Hali: You’re Studying Abroad? But Aren’t You a Senior?

To answer the questions posed in this title, yes! And yes! 

I think an overwhelming majority of COM students choose to study abroad during their junior year. I don’t have any stats, but I’m sure someone in the Undergraduate Affairs office can give you some numbers. By the beginning of my junior year, however, it became clear that this wasn’t the best choice for me. And guess what? That’s okay! 

After I made the decision to study abroad senior year, there were plenty of times when I worried I was making the wrong choice. The idea of coming back to campus and only having one semester left terrified me. I couldn’t bear the thought of missing Splash. My heart yearned to see the fall leaves cover Bay State Road one last time. 

But as this semester approached, I grew more and more secure in my decision. Being abroad as a senior has given me an opportunity to reflect on my time at BU. As a senior, I feel so much better equipped to handle some of the challenges that come along with studying and interning in this new environment. 

Just to make myself feel ever more sure that I’ve made an excellent life decision, I’ve compiled a list of reasons why it’s a great idea to study abroad during senior year. PHOTO 1I’m studying abroad in London, but here’s a photo of me in front of the Colosseum. Go abroad so you can book cheap flights to Italy!

#1: Seize That Senior-Year YOLO Attitude
As a senior, you’re constantly aware of the fact that you’re doing things for the last time. You only get to experience college once, and it’s so easy to forget that as an underclassman. Being a senior has made me seize every opportunity I’ve had abroad, because I’m hyperaware of the fact that I’ll never have an opportunity like this again. I’m so lucky to be here, so I’d better act like it, right? 

#2: Take time to get experience, experience, and more experience
Did someone say experience? If you’re a COM student choosing to do an abroad internship program, it feels SO good to go abroad knowing a thing or two (or a lot more than a thing or two) about your field. Junior year me wouldn’t be as confident at her abroad internship as senior year me is. I don’t regret taking the extra time to build my resume and recognize what I wanted to get out of an internship. 

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetFollow me on Instagram @halisimone for more cloudy-sky London content.

#3: Gain New Appreciation for BU
It’s going to be so sad to leave London in December. But when I come back to BU, I know I’m going to cherish every moment. Knowing that I have such little time left to appreciate the COM lounge and the Warren Towers Starbucks makes me — dare I say it — excited (and emotional) to return back to campus. Wow, can you believe I’m weeping now? 

This post isn’t here to convince you to go abroad senior year instead of junior year. It’s to remind you that you should go abroad whenever you want to! Think about what’s best for YOU, and how you want to shape your college experience and timeline. If that means having a little less time to enjoy the BU Pub, so be it (I hear the pubs are better in London anyway).

Angeli: Unsolicited Advice from a Resident Senior

I think by now any consistent readers of this COM Ambassador blog will know that I’m the emotional one. Whether it was sappily reminiscing on my first Open House as a newly admitted student or somehow relating my Australian study abroad experience to Lizzie McGuire’s Italian love affair, I’ve managed to make all of my contributions here just the right level of cheesy. And now that I’m a senior, you should expect nothing less, my devoted fandom.
It’s only (already?!) October, and I can just about feel my time at BU slipping through my fingertips. To be as cliche as I possibly can, it feels like yesterday that I was a senior in high school, rolling my eyes as older relatives/teachers/neighbors/my parents’ friends/just about every adult I ever encountered preached to me how college would be the best time of my life. Though I may have gotten tired of that redundant spiel at the time, boy does it sound nice being that annoyed eighteen year old right about now. I never doubted those who set my expectations sky high for these four years, but I also never thought my expectations would be exceeded. Despite any rough patches I may had during college, as I’m sure everyone has, I would not change a single experience at BU, as I feel that all of them having truly shaped who I am today.
See, I warned you this would get sappy and quick. But please, if you’re a prospective student or underclassman especially, stay with me a little longer because I have some wisdom that might actually be helpful. I’m not going to sit here (in the Questrom library to be exact – great study spot btw) and act like I’m all high and mighty just because I’m a senior. Three years and two months in college has taught me a lot, but it sure as Rhett hasn’t taught me everything. I can, however, say that I know what it feels like to be a freshman, worried that you’re not taking the right classes or making the “friends for life” that your parents have…to be a sophomore, uneasy about declaring your major because what if you end up hating it in a semester or aren’t actually good at what you’re interested in..to be a junior, feeling on top of the world when on campus but far less confident in professional settings because that other intern seems to know a lot more about x, y, and z. Yep, that’s right. You’re not the only who’s had such insecurities nor will you be the last. Those times of unease and discomfort and maybe even a little embarrassment are as much what college is about as the courses you take or dorm life you have. Better yet, there’s no better feeling than being able to look back at an insecurity a year (or two or three) later and say that you’ve conquered it and that it maybe was a little silly to have in the first place.
Before I really go off on a motivational speaker tangent, I’ll leave you with a final anecdote. A couple of weeks ago, I had my COM Ambassador group over for cookies and updates. They all filled me in on their freshman/transfer transitions thus far and seemed to grow gradually more anxious as they asked me questions like “How do I know if  *insert major* is right for me?” or “How do I get an internship?” The question I was most surprised but also most glad to be asked, however, was “I know that good grades are obviously impressive, but what else do you think is important to have on your resume?” I reinterpreted this one a bit in order to fill them all in on advice that had been passed down to me through former peers, employers and professors alike, which I hope will only continue being shared. Yes, grades are important. And so are internships. And so are extracurriculars. And so is any and every other endeavor you pursue in college so long as you enjoy what you’re doing. Join a club because you want to, not because you think it’ll look impressive in the future. Then stick with it if you like it or quit and join another! Take classes and pursue those degrees that interest you because I promise, no matter how hard the material gets, you’ll want to master it. A minor in Comp Sci, for instance, won’t make you seem smarter or more “employable” if you never really put your all into it anyway. Bottom line, the only person who can waste your precious time these four years (because it is precious) is YOU. So take control of how it’s spent.

High School Musical GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Caroline: My Internship at CONAN in Los Angeles

IMG_8092I write this post as I sit in the control room at CONAN on my last day. I leave LA on Saturday and while my time here has been a bit of a roller coaster, I’m so glad I decided to spend my final semester of college out here in California. After three and a half amazing years in Boston at BU, I felt it was time to begin my transition from college to my career. The BU Los Angeles program is designed exactly for that. We intern during the day and have class three days a week in the evening. But these aren’t your typical classes—we have mostly speakers to teach us about the industry. There isn’t really homework, there aren’t any tests. This is an industry immersion.

And immersed I was. I am the control room intern at CONAN. What that means in a nut shell is I get to sit in the control room of a late night talk show all day. It is seriously the dream. I want to work in a talk show control room one day and it doesn’t get much better than interning for the late night veteran—25 years on the air—Conan O’Brien. I perform normal intern tasks like stocking food and distributing paperwork, but I also get to time the music performances in rehearsal and work with the director and associate director. Through observation I’ve been able to learn a lot. BU prepared me to understand what I was seeing in the control room, but I learned the intricacies of a live daily production that are hard to learn in the classroom.
I would be hard-pressed to find a nicer group of people to work with. So many of them moved out here from NYC together when Conan got The Tonight Show. And they were all in it together when Conan lost the The Tonight Show. Speaking of—I decided to read Bill Carter’s The War for Late Night about the 2010 Tonight Show conflict and I was able to talk to people written about in the book to get their take on what happened. Not many people can say they’ve had the chance to ask questions directly to people they are learning about. Just another example of the incredible learning opportunities the BULA program offers students.
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Not only was I working on a late night talk show, I also got to swipe in every day at Warner Brothers Studios. There is so much history here on the lot. I was lucky enough to have some free time to explore. I walked around Rosewood from Pretty Little Liars, or Stars Hollow of Gilmore Girls if you prefer (though the gazebo was gone). I biked past stages filming Ellen, Mom, The Big Bang Theory, Lethal Weapon, and so much more. I ate lunch on the streets of New York then walked through the streets of Paris. I even got to see some BU grads currently working on shows on the lot. And yes—I’ve talked to Conan and seen a bunch of celebrities.
IMG_8097While I am excited to head back to the East Coast, I am certainly sad to leave CONAN. I’ve made great friends with some of the interns here and I’m sure we’ll be working together again soon. And my departure marks the end of my college education. In a few weeks I’ll be walking at graduation and bidding adieu to the place I’ve called home for four years. My fellow seniors have all said their goodbyes so well. Instead, I’ll just say thank you to the institution that has offered me so much love the past four years. 

Sam: Every senior is saying goodbye to COM, so I decided to as well — in a series of limericks

We have one more month ’til the end,
We will say bye to COM, old friend.
It gave us so much, time went by in a rush,
But now to adult life, we must tend.
I’ll never forget all the good times,
Learning to write well and write rhymes,
Journalism’s my calling, tho’ grad feels like free-falling,
I love you, sweet COM, long time.
COM lounge comfy seats, don’t forget me.
Daily Free Press, be my legacy.
Goodbye dining hall, I’ll hardly miss you at all,
Warren Towers, thanks for all the memories.
I’ll never forget applying ED,
I just knew this program was for me.
I found out in December, and awaited September,
When my journey through COM came to be.
I started out wanting to write,
I know, I know, that sounds trite.
But COM helped me find my voice (was that even a choice?)
And I’m now sure my future is bright.
Being a CA was the best part,
I gave it my whole, whole sweet COM heart.
I loved my groups and my tours (what’s not to adore?)
Which makes it that much harder to part.
This next verse goes out to my COM buds,
You all are such cuties and cool studs.
From my freshman year gals to all my new pals,
You’ve made me happy as pigs in the mud.
I think this stanza might be my last,
I feel as though my time’s come to pass.
I know I’m not dying, but I still feel like crying,
‘Cause I love COM, every person, every class.

Nick: Thank You COM

College is a crazy time. You’ll meet lifelong friends and lose some others. You’ll be thankful for your newfound freedom and you’ll miss home. You’ll try new things and fall into old habits. You’ll stay up until 3 in the morning laughing with your roommates and turn to those same people when you experience hardship and heartbreak. There aren’t many constants during this time in your life, but for me, the one constant has been COM.

COM showed me the way when I arrived on campus eager to start writing about sports within 30 seconds. COM introduced me to my roommates, one of whom I met through BU’s independent newspaper, the Daily Free Press, and another whom I befriended within the first month of college. COM allowed me to grow and adapt to a constantly changing journalism landscape through its robust curriculum. I got experience at the anchor desk, as the producer of a live half-hour newscast and as a reporter for the largest tech conference in the world in Las Vegas. COM gave me a second home at Undergraduate Affairs, where I’ve worked alongside some of the most dedicated and compassionate people in the building.

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My FreeP fam will always have a special place in my heart.

And the COM Ambassador program has introduced me to so many driven, passionate and caring people that remind me every day why I chose COM almost four years ago. I’ve loved the experience of mentoring incoming freshmen and showing them the ropes; some have become my closest friends at BU. To my fellow CAs, thank you for inspiring me with your talent and creativity. COM really is like a family. Everyone in the building, from your classmates to your professors, is there to support you as you chase your dreams.

During my time as a COM Ambassador, I’ve had the opportunity to explain to families from around the country why I love COM. And it’s not that difficult a task. I fell in love with COM the second I took a tour of the building during senior year of high school. As I write my final COM blog post just over a month before graduation, it’s only fitting that it happens to be the same day as the COM open house.

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Nick Picht and Pete Zampa were my senior mentors freshman year, and I’ve loved the chance to do the same for other freshmen as a CA.

I’ve worked open houses since my freshman year in high school, and I remember how impactful my COM open house was. I’m still good friends with two of the kids I sat next to that day. Listening to Professor McKeen lead the journalism department presentation at today’s open house for the class of 2022 (WOW) made it feel like my COM journey had truly come full circle.

I heard him talk about all the professional opportunities at COM, BU’s strong relationship with major media companies in Boston and some of the work of our exceptional faculty. I saw myself in a wide-eyed freshman as he asked what sports journalism opportunities are available here. The answer is plenty. And side note: COM just hired a local sportswriting celebrity – Michael Holley of NBC Sports Boston and formerly of WEEI. Holley’s hiring is just another example of COM’s commitment to providing their students with only the best.

Senior CAs in September. We're weeping because we love COM.
Senior CAs in September. We’re weeping because we love COM.

McKeen’s speech resonated with me when he told prospective students and future journalists that “journalism is the purest form of public service because you’re giving people the information they need to survive.” This passion and fervor for the field excites me every day I walk into COM, and gives me the confidence to pursue a career in the news industry.

A soon-to-be member of the class of 2022 told me today at the open house that I was part of his decision to apply early decision to BU. My face lit up. This is why we do what we do. I’m excited for that student, and quite frankly, after the open house, I wish I were in his shoes. I wish I could come to COM, pick a COM ambassador and do it all over again. But my time is almost over, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m thankful every day that I chose COM, and I know it’ll always be home.

 

Claudia: Dear COM

Dear COM, 

Well, I’ve already cried just thinking about writing this. So let’s bring on the water works. As I’m writing this, it’s 47 days until graduation and I’m a grateful, happy, yet nervous ball of stress. I really don’t know if I can put into words how important COM is to me and how it has shaped my college experience. I would not be the woman (BU Boss Lady, perhaps) I am today without the friendships, love, and support from within my school. COM is my home and will hold a very special place in my heart. 

I walked into BU knowing I wanted to double major in Film and Television and Advertising. And now I am so close to finishing that dream. There have been changes to that dream along the way. I came in knowing I wanted to be a producer, but I rediscovered my love for production and found a new confidence behind the camera. Confidence and new skills that have opened so many doors in Boston, Chicago, New York, London and Los Angeles. 

I used to joke that I spent more time in 640 Comm Ave than in my own dorm. And while that’s an exaggerated truth, COM has really been my home. From the late night editing sessions to the early morning radio shows, my heart swells when I think of this wonderful building full of storytellers. You’ve brought me so much joy and the best experiences and friendships a girl could ask for. And now as my story is changing, I have to say thank you. 

To my lifelong friends:

From the day one friendships to the London clique, I could not be more lucky to have such amazing, creative, and powerful friends. These are people who not only make me laugh and smile, but they inspire me with their creativity and non-stop hard work. These are the people that will not only be my friends for life, but on my board of directors one day. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for each and everyone of you. And I know it will be amazing! 

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To WTBU: 

Thank you for being the strongest group of people I know. You’ve taught me how to bounce back and have given me life long friendships. You’ve been here for me through the 6am show tunes, pop culture fan girling, and even 2am half yawn half smiles. You truly are the Beat of Boston University and I can’t thank you enough for providing a platform for so many voices. 

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To the BU Boss Ladies: 

That was a wild ride and boy I am I so lucky to have worked alongside all of you. You are the most incredible group and I am amazed by how you create such a balance with professionalism and passion. 

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To COM Undergraduate Affairs: 

Thank you for always being a source of happiness in my life. I have never once dreaded going to work. Instead, I looked forward to laughing so hard I’d fall out of my chair and gaining the inside scoop on my beloved school. Thank you for also being there during the highs and the lows. You are the best support system. 

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To the COM Ambassador program: 

I don’t know what to say. Thank you for being my outlet and for giving me a family. I never thought I’d find such a passionate group of people who love COM so much, but you all make me fall in love with this school and you every day. 

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So, thank you COM for everything. I love you with all of my heart. 

claudia com

 

Eliza: Finding Out How To Not Find Your Way

Well folks, here it is: my take on a sappy senior COM Ambassador blog post. Apologies in advance (but also, I hope this can mean something to you).

 

When I started at Boston University in 2014, the College of Communication was just COM101 to me, a class full of other nervous and eager freshmen looking to start finding our way within the complex web of a massive university.  Over that first year my declared major in Film and Television began to feel like the wrong fit, and after a well timed guest lecture on Journalism I soon found my new place within COM, within BU.

 

Looking back to then, I think that was about when I convinced myself that I had figured it out. I knew how college worked! I had a major I loved, my classes were (mostly) interesting (I’m sorry, but Statistics was never gonna do it for me), and the sense of complete loss that had come with a move to a new city dissipated after the first time I navigated my way to the Boston Common without the help of Google Maps.

 

I left my first year and headed home to intern sure that over the next three years things would continue to make sense and to fall into place the way I was sure they were supposed to.  However as I sit here writing this as a second semester senior, just shy of two months from commencement, I can safely say that I still don’t really have it figured out.

 

This admittal isn’t meant to scare anyone, quite the opposite really.  It took some time, but I now realize that this sense of slight panic is caused by nothing less than how lucky I am.  My time at Boston University has given me so many opportunities, that it now feels overwhelming to think that I suddenly have to choose one.

 

During college, you can keep yourself involved in so many things, across different majors and colleges and topics, through clubs and activities and even elective classes or minors or majors.  Boston University helps students do just this, and the confidence that being a COM student has given me has helped me to branch out and pursue my passions.

 

So as I approach that Friday morning in May when my COM journey ends, I feel so lucky, and yes, still so overwhelmed, by the opportunities COM has given me. But now, that feeling is proof that four years ago in May of 2014, I made the right choice choosing COM

Nick: 10 Things I Wish I Knew as a BU Freshman

I only have a little more than two months left on Comm. Ave. as a student, and as exciting as that may seem, it’s also pretty daunting. No less daunting, though, than first arriving on campus as a freshman. The feelings I’m having now as I look for my first job are the same ones I felt in the fall of 2014 – anxious, scared, uneasy, unsure. But not to worry. If you’re new to BU, I’ve got some tips for you. Below are 10 quick tips I’ve picked up along the way that I think would be useful for any BU freshman, or any BU student for that matter. 

1. Get a semester T Pass

You may think, “Oh, Comm. Ave. is walkable, I’ll never need to take the T.” Wrong. As unreliable as the MBTA is, it’s indispensable for any BU student. Especially now that I live in West campus, taking the T to COM on a time crunch is the way to go. It’s cheaper than buying a pass every month, and if you plan on doing a lot of traveling around the city, it pays for itself quickly. Be on the lookout early, though. I’ve missed the deadline a few times because it’s just before the semester starts.

2. The “freshman dorms” are your friends

I was unsure about Warren Towers and West campus when I first arrived at BU, but I shouldn’t have been. I spent my first year in a brownstone on Bay State Road, and while I loved that space for its peace and quiet during study time, I made my best friends at Warren and spent a great chunk of my free time there. Being on a floor with so many of your classmates is super valuable – make the most of it. Keep your door open and don’t be afraid to make new friends.

3. Join BU On Broadway

One of my only regrets about my college career is that I didn’t join BU On Broadway sooner. It’s an amazing group with amazing people, and the perfect outlet for any theater geek to continue their high school passion in college. Semesters only get busier when you become an upperclassman, so make the most of your free time as a freshman and get onstage.

I joined BU On Broadway sophomore year, but would do anything for more time performing in Tsai.
I joined BU On Broadway sophomore year, but would do anything for more time performing in Tsai.

  1. COM swipe access is a major key

    Though COM students now have access to the entire Adobe Suite, if you’re like me, you prefer to do your editing in COM. I bet you’re thinking, “But I thought COM closes at nine, Nick…” And while that’s technically true, with swipe access you’ll be able to get into COM later and finish any work. Just get a professor’s sign-off and go see the tech-guru himself, Brad Fernandes in room 102. You’ll thank me later.

  2. Don’t be afraid to take classes in other colleges

    With the BU Hub on its way, taking classes across colleges at BU has never been more attractive for COM students. I only took the necessary classes outside of COM to fulfill my major and minor, but I know there are a few classes in CFA I would have loved to explore. Don’t make the same mistake. And thanks to BU’s pass/fail policy, you really have no excuse not to take that music theory course you’ve been eyeing.

    6. 26th floor of Stuvi2 & 6th floor of Mugar are ideal study spots

    This one took me awhile to perfect, and while I’m ashamed to admit it, I hadn’t studied in Stuvi2 until junior year. The views of the Charles River and downtown Boston from the 26th floor are truly the best in the entire city. And the sixth floor of Mugar is one of the only places in the library that isn’t constantly packed. I don’t mind the view from up there, either. Hey, it beats studying in your dorm.

The views atop Stuvi2 are stunning, and the location also makes for an ideal study spot.
The views atop Stuvi2 are stunning, and the location also makes for an ideal study spot.

 

  1. Take advantage of all the great events BU has to offer

    In just the past month, I’ve seen Obama’s White House photographer and took part in a discussion about media in the age of Trump featuring the executive producer of POLITICO podcasts. This is just a sampling of some of the events going on around campus that interest me, and things are happening every day. During my freshman year I generally kept my head down and studied, and while there’s a time for that, be careful not to miss some of the extraordinary opportunities here through COM, the Howard Thurman Center and BU at large.

    8. Don’t miss the Power of Narrative Conference

Journalism majors and anyone who loves a good story – this is a must. Every march BU hosts this unique conference featuring some of the finest narrative journalists in the world. It’s an opportunity to meet industry leaders and strengthen your storytelling skills. This year’s guests include ESPN’s Don Van Natta (BU alum), Emily Steel of the New York Times and longtime NYT feature writer Sonny Kleinfield.

9. U-Grill is a Hidden Gem

Though it’s only about a three-minute walk from COM, it took me until sophomore year to discover University Grill & Pizza. It’s one of the best places on campus for a quick bite. The chicken parm is my go-to, but their menu is full of cheap and tasty opstions. The service is fast, the food is always hot and the folks working there are super friendly – always willing to talk some Boston sports. (Sadly, no convenience points accepted.)

10. Apply to be a COM ambassador

The COM ambassador program has been one of my best experiences at BU. It has introduced me to so many incredible people, and I’ve even mentored some incoming freshmen through the program that have become great friends. Being involved with open houses, giving tours to prospective families and writing these blogs has given me a whole new appreciation for my school. APPLY APPLY APPLY! You’ll be glad you did.

The senior COM ambassadors - smiling because in this picture we still had a year left in COM.
The senior COM ambassadors – smiling because in this picture we still had a year left in COM.

 

 

 

Ethan: Parting Advice

As I finish out my time at BU with the Los Angeles Program, I’ve taken some time to look back on my experience and the ups and downs of the last three and a half years. I’ve obviously learned a lot and grown as a person, but the main thing I believe to be true is that it’s all been worth it.

College can be a scary place. It’s daunting before you get here, and it’s pretty intimidating even after spending a little time here. The mindset I adopted right away was to push through my insecurities with all of it and try to expose myself to as much as possible. The least I could do with my last blog post is offer some advice on my way out.

1. Sign up for everything. I’ve written more about this in another post, but I’ll sum it up by saying this: Try everything. Give out your email to every club that sounds remotely interesting. Remember you can always unsubscribe from their email lists. It’s pretty easy.

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2. Meet people. Everybody is in the same or a similar place friend and network-wise in college. Even if you’re a couple years in, the people around you tend to be on the same level. It’s important to be open to not necessarily making friends but meeting people. You never know who you might end up spending a lot of time with.

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3. Use your resources. Go to Undergraduate Affairs and schedule an appointment. Go to the Writing Center and have someone look over your paper. Go to FPS and use the equipment (for FREE (seriously I’ve been without this for under a month, and I’m already feeling it)). Just go make things or do things with what you have. It’ll help you in the long run – even if you’re no good at it right now.

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4. This one is split into two for two (vague) types of people. Ask your friends if you’re not sure which one you are.

   a. If you’re the person that spends a lot of time partying and not worrying about school at all, maybe take a break. Partying can be as exhausting as doing actual work, and it’s important to balance your energy with both of them. It’s too easy to procrastinate and brush off due dates (and even some assignments), but you have to remember that it’s important not to waste your education. Also go to class. Only skip if it’s REALLY worth it.

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   b. If you’re the person that spends a lot of time on homework and at internships, make sure you have fun. College is obviously for learning in a higher education environment, but you’re not supposed to feel like you have a full time job (unless you also happen to have a full time job). Work gets stressful. You’ll have the rest of your life to worry about that. There will likely not be another time after graduation when you live so close to so many of your friends, so please take advantage of that.

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Anyway, this is the gist of what I can offer in my old age. Enjoy college, and find your place.

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Love, Ethan

Emma: Ode to AdLab

I feel like, somehow over the past year and a half, my being in AdLab has become essential to my identity at BU, and honestly, I’m pretty okay with it. It’s my go-to conversation topic in interviews, a meeting place of some of the most admirable people I know in COM, and my favorite location to spend the entirety of every Monday. As I kick off my final semester at BU (gross, lets not go there), I feel like I owe AdLab an immense debt of gratitude, despite our various ups and downs.
AdLab, for those of you who don’t know, is BU’s student-run advertising agency, the largest and oldest of its kind in the country, I might add. You are eligible to join the agency for school credit, after completing Intro to Advertising (CM317). Despite the “student-run” addition to the description, AdLab is an actual full-service ad agency that tackles real business problems for brands all over the world (check out our fancy new site!). Our client list includes staples of the BU community, like BUPD, local Boston businesses, nonprofits, and even large, big-name clients like Acura. With AdLab, you also have access to an extensive alumni network, and the guidance of our amazing faculty advisors, Tobe Berkovitz and Pegeen Ryan, two of the most prominent names in their fields.
I could probably go on about AdLab’s impressive history for days, but instead of boring you, I’ll cut to the chase. What you get out of AdLab can be invaluable to your career in advertising, even if you come in with no experience at all. I joined AdLab green as can be, wanting to be an Planner. Despite this, I was assigned to a team as an Account Executive, meaning I was the liaison between our client and creative team. This would become my most challenging task of the semester, and I’m pretty sure people stopped asking me how I was because they knew they’d have to hear about my AdLab struggles like trying to motivate the team, battling different work styles, and handling creative perspectives from AdLabbers of all levels.
Once our work was submitted and the semester was over, though, I realized that all of the struggles I’d faced over the past few months had been worth it. I now had a better sense of what my strengths were in an agency setting, I’d acquired a host of new management styles, and had worked hard enough to earn the respect of the executive board and our faculty advisors. AdLab was a great place to learn from mistakes, of which I made dozens, and I came out of my first semester feeling like I had something to offer the industry. And yeah, as I mentioned, at times, AdLab can be be challenging, but group work among creative people always is. But you will never regret learning how to be better equipped at managing these situations, regardless of the career path you choose.
Trying to gain experience in a competitive industry, while also being a student, can seem like an overwhelming task, but I am here to tell you that COM makes this entirely possible with organizations like AdLab, PRLab, and handfuls of others at your disposal. You have so much to gain from giving it a try, even if you’re on the fence about an advertising concentration.
I’m excited to see where AdLab is headed in my final semester (especially since an alum just donated a 3D printer) but even more so, I’m excited to spend my Mondays working hard on projects I care about with people I learn so much from. If there’s anything I can wish upon anyone with time left at BU, it’s that they too find a place where they experience the same feelings and motivations.