Lauren: 3 Days, 6 Agencies

Whew! I just spent my spring break traveling around New York City, getting a behind-the-scenes, inside look at some of the top advertising agencies in the Big Apple.  We saw everything: traditional agencies, digital agencies, media agencies and even some NON advertising agencies. It was an awesome experience to visit these great companies, and I can’t wait to tell you all about them!

nyc-trips

Google: 

Obviously, Google’s office in NYC is absolutely amazing!  They have game rooms, multiple cafeterias (with a food truck INSIDE the building) and these awesome treadmills so employees can complete their work while walking and exercising. While Google isn’t really an advertising agency, they still have creative designers, strategists and marketing people, just like any agency.  Their work focuses on the cross between technology and creativity.

During their presentation, they showed us a video from Google Creative Lab’s Robert Wong about the Future of Storytelling, which inspired me, and the rest of the students, to remember that advertising, and communication in general, is all about telling a story. And even though we grow older, people still enjoy hearing stories, just like they did as children.

R/GA:

This advertising agency has an interesting history.  Founded in 1977 by two brothers, R/GA was originally a design agency that focused on video production, motion-graphics and live-action film.  Back in the day, they were most famously known for working on the  opening title sequence of the 1978 movie Superman.  Since then, the company has transitioned into an advertising agency with a digital focus and an emphasis on product innovation.

R/GA has produced some really amazing work, like Nike’s FuelBand, Windows Time Square Takeover, and the Dr. Dre Beats commercials.  The biggest take-away I got from our time visiting this agency was that everything is incredibly fast-paced in agency life, especially compared to the work pace in the classroom.  Instead of having a month to work on a project, deliverables get produced in a matter of weeks in ad agencies! While that might seem intimidating to some students, I find it incredibly exhilarating!

Publicis Kaplan Thaler:

This agency is filled with BU alumni (how awesome is that?) and is run by two incredible ladies, (girl power!) CEO and Chief Creative Officer Linda Kaplan Thaler and President Robin Koval (who together, published a book called The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness). They have some pretty incredible work, like Crest and Oral-B, the Aflac Duck, Wendy’s, Charmin’s Sit or Squat app and CitiBank’s CitiBike.

During the tour, we had a Q&A session with recent alumni, who discussed the differences between school projects and life in the real-world (longer hours and more pressure were the most popular differences).  They also talked about how to adjust to agency life.  It was so helpful to get a firsthand look from people who were in my shoes just under a year ago!

Grey:

Grey, the agency behind the eTrade Baby, the infamous Cialis commercials, and Easy, Breezy, Beautiful CoverGirl, won AdAge’s prestigious “Agency of the Year,” a really incredible feat considering all the amazing agencies out there. Grey focuses on creating work that is both famous & effective, and they’ve succeed with some of their brilliant commercials and print advertisements.

What I learned at Grey was something really interesting about being in an account role.  It’s almost like being a point guard, because your job is to provide scoring opportunities for your team.  I think that’s a really great, inspiring way to look at the account management side of advertising. We also learned about the importance of having impressive presentation skills. Grey got me really inspired to work in the field.

Firstborn:

This small shop (around 100 people) has gained some traction with their work for Uniqlo (on Pinterest) and Rolex.  The president of Firstborn (a BU graduate) has helped this agency grow into a business that produces some creative, out-of-the-box and award-winning work.

firstborn

The most important thing I learned while chatting with the sharp minds at Firstborn was that creativity can come from anywhere. Creative ideas don’t just come from copywriters, art directors or designers. They can come from anyone who is passionate about the project. Their emphasis on collaboration and teamwork definitely showed me the perks and advantages of working for a smaller agency.

Giant Spoon: 

Giant Spoon is a start-up founded by some of the former senior team members of Omnicom’s OMD unit (aka some BU COM alumni!). This media agency “humanizes” media buying, and comes up with ideas that attract advertisers and agencies to use social news publishers and new, creative media placement. Their strategic, creative focus greatly differs from other media companies that are rather robotic in the way they buy media. Some of Giant Spoon’s clients include NBC Universal, GE (on Jimmy Fallon!) and Buzzfeed.

Best insight I got from Giant Spoon?- how exciting start-ups can be! The founders taught us that we shouldn’t be afraid to take risks, and follow great ideas. They knew they could change the way media was bought, and they had the courage to leave their jobs and start a company all on their own. Both of them seemed incredibly passionate and proud of their work, which left the students feeling completely energized and motivated.

 

This trip was the perfect way for me to spend my last spring break!  Special thanks to BU’s College of Communication, Tobe Berkovitz, Carolyn Clark, Allison Hoyt and Ms. Livingston and Mr. Levin for making the tour possible!

 

Kevin: My Top Movies for 2013

In the midst of awards season and with the Oscars right around the corner, it seems like all the talk around COM has been about movies, so I thought I should be a good film student and make my “Top 5 Movies of 2013” list.

5. Captain Phillips

Pretty much anything with Tom Hanks gets my stamp of approval, but this movie really stands out. Going in, I was a little worried the story was going to get the Hollywood treatment and seem too over the top. I was surprised though; while Tom Hanks does come off as a hero, they don’t make him a saint, and I actually even felt bad for the pirates at some point. Barkhad Abdi makes his film debut as the leader of the pirates, and gives one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. The director Paul Greengrass’ shaky-camera style from the Jason Bourne movies is in full effect here, and it works perfectly with the cramped shots inside the boat. For a movie where you know the ending going in, there’s an incredible amount of suspense.

4. Inside Llewyn Davis

I’m usually not a huge Coen brothers fan. I liked True Grit but beyond that, I feel like I just don’t get their movies. Inside Llewyn Davis was another pleasant surprise for me. The music alone is great, featuring Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake, and Marcus Mumford. Some of the tracks are depressing (fair warning, the whole movie is pretty depressing) but some are a lot of fun, like “Please Mr. Kennedy,” JT’s protest song asking JFK not to send him to the moon (yes, it’s as strange as it sounds). The movie is slow, but I was never bored. Personally I feel like it got shorted at the Oscars and deserved to at least be nominated in a lot more categories, if not win them.

3. Frozen

Frozen is fun. There’s no other way to put it. The songs are catchy, the characters are goofy, and I haven’t talked to a single person who didn’t like it. It’s a new take on the Disney princess formula, and the characters are all so quirky and odd instead of being fairy tale perfect, and they completely pull it off. I guarantee you’ll walk out of the theater with a smile on your face, and at the end of the day, that’s what movies are about.

2. American Hustle

I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about American Hustle, people seem to either love it or hate it. I thought it was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. The dialogue was quick and funny, a lot like David O. Russell’s last movie, Silver Linings Playbook. The cast is a who’s-who and everybody does a great job, most of them taking on roles that completely contradict their usual roles. (When’s the last time you saw someone go from Batman to a potbellied comb-over wearing con man so well?) There are lots of twists and turns, and the movie moves so quickly it doesn’t give you time to try and stop to figure out who’s conning who. Think Ocean’s 11 with goofier 1970’s hair.

1. Much Ado About Nothing

Ok so I know putting a black and white Shakespeare movie as my number 1 looks really pretentious but hear me out. Joss Whedon is about the only guy who could go from writing and directing the Avengers to a small project like this, and have both of them be so great. The story behind the movie is almost as good as the movie; coming off the Avengers, Whedon wanted to make a movie with some friends, so he got together with actors he had worked with before and in 12 days they shot the entire movie at his house. The whole movie feels like that too, it just seems like everyone is having a lot of fun instead of worrying about making a nose-in-the-air Shakespeare movie. I’ll be honest, I had to look up some Sparknotes at the beginning, but once it gets going it’s actually really easy to follow and a great movie.

Jon: COM Talks

Hey everyone! As a self-proclaimed ad-geek, I love getting as much info about advertising as I can. Luckily for me (and all my peers), COM hosts a number of awesome events and speakers throughout the year, and there’s another one coming up tonight!

At 5 p.m. tonight, Mike Schneider, the SVP and Director of the Digital Incubator at a&g, will be giving a talk titled: The Role of Authentic Content in Modern Branding. While at first glance, that may seem like an awful lot of buzzwords, I can assure you that there is substance to back them up!

You see, I got the chance to hear Mike Schneider (or @SchneiderMike, as the Twitterverse knows him), last year at a panel COM hosted on how companies and agencies going beyond the basics of social media and use it to effectively access and communicate with their target communities. Pretty cool, eh? Like I said: ad-geek.

Anyways, I was blown away by Mike’s breadth of knowledge and comfort with public speaking. He was quick, personable, incredibly sharp, and best of all, witty. Not only did he teach the audience some valuable lessons, but he kept them entertained while doing it (largely as a result of his banter with fellow panelist and COM professor Edward Boches). After hearing him talk, I certainly felt more informed about how I could more strategically implement a social media plan if I were thrust into that role at an agency.

Tomorrow he will speak again on the topic of content branding; a recent trend where advertisers and agencies create real content that expands or shapes a brand’s image, rather than simply trying to sell it to a target market. Agencies and clients are rapidly seeing more value in this kind of content, as it provides content consumers actually want to engage with for its own sake, while simultaneously giving the brand exposure. A great example is this Mini Cooper campaign launched by DDB Paris that featured a game based on Google Maps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uveD0Z3lIWo.

Opportunities like these are just one more of the many reasons I love COM. Make sure you take advantage of them! They are informative and helpful for career development, as well as quite entertaining.

And the best part? They’re almost always free.

Until next time,

Jon

Link to the Event: http://schneidermike.eventbrite.com/

 

Lauren: ADventures in COM!

Hi everyone!  As an advertising major here at COM, I’ve had the opportunity to get hands-on copywriting and design experience inside the classroom!  It’s amazing to know that my professors are working to prepare me for life in the advertising industry!  I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to take such exciting classes.

In one of my classes, Creative Development, our professor assigns us a specific client each week, like Weight Watchers, Boston Public Health Commission or Happy Tot Baby Foods, and asks us to create the concept for a billboard ad, print ad or direct mailing piece for the brand or organization.  The class is generally split between copywriters and art directors, so two students work together on the project.  It really has helped us learn about what it takes to work successfully in a group setting.  We also have to present our ideas in front of the class, which gives us great public speaking experience.  Presentation skills are definitely useful, especially in the advertising industry.  This class is one of my favorites because it keeps my creative juices flowing and lets me experiment and present some wild ideas!

In another one of my classes, Design and New Media I, one of our assignments was to create the concept for our own, made-up company!  We’re spending the semester designing a website and promotional material for this organization!  It’s so much fun to execute some wacky ideas.  The sky’s the limit.  Along the way, we’re learning how to use the Adobe Creative Suite, Dreamweaver and other design software.  It’s amazing to take your ideas and be able to execute them right on the screen!

In my Advertising Management class, I’m learning all about the business side of the advertising industry.  It takes a special set of skills to manage an account and deal with a client, and this class is teaching me all about it!  We’re learning about branding, writing creative strategies, holding client meetings and other essential responsibilities of an account management position.   It’s great to have a great understanding of both the creative side and business side of the industry.  And a lot of the work I’m producing for my classes can be used in my portfolio too.

It’s incredible that I’m able to get such a great head start into the field! I feel like one of the “Mad (Wo)Men” already, and I haven’t even graduated yet!  I hope you’re all enjoying your classes as much as I’m enjoying mine!

 

Taylor: COM is a Networking Toolbox

During my childhood, I’d habitually attend “Disney on Ice.” I can recall the sensation of wearing my Toy Story T-shirt and proudly buzzing the lightening toys sold at the event. During those moments, I genuinely felt a connection with the adult performers parading like toddlers around the rink. During those minutes, nothing could distract my level of attentiveness. Recently, I found myself tingling with a more mature but quite similar batch of emotions.

Earlier last month, I had the pleasure of attending Celebration of BU, a groundbreaking event that strengthened the bond between alumni and current students. The event held in BU’s Agganis Arena told the story of the university’s foundation. Watching the speakers and performers take the ice in very unique ways was simply mesmerizing. The most captivating part of the night to me dealt with the speaker distribution. More than half of the speakers were COM alumni. Throughout the weekend, distinguished alumni, including Bravo’s Andy Cohen and CBS correspondent Erica Hill, spoke to students about their success and provided a plethora of advice.

The event kicked off BU’s billion-dollar campaign to support student life programs, faculty enrichment, scholarships, and research. The abundance of alumni connections highlighted during the festivities brought happiness to all.

In particular, it reminded me of the career services available for me to discuss employment options post college, land interviews, connect with alumni, and develop my resume and cover letter. Earlier this semester COM’s career service center -which has a database consisting of over 600 internships- held a open house. Attendees had the opportunity to take professional headshots for their LinkedIn accounts and were also given an overview of the services offered through the center. Later this month COM will hold one of its amazing networking meet and greets where students will have the opportunity to converse with professionals currently practicing in their field of interest.

I view BU as a toolbox full of opportunities to tailor your skills and get ready for the workforce and all the wonders of the world. The services readily available remind me that just as our motto puts great emphasis on virtue and piety, a underlying theme known to all within this community is that this network is immense and “you’ll always have a friend in them.”

 

Dany: Los Angeles, Fox Studios, and the Oscars! (Oh my!)

Hey BU2016! I hope you are all enjoying your summer, getting pumped for orientation and the fall semester. It’s going to be here before you know it!

For those of you who don’t remember from my previous blog posts, my main struggle this past semester has been a desperate search for a valuable summer internship in California. I am happy to say that, thanks to the fantastic resources at COM, I have achieved my goal. Greetings from sunny Los Angeles, where I am currently working two part-time internships with Fox Studios and The Oscars!

Backtrack a bit to how I got these amazing opportunities and then I’ll tell you all about the wonderful summer I’ve had so far. There I was at COM Student Services on a seemingly ordinary day. I was talking to Katie, one of our fantastic advisors and my personal life-saver, venting about the difficulties and frustrations about my internship hunt. Upon hearing what I was looking for, she told me about a BU alum, currently working for Twentieth Century Fox, who was looking for an intern in her department. She sent her my resume and after a few phone interviews, I was offered the job! It all happened so fast and before I knew it, I was spending hours on Craigslist every night, all my energy now going into finding a place to live.

The days passed, finals came and went, and as I was packing up my dorm room, I received an email. It was from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, saying they had received my resume and whether I could come in for an interview. I was confused because I hadn’t applied to a position with them. However, it’s been a small dream of mine for years to somehow work for the Oscars, and I didn’t want to pass up this opportunity. I explained that I already had a part-time internship for the summer, and to my delight, they said they would be happy to work around my schedule. So again, after a few phone interviews, they offered me the job and I gladly accepted.

I found out later that my resume had been sent to them by none other than Dean Sabovik! I could not be more grateful to COM for all the help and the resources they provided to get me where I am right now. Which is sitting at a desk in the Communications department of the A.M.P.A.S. building in Beverly Hills, typing this blog post during my lunch break.

I have to say, I thought getting the job would be the hardest part of this whole process, but it turns out relocating to Los Angeles from South Florida as a poor college student was the most stressful thing I’ve ever done. Thankfully, both positions are paid, and I was able to sublet an apartment near both my workplaces. I only started working a few weeks ago, and already I feel like I’ve been here forever. Hollywood is addicting and exciting and tough and everything I thought it would be. At Fox, I work in the publicity department for movies and at The Academy, I work as a public relations and marketing intern. Both jobs have taught me so much already about the industry and everyone I work with has been friendly and super helpful in answering all my questions.

And that’s not to mention all the awesome perks that come with both jobs! Fox does an awesome job with their internship program, setting up cool events and screenings for all of us to mingle. Though I’m the only intern in my department, I’ve been able to meet a ton of other students from all over. Just yesterday, I even met a girl from COM! My excitement knew no bounds as we bonded over BU. The other day, they gave us interns a special tour of the entire Fox Lot, which was awesome. I stood on the set of Modern Family and Bones and walked past the street where they film scenes from How I Met Your Mother (one of my favorite shows of all time). They also took us through all the production and sound studios, and I came away with a newfound appreciation and understanding of the incredible amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into making a single film.

At The Academy, by far the coolest thing I’ve done this summer is work on the Student Academy Awards. Watching those films and getting to know all the winners made me wonder at the amount of potential we have as students. Thinking back to the amazing work I’ve seen from some of my friends and classmates the past year, I have no doubt in my mind that in the next few years, we’ll see a winner from BU COM being honored with a Student Oscar.

Also, I don’t know how I’m ever going to pay for a movie again. Through Fox, I have been able to attend screenings for all their movies, including Prometheus and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. With my Academy ID, I can attend free screenings at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Last week I saw Seeking A Friend for the End of the World and this weekend, I’m really excited to go check out Magic Mike and Beasts of the Southern Wild. They are also holding an ongoing event called Oscars Outdoors where they screen classic movies, like The Goonies and Ferris Bueller, at the Academy’s new open-air theater.

I honestly don’t know how I’m going to leave LA. I have not been bored from the second the plane landed, and I really believe it is impossible to run out of things to do here. My birthday is coming up in a few days (July 3rd!) and I’m already thinking what kind of adventure to take. Maybe head out to Santa Monica Pier or hike to the Hollywood sign? Road trip to see the Golden Gate Bridge or even to Vegas? Who knows! I am enjoying my time here immensely. I have learned so much and met some really great people. If you guys have any questions or recommendations on things I can do while I’m out here, feel free to shoot me an email (vasquezd@bu.edu) or hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, whatever!

Have a great rest of the summer guys! Can’t wait to meet all of you!

Kate: Recap- Accepted Students Open House

Kate ImageWith admissions decisions out and May 1st fast approaching, I am getting more and more excited to welcome the new class of 2016 to COM.  I remember getting my acceptance letters and feeling the pressure to make that final decision.  These past two weekends, the COM Ambassadors welcomed over 250 admitted high school seniors and their families to take a look at the school.  They were able to hear from faculty, have lunch with current students, meet our amazing Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore, and take a tour of the COM building.  For all of you who did attend, my hope is that you felt all of the energy we exude and it made you your upcoming decision a little easier.   I was unfortunately not able to attend any Open Houses when making my decision and for those of you who are in my boat, I want to share with you three big take-aways that I think became a running theme of the past two Saturdays.  

1. COM is here to help. But not to just hand you things.  Between the Career Services office, the COM writing center, Student Services, and the COM Ambassadors, there are bunches of people who want to help you succeed.  However, I think everyone can agree that you need to be a go-getter and take advantage of all of these people who are here for you.  Ask questions, get advice, and use their expertise to make your many opportunities into realities.

2. Boston is a great city. There is no other way to put it.  Whether you’re a local or coming to college in the fall will be your first time, Boston has something to offer you.  It is an amazing place and with over a quarter of a million college kids, there is always something happening.  Walk around, take the T, explore the this college city.

3. Get ready to be busy. I had a lot of parents ask me if the students they met at Open House were just the 1%, those who are really exceling and doing great things.  And I was proud to say they aren’t.  I used my roommate as an example—she is a full time student, an intern, a club water polo player, and a member of Greek Life and she wasn’t present at Open House.  People who come to COM are passionate and want to get involved in everything.  When you get on campus in the fall, get ready for a crazy four years.

I, and my fellow COM Ambassadors, had a fantastic time meeting with students these past two weeks and we hope that Open House helped you make your decision, whether it be BU or one of the other amazing school we know you were admitted to.    As you make your final decision, please feel free to email me (katescott10@yahoo.com) with any last minute questions, concerns, or problems.

Brittany: COM-portunities

Brittany

The last time you heard from me, I was interning at Chronicle on Boston’s WCVB Channel 5. I told you all what a great experience it was for me, but the best had yet to come. By the end of the summer, my hard work earned me the opportunity to be an associate producer for a segment of a show! I came up with my own story idea, organized, planned, made contacts, filled out paperwork, and accompanied the crew on the day of the shoot—all the responsibilities of a real (read: salaried) producer. The episode aired a few days after I left for school, and it was the best way I could have ended my time at the station.

After Chronicle, I started working for New England Sports Network (NESN) in the fall. I’m a Boston Bruins/Hockey East Studio Production intern—a position I’m convinced is the best job in Boston. When the Bruins are home, I ride along to the Garden, where I do one of many things—learn how to run tech equipment from the truck, stage manage the pre-, post-, and intermission reports from the in-house studio, or stage manage the color and play-by-play commentators from their booth. After the game, I usually run tapes of post-game interviews from the locker room to feed them back to the office. There’s a lot of running around the Garden, but there’s no place I’d rather be on game day.

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of work for Hockey East. I was the time out coordinator for the Frozen Fenway games (check out the picture that Dean Sabovik took off of the TV that day!), and I’ve put in countless hours working on Beanpot features in preparation for the tournament in February. My internship at NESN is so multifaceted, I never know what to expect as I walk in in the morning. COM has given me the preparation to handle whatever is expected of me at any given time, and complete the task at a professional level.

Last semester, I applied and got into a class going abroad to London this summer to cover the Olympics with COM. Come next year I will have graduated, and I’m so thankful that I will be able to cap out my three years at BU with such an amazing work experience. You can read more about it here: http://www.bu.edu/com/2011/12/13/students-tapped-to-cover-olympics-in-london/.

The point of my post is this—everything that I talked about truly is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Through COM, I’ve had opportunities and experiences that many college students can only dream of. I’m happy to answer any questions about internships that you might have, and I look forward to sharing my contacts with the next batch of COM students!

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Richie: Internships through the Emma Bowen Foundation

Richie Duque
Richie Duque

Hey guys! I hope everyone is super excited to come to Boston this fall! You should all be proud and psyched to have gotten into the the best school at BU: COM.

I remember a huge reason I decided on COM last year was because of the security I felt I would have in finding a job after school. I’m sure many of you can relate to the fear of not finding a good job after college and as an aspiring film maker I can say that fear was ten times greater for me. I used to not be sure if I should chase my passion or just settle for a field with more jobs and better income. Yet, as I’m sure a lot of you will agree with, both COM’s film program and BU in LA program finally had me feeling comfortable with my choice in film.

Now, for all you interested in film, television, broadcast journalism, or any other media related job (which is basically anyone in COM), I highly, highly recommend applying to the Emma Bowen Foundation. If you’re looking ahead and thinking about getting a job in whatever communication related industry, then this program is definitely for you. EBF is a program dedicated to helping minorities break into the media business by setting them up with a four year internship. Students have an 8 week commitment to work for their corporate sponsor every summer that they’re in college. Some corporate sponsors even allow their interns to work throughout the year as well.

Each summer your department is changed so you can get a taste of different jobs in the industry. The benefit of having a secure internship every summer for the next few years is incredible, anyone will tell you. Also, you’ll be building a strong relationship with your company where many students earn a job afterward or, through their connections, find a job at a different company.

Oh yeah, and if you guys are curious about what companies participate in the program you can check them out here http://www.emmabowenfoundation.com/main.html. To give you and idea though, I work for Fox Television Stations, and have friends that work for HBO, NBC Universal, the YES Network, ABC, and many many more.

Some of you might be hesitant to give up eight weeks of your summer. Maybe you want to enjoy your summer, but just to remind you all, summer vacations in college are around three months so you’ll still have plenty of time to hang with friends. Plus, we all know the wisdom of working hard early in life to enjoy a comfortable, fun job, later in life. And if that doesn’t win you over, did I mention the internship is not only paid but also a scholarship program?! Now most people will tell you how insanely difficult it is to find a paid internship (even if it is only minimum wage), yet EBF has all its partnership companies give out matching funds at the end of every summer. So that basically means, if you dedicate yourself to working those 40 hour weeks for two months, not only will you have all the money you were getting paid, but the company will match your hard work! You do the math, 40 hours a week for eight weeks (getting paid $7.25) is over two grand!