Sara: Top 10 Reasons to Study Abroad

I confess I have been a bit of one-track mind lately, and so I apologize for this gushing blog post in advance.  But, wherever you find yourself in your college career please do this one thing: make time to go abroad! I know it can be difficult to work in when there’s so many requirements to tackle but take it from someone who is overloading on credits for two semesters just to make it happen, its worth it.

The last six weeks I have found myself in London and I am completely in love.  So therefore, I present to you a totally buzz-feed style list of ten convincing reasons why you should go abroad (sorry for the lack of gifs illustrating exactly how you should feel).

1. Meeting New People-Not everyone from your program will be from BU necessarily and even if they are, chances are on a campus this big you’ve never even seen their face in a crowd before. There are loads of new people you might never have met otherwise. If you’re lucky enough they just might become your best friends.

2. Easy Travel– With inexpensive trains, planes and buses to take you to wherever your heart desires, it’s so easy to see other cities and countries while you’re abroad.

3. The Food– I personally believe the best way to get to know another culture is through your stomach, or maybe that’s just because I’m a foodie wannabe. But in all honestly, trying new foods has been one of my favorite parts of being abroad.

4. New Perspective– It’s easy to judge other cultures from afar but once you’re standing in the middle another country where you don’t speak their language, I guarantee any preconceived notions you might have had will be erased. And bonus, you’ll also probably gain a new love for your own home.

5. Personal Growth– It takes a lot of courage to put yourself in a completely unfamiliar environment for months but once you do it, you find yourself growing as a person in ways you never thought possible.

6. Getting a Break From Your Normal Routine– Because who wants to be on the same general schedule every day of their college career?

7. Unique Resume Boost– In some programs you get to intern while you’re abroad which is something not everyone can say they did and will definitely set your resume apart from other students in internship and job interviews.

8. The View–  From the top of anywhere, over any city- go on the London Eye, go to the top of the Duomo in Florence, climb up a hill to the castles in Lisbon and appreciate the view. No matter where you go, looking over an entire city is so captivating, its life changing.

9. TRAVEL- oh, I already mentioned this one? Well, I think it deserves to be mentioned again

10. Why not?– The best reason of them all. You’re young! What better time to see the world when college has already allowed you to perfect the balance of minimal sleep and maximum productivity.

 

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about going abroad or need any help with the application!

Cheers,

Sara

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

Jason: Madrid Retrospective

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lauren: Interviews Galore!

Have a big interview coming up for a job or internship?  Don’t stress!  Here are some tips on how to make an awesome first impression without having a minor heart attack in the process.

1. Do some research beforehand

Make sure you know about the company before you walk into your interview!  It will make you look professional and dedicated if you mention that you recently saw an article about the company in the news.  Also, think about what kind of questions they might ask you and how you would answer them!  And come prepared with some of your own questions to ask them at the end of the interview!

2. Dress professionally

Pick out your outfit the night before so that you won’t have to stress about it in the morning.  Even if you know that many employees wear jeans to work, still dress professionally!  They’ve earned the right to dress that way after working for the company for 10 years, you haven’t!  If you need some fashion advice, the BU Center for Career Development has some great tips for how to dress for an interview!  Check it out!

3. Arrive early and come prepared

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview, that way when you come in you won’t look stressed or out of breath.  Punctuality is key, and a company won’t hire you if they don’t think you’re reliable.  Nothing looks worse than strolling in 10 minutes late!  And don’t forget business cards and copies of your resume!

4. Relax and look interested

Take a deep breath and try to calm your nerves right before you go in!  Give the person interviewing you a firm handshake when you’re introduced, and make eye contact with them throughout the interview.  Nod your head and really pay attention to what they’re saying.  Show them that you’re interested and passionate about the position.  Body language is crucial- sit up straight and smile!  And take a second to think before answering a question so that you sound clear and well-spoken.

5. Talk yourself up

Remember, if you got to the interviewing process, they must have seen something in you that they liked!  Have confidence in yourself and remember that it’s alright to brag!  Be proud of your past accomplishments, and tell them how your experience and skills would make you a perfect fit for the company.  This is your chance to make a great first impression and show them just how wonderful you are!

6. Thank them afterward

Make sure at the end of the interview that you thank them for their time.  These people are very busy, and took time out of their day to give you a chance!  A handwritten thank you note or email is the perfect way to show how thankful you are!  Follow up and try to stay in touch-never underestimate the importance of networking and making connections!

If you’re looking for more tips, The Center for Career Development is a great resource for everything and anything relating to jobs, internships, networking and interviews!  Check out their website and take a look at their calendar for information about upcoming workshops and networking events!

Good luck!

 

Kate: London vs. Boston

Hello again from London!

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

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

 

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

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

Happy Holidays COM Family!

 

 

Jason: Madrid!

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

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

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

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

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

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

¨Ta logo!

Mike: LA Living

Hey guys!

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

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

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

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

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

Best of luck this semester,

Mike

Lauren: Internships- Finish Strong!

With the end of summer comes the end of summer internships.  During your time at BU, you’re bound to complete an internship at one point or another.   While first impressions are very important, you should treat your last days at your internship just like you treated your first.  Here are five things you should do as your internship comes to a close:

  1. Ask for a recommendation letter.

About two weeks before your last day, approach your supervisor, or a person that you have worked with closely, and ask if they would write you a letter of recommendation and serve as a professional reference.  Specially tell them what you are looking for in the recommendation letter.  Suggest, for example, that they highlight your work ethic or comment on your writing skills.   If you have a LinkedIn account, you may also want to ask if they could recommend you on that social networking site.  In return, offer to write a little internship testimonial that the organization can use to promote their internship program.   Don’t be nervous to ask for a recommendation letter or reference- you’ve worked hard, and you deserve it!

2. Set up a meeting with your supervisor on your last day.

On your last day, ask your supervisor if you can sit down with them for a few minutes to get some feedback on your work.  Learning about your strengths and weaknesses can be helpful when you have other internships and jobs.  This can also teach you how to take constructive criticism, a skill that will be beneficial in the future.  Also, let your supervisor know what you thought of the internship program, but make sure you express how thankful you are to have had this opportunity.  After all, it’s hard to get an internship nowadays.

3. Give out hand-written thank you notes.

Writing a thank you note is the perfect way to express your gratitude at the end of your internship.  A hand-written note is much more thoughtful than simply sending a thank-you email.  You can visit this Her Campus article to find thank-you note templates!  Be specific in the note by thanking them for either helping you with a particular project or assigning you an exceptionally rewarding task.  I always sign professional thank you notes using “Sincerely” or “Best wishes.”  Last impressions really count, and writing a note is a great way to stand out and be remembered.

4. Update your Resume.

Internships are great professional experience and can help bulk up your resume.   Make sure when you add this experience to your resume that you list specific examples of assignments you completed.   Update your resume and LinkedIn page right when your internship is ending so your work is still fresh in your mind.  Also, ask for permission to use some of the work that you completed (like writing assignments, design work or video clips) in your portfolio.   It will look great when you apply for another internship or job!

5. Keep in touch.

Connect with your fellow interns, supervisors and other employees at your internship site.  Add them on LinkedIn and exchange contact information.  Make sure that you stay up-to-date with what’s going on with the company by following them on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media sites.  You may also want to email your supervisor every three months or so just to stay connected!  You never know- staying in touch may help you get a full time job with the company!

Follow these simple steps to make the most out of the last days at your internship!  Remember to start strong and end strong!

Alexa: A Summer of Interning

Hope everyone is enjoying their last few weeks of summer. This summer I hadn’t really planned on interning anywhere but when I was offered an opportunity to do so I was really excited. I am interning for a company called, SmileSimplicity. The company focuses on enhancing a person’s smile without eliminating any tooth structure (unlike regular veneers which contour teeth and can never be reversed). I am still interning there and feel lucky to have the opportunity to work with such innovative, hardworking people.

You’re probably thinking: what does this have to do with journalism?

Well, a part of my job is interviewing patients before and after their SmileSimplicity procedure, creating marketing tools and writing press releases. The positive thing about working for a small company was that I wasn’t just doing things to keep busy but I am able to be  involved with important components, like being a part of conference calls and having the opportunity to contribute to advertisement ideas. I didn’t feel like an intern, I felt like an employee. I was also able to learn more about the business side of journalism. Even though I still would like to pursue a sports journalism career, I’m glad I have had the opportunity to branch out and see a different side of journalism.

I am so excited to meet all of you come fall and hope you are looking forward to being a Terrier!

Tiffany: My Summer at Digitas – Mad Men In Real Life

Greetings from one of those big, tall, fancy buildings in downtown Boston!

This week marks my 7th week interning at Digitas, a leading global advertising agency that pioneered the digital age in advertising. I along with 24 other interns from all sorts of different backgrounds, universities, and interests are working across the many different capabilities within the agency such as marketing, project management, account planning, art direction, copy writing, user experience, media, technology, and more.

I’m specifically interning in marketing, or what some other agencies might refer to as account management, on a Fortune 100 financial services client. In particular, my team works on corporate social responsibility for the client, meaning we tell their story as a brand and manage their overall brand image through our work.

For those who are die-hard Mad Men fans out there, I hate to break your hearts, but agency life isn’t quite how Don Draper lives it out. In many ways, the hit TV show has portrayed agency life spot on in that sometimes in order to be productive, one has to be unproductive first and let the creative juices naturally flow. My team in particular, has set up a nerf gun battlefield throughout the floor to help each other through those frustrating times and just have a little fun. It’s not quite like how the agency in Mad Men likes to be unproductive with their 2 hour oyster lunches, cigarette breaks, and excessive alcohol consumption, but we take breaks as often as necessary and look to each other to join in on the unproductivity to ultimately help each other be productive.

Which brings me to one of the aspects of agency life that Mad Men doesn’t quite portray as well as it maybe should, which is the importance of teamwork. Throughout the 7 weeks I’ve been interning here, I’ve been blown away by how fluidly the different capabilities work together towards a common goal. They all genuinely look out for each other and not only have the client, but also each other’s best interest in mind. With this, the work is just that much better and everyone walks away a little saner and with a bigger smile on their face at the end of each day. Despite their differences in specialties, the Photoshop genius of an art director, the organized marketing manager, and the number savvy analyst all work together to help give the client the best recommendation possible by pulling together their strengths and trusting each other to fill in the holes on their own capability’s weaknesses. So whether its providing the client with our point of view on a certain campaign move or participating in a floor-wide nerf gun fight, everyone is part of the team and looks out for each other no matter how big or small the task/problem at hand.

I’m honestly quite sad for the internship to be more than half way over, because I’ve become an integral part of this hard-working yet silly, nerf-gun playing team. However, I eagerly am looking forward to the remainder of my time with Digitas as I still have much to learn! More updates on my insights in advertising life in a few weeks!

Happy summer, everyone!