do, I make sure it’s a damn good restaurant. In my option, Foursquare is better than Yelp because it collects your tastes and foods you like and matches restaurants to you. It also has a tips section, where people can let you know what is good on the menu, Plus, there is a more specific scale for rating restaurant than just 5 stars.
5: Transit 
THIS APP SAVES LIVES! This app tracks the MBTA and tells you when the T or Bus is coming! It also shows you where Hubway’s and Uber’s are!
6: Overcast
I love podcasts, but don’t have time for them. This app lets you listen to them quicker. It has a feature where you can erase silences and where you can speed up the tempo, without messing with the pitch. Amazing!
7: Self Control (for Mac)
BLOCK FACEBOOK! BLOCK BUZZED! SET A TIMER AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

Zach: Fight the Zzzzzz with Zach

How to get your sleep cycle back on track when college robs it from you!

I, along with many of your COM Ambassadors, am a very busy person. Recently, I was a part of Liquid Fun’s 24 Hour Comedy Marathon which tested my limits as a tired person. It inspired me to share how I get by without my hair falling out at BU.

1: You Don’t need Netflix.

I am a TV major, I love TV. I may be coming from a different place because I talk about TV in most of my classes so I’m not lacking exposure, but I have stopped watching TV. Yes, when I get time to breathe and relax on weekends I will try to watch an episode. But I know some people who watch Netflix every night before bed, my thoughts to them are: STOP! Rachel and Ross will ALWAYS end up together no matter how many episodes you binge at 3:00AM! You have work to do! Go to bed!

2: Set a Bedtime

The latest I will ever do work (except for finals week) is 1:00AM, most nights that is 12:00AM. There is this miraculous thing called the human spirit that will allow you to get your homework done. I promise, also if you set a bedtime, you are much more likely to get it done. You’ll spend less time on Facebook and more time on your essay. Then whether or not you finish, you are in bed at a decent hour.

3: Download “SelfControl”

It’s an app that blocks distracting websites. It’s easy, it helps you get things done.

4: Take Naps

This is a harder one for me since I no longer live in Warren and can nap for 15 minutes with only a 5 minute commute, however, naps are VERY important. It is a better way to spend your time than gabbing in the GSU for five hours, no matter how tempting that can be.

5: Newbury Can Wait

You probably don’t even have enough money to be shopping on Newbury anyway. Brunch can happen with your parents. Take that time on Saturday to get some rest for the upcoming week that will probably be somehow busier than the last.

6: STARBUCKS

You know what to do: refer to my blog post ranking the different Starbucks locations on campus.

Zach: REVIEW OF BASHO

I know you’ve all been waiting for what I had to say, and here it is ladies and gentleman, my review of BASHO EXPRESS at 700 Commonwealth.
ORDERING EXPERIENCE: 
It’s the same style as Chipotle. You walk down a line and pick things you want in your bowl/wrap. It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s straightforward. It qualifies as “Express” as expressed in the expression (name).
DESIGN:
Hip! It’s a hip lil place! They have cool lighting fixtures and cool wooden tables! The mirrors are a nice touch so you realize how cool you are as you are eating your food.
MENU:
There are a lot of options! But sometimes too many? I have a conflict of interest with the preselected options (such as Katsu Chicken) and they create your own, I think it would make me feel better if it were JUST create your own but I understand the rationale to pick both. Also it is pretty unclear what costs more and what doesn’t.
Last but not least… THE TASTE:
IT’S SO GOOD!!!!! LIKE OMG!!!!! I REALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO SAY JUST GO EAT IT!!!!
9/10 POINTS!!!
(it lost points because it smells so much like basho everywhere)

Zach is Back: Ranking The GSU Options

The rankings ensue! As we finish this semester I will answer one of the most burning questions at BU, which is the best location at the GSU. Now I know what you are thinking: this. is. tough. But if anyone can handle it, it’s me. I am the biggest GSU lover ever and should receive infinite dining points for even making this post, but I digress.
(I will rate from worst to best.)
10: Panda Express
No, Panda is not bad by any means, nothing at the GSU is actually bad. However, this is the least original and you can’t deny that you always feel gross after eating something from Panda Express. Also they are always out of Teriyaki which is a big no-no in my book. There is something comforting though in having it, as it is a real brand that you can have realistic expectations with its food. But at the end of the day… it’s still panda
9: Grab N Go
Honestly, just wait the 5 extra minutes for a good option or go to City Co.
8: Takin’ It To The Street
What a beautiful, but unreliable concept. I love the idea of rotating themes (more on that later), and I love that we get to experience new food all the time. But some of the themes aren’t great. Has anyone ever like “The Codfather”? Also some of them are good but could be better, the burrito and Mediterranean ones are nice but subpar versions of real chains. The meatball one is cute, but who wants a meatball. Bonus: the options are usually pretty cheap.
7: Cheesology
Another cute option gone mildly wrong. First of all, just as Takin It To The Street is soooooo 2014, this is sooooooo 2009. That’s not a bad thing per say, but fads should not be permanent student establishments. The options are good here, but they are small, expensive, and take a long time to make for so little food.
6: Charles River Bread Company
I love it! But blah, these are just (much) better dining hall sandwiches and the salad territory is covered.
5: Cranberry Farms
I LOVE CRANBERRY FARMS! I am only ranking it this low for two reasons. 1: It is a polarizing place, some people don’t like it and I can see why. 2: I want more sides without paying more, I’m in college like come on. However, the food is so good and so filling and like good for you.
4: Rhett’s
I’ve discussed Rhett’s in a previous post, but Rhett’s is the biggest surprise of BU. You’d think it would be disgusting but it’s very good. The burgers are solid and there are a lot of options. The bagel sandwiches are HEAVENLY, and the fry options are good. The new quinoa bowls don’t belong at Rhett’s, but they do belong in my stomach. I’m rating this lower because the wait is always bad, and other options do other things better.
3: Pinkberry
Do you need froyo? No. Do you want it? YES! Need I explain more? No.
2: Loose Leafs
slgkjhsadlkjghsdajlkf MY HEART AND SOUL!! kjhfaskdjhflkj Loose Leafs is ALMOST perfect. The themes are amazing (except for Pacific Rim which isn’t thaaat) bad, the toppings are amazing, the breads are amazing, the meats are amazing, the dressings are amazing. I wish we had more lettuce options. Overally, I cannot contain my immense LOVE for Loose Leafs.
1: Basho
 This was a shock for me as I decided between Loose Leafs and Basho, but a sushi bowl is ~revoluationary~ and so good. Like I have never had a bad sushi bowl. They are wildly expensive but so worth. BU has never done anything smarter than putting one in Warren. I’m counting the breaths until it opens.
CityCo and Starbucks do not count because we have those everywhere on campus. Now remember kids, DINING POINTS ARE FINITE! See you next semester with a review of the new BASHO!

Zach: Best of BU Burgers

Hello friends! The rankings are back! Today I’ll be ranking the burger places on our stretch of campus, because these are IMPORTANT things to think about before coming to BU.

I work rank from worst to best:

5: Burgerfi

The buns are too oily for my tastes, and the shakes are just thicker than tar, but I’ve heard amazing things about their quinoa burgers (if you are into that vegan kind of lifestyle). Their fries are blasé and while its a nice showing to have onion rings, they don’t pass my tests. Also this costs real money. DID I MENTION THE SERVICE IS ATROCIOUS? Do not go in thinking you’ll spend any less than an hour there.

They do serve coke. 

4: Dining Hall

They are fine. I would not say that they are bad whatsoever, but I also would not call them good. The plus sides is that they are *free* with a dining plan. Toppings are limited and the buns are a bit too soft, and the patty is fair. There are rotating options of fries at all dining halls, and those fries can range from “this is not a fry whatsoever” to “oh my god i’m gonna eat 14 plates”.

They serve pepsi, not coke, ugh. 

3: Sunset Cantina

I know what you are thinking? Sunset? The nacho place!? How is this on the list? But they actually have some very good traditional burgers! One of the burgers even has guacamole on it! OMG! The fries are crisp and good, and you can get those famous nachos as an appetizer (or desert nachos for afterward!).

They serve pepsi, not coke, ugh. 

2: Rhett’s

The looks are deceiving! My entire first semester at school I assumed Rhett’s would be disgusting… wrong! Rhett’s is incredible. They have a huge selection of burgers and fries, and literally ALL of them are good. (In the morning their bagels are TOP NOTCH!) They also have super long hours, for when you need to eat on campus but other places aren’t open. Did I mention this is on campus? So yes it is dining points but it is yet again free(ish).

They serve pepsi, not coke, ugh. 

1: UBurger

OMG UBURGER! I crave UBurger, I cry when I am at Uburger and when I am not at UBurger. I live, breath, and obviously eat UBurger. They have so many options (I personally get the A+ burger which feature A1 sauce and crispy onions!) and also some sweet salads. ALSO THE SWEET POTATO FRIES ARE GAME CHANGING. They also serve coke on one of those new ~fancy~ dispenser machines with a touch screen, AND GLASS BOTTLES OF COKE. It’s too much. I love Uburger. Also, the location is prime with one by Myles and one by 1019, so they catch both ends of campus!

NOTE: SHAKE SHACK DOES NOT COUNT! IT IS TOO FAR AND IT IS NOT GOOD! IT DOES NOT LIVE UP TO THE HYPE!

Zach: Stars- The Best Starbucks on Campus

I drink a lot of coffee. Like a lot of coffee. While I’d love to be a coffee snob, I’m not and nine times out of ten I settle for Starbucks. Luckily, I go to a wonderful university that facilitates this nasty habit! So freshmen/prospective students, I’ve done the work for you that would have taken you a whole semester to figure out: which Starbucks locations on campus are better than the others?

I WILL RANK FROM WORST TO BEST:

5: Warren: Ew. Oh my gosh. The line is OUTRAGEOUS, the coffee is ALWAYS burnt, and there are NEVER any pastries. Did I mention the seating is uncomfortable? Only go to this Starbucks if you are in dire need of caffeine and need an IV drip of espresso.

(This Starbucks was ranked lower because they do not accept dining points.)

4: Questrom: I would assume if you are reading this blog you are not in Questrom. If you are not in Questrom this Starbucks is not a fun place. There is a dress code for this Starbucks, and the seating is more like the floor of the stock market than a café. Drinks are meh. I’ve seen better.

(This Starbucks was ranked higher because it does accept dining points)

3: West: So here’s the sitch, this Starbucks is not a BU Starbucks. It’s like a real one you would find in a real strip mall. I know… crazy. So it’s nice to have one that accepts rewards and coupons and actually has the full menu. However, this was ranked a little bit lower because as a zombie freshman, using real money is a foreign experience and can be jolting in juxtaposition to the coffee you’ll receive.

TIE: GSU: Oh how I love the GSU Starbucks even though it is kind of cruddy. There is nothing better than being able to emerge from the 6th floor of Mugar and only take about 100 steps to get a pick-me-up, or being able to have a Basho sushi bowl in one hand and your venti iced coffee in the other without much extra time in the intermix. However, this only goes to tie because it is a smaller location with a long line almost always.

(This Starbucks obviously takes dining points… it’s in the GSU.)

TIE: Kenmore: THIS STARBUCKS IS CLASSY!!! The interior design is like WOW! There is a HUGE variety of seating options, and OUTDOOR seating!!! What else could a hyperactive yet bougie college sophomore want? Well, it would be nice if they accepted either dining points or rewards, but the ambiance of this Starbucks (and general lack of line) puts this Starbucks in a tie with the most convenient Starbs location on campus.

BONUS TIP: The coffee at Rize is NOT bad at all!! Try that if the line is long elsewhere!