Stacy: Pre-Summer To Do List

 

The weather is nice, spring is in the air (or was a few days ago… typical Boston) and the summer season is right around the corner. You know what that means… time to go out to eat, explore and “treat yo self “(Parks and Recreation reference).

So I’ve compiled a list of last minute Bostonian things to do before going home for summer.

 

1. Go to a Red Sox game. I KNOW I KNOW, such a Boston stereotype. But I haven’t been yet so it made the list. The new dip in prices for students is motivating me to finally head to Fenway and experience the baseball culture before the end of the semester. Please hold me to that.

2. Bova’s Bakery in the North End. Let’s face it; Mike’s Pastry is overrated. Bova’s is cheaper, less mainstream and less touristy.  And it’s open 24 hours. Only a true Bostonian puts Bova’s over Mike’s.

3. Coolidge Corner Theatre. It shows classic movies, foreign films, documentaries and sci-fi features. From time to time there are new movies, but it’s fun to experience movies that aren’t typically shown in a theatre setting.

4. Maria’s Taqueria. Best Mexican food in Boston. It may look like a hole in the wall, but it’s a best-kept secret of the theatre district.

5. Raven Used Bookstore. One in Cambridge and one in the Back Bay area, it’s a great place to find your next read. Buy a book and go read it outside! Date day with yourself.

6. Dumpling Café. Hands down the best Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. Get soup dumplings, and your life will never be the same

7. Bella Luna. It’s a restaurant in Jamaica Plain with a bowling alley downstairs. It’s definitely not touristy, and a lot of fun.

 

Of course you could always walk on the Common, do the Freedom Trail, look in graveyards for some of Boston’s historical figures, explore Harvard yard… but let’s be honest. Most of us have done these things within our first month of college.

I hope these suggestions are helpful in your adventures during your last few weeks of classes, good luck on finals!

DJ: Summer Checklist

The summer in between high school graduation and my first semester at college was by far the best summer of my life. Since many of you reading this blog are about to embark on your last summer before stepping foot on Boston University’s campus in the fall, here are a few things that I did last summer that truly made it amazing and that I highly recommend you try as well:

 

Spend time with your friends without your cell phone

Since many people in my group of friends were going away to college, we knew that we had to make the most of the summer. Thus, we invented a game whenever we went out to a restaurant that prevented us from using our cell phones. We would put all of them in the center of the table in a pile, and the first person who touched his phone would have to pay the entire bill. Since all of the phones were together, when one phone vibrated, we had no one idea whose phone it was. Needless to say, no one ever touched their phones, but it was great truly being in the moment with friends instead of just being on our cell phones, since we knew our time together would soon end.

 

Spend an entire day at a lake or a beach

If there’s a lake or a beach near you, spend an entire day there. Just marvel at the beauty of nature. BU is a city-school, and although you can definitely find places to be with nature in Boston, there’s nothing like a warm day swimming, playing volleyball, and basking in the sun.

 

Read that book you never got around to reading

As an avid reader, one thing that I have found very difficult in college is finding free time to read. My roommate often notes that he brought ten books to college to read when he had free time, and has not managed to touch a single one all year. So, if there’s that one book you’ve always wanted to read and just never got around to doing it, now is the time to pick it up!

 

Spend time with your family

This might not sound like the most fun thing to do on this list, but it might be the most important. Yes, I know. Your parents can be very pestering and your siblings might get on your last nerves. However, in just a few months, you won’t see them everyday anymore. I understand that going out with your friends is extremely important, but don’t forget about your family this summer. You will miss all of them, even that one crazy aunt you have.

 

Travel around your hometown one last time

I grew up in a small-town in New Jersey, and I’ll admit it – I was one of those kids who spent all of high school impatiently waiting to get out of my town. However, in retrospect, my hometown gave me countless memories and truly made me the person I am today. The night before I left for BU, I got in my car and just drove around. I went down side-streets that I played on during snowstorms, I drove by my elementary school, I went past all of my friend’s houses that I spent numerous hours in, and I visited my high school football stadium one last time. Trust me, if you can drive around your hometown before you leave for the fall, you should do it. And while you do, remember this quote: “You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.”

Will: Gearing Up for Summer

Three more weeks left. Three. More. Weeks.

As soon as the sun comes out in Boston, it’s nearly impossible to focus on anything educationally important. Even during class, I find myself constantly thinking of all the activities I could be doing out in the sun instead: slack lining, running, laying, sitting, etc.

However, it’s these couple of weeks that end up being the most crucial in the semester. It’s the time of year when all the projects need to be turned in, the group papers need to be finalized, and the exams begin to flow over. And it’s at this point in time, that you’re strength of will is truly tested.

Even as I write this blog post, I catch myself looking out at the students lounging around on the COM Lawn. Such envy! But, I know that if I were to go outside now, when I have a blog post to finish, a video to finish editing, two papers to write, and a screenplay to critique, that I would hardly be able to enjoy myself.

Thus, the goal of lounging around on the fresh, green grass with nothing left on my plate to accomplish far outweighs the immediate temptation to ignore my tasks, head outside, and make things even more stressful in the days to come.

Happy Trails.

Kerri: 5 Tips for Making the Most of Summer

In the last week, Boston has seen a big change (better late than never) as the weather has finally changed from the winter cold to a sunny spring. With this nice weather on the horizon it can only mean one thing for BU students. Summer is just around the corner. Here’s a few ways for everyone to occupy their summer before classes are back next fall.

1.    Read a good book

Whether you are on the beach or in bed, a good book is always a great way to escape for a few hours. Here is a list of some of my favorite books (I included a wide variety of genres!):

 

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 

2.    Catch up with old friends

Summer is the perfect time to catch up with your friends from high school. My group of friends and I try to make the most of summer with weekly dinners, trips to the beach, and just spending quality time together!

 

3.    Internships or summer classes

Gaining experience in a career field or industry is the best way to find out whether you enjoy a certain career and a crucial step in standing out during the job application process.

Summer classes are another great way to utilize the summer months. Completing a class over the summer not only allows you to put your full concentration on one subject but it also lessens the amount of stress during the fall and spring semesters!

 

4.    Explore the closest city to you

One of my goals for this summer is to venture out to New York City more. I live about an hour outside of the city but I rarely make the trip in. This summer I want to check out some of the city’s delicious restaurants, visit the museums, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the big apple!

 

 5.    And most importantly… RELAX and enjoy the WARM weather!

 

Whatever your summer plans may include, make sure you enjoy every second of it because before you know it you’ll be back in Boston for fall semester!

Steph: From the Humidity, to the Beach, to the Mountains

Hey there Class of 2016! I hope all of you have been relaxing and getting excited for the fall during these summer months! I’m sure some of you are feeling some anxiety, nerves, and maybe even dread at the prospect of leaving for college in a couple of months…I know I was just a year ago. But don’t worry, this summer, all I can think about is how awesome my freshman year was, and how excited I am to get back to Boston!

This summer I’ve been experiencing some change in the scenery. For one thing, coming home to Miami after spending the Spring semester in Boston was quite a change. Those who have never experienced summer in Miami might believe it’s the perfect summer destination, with the sunshine, the beaches, and the tropical landscape. At those people, I laugh. Most of the time during the summer, temperatures reach close to 90 degrees, with 90-100% humidity, overcast skies, and scattered thunderstorms. Almost every day my friends and I wanted to work on our tans on South Beach, go for a bike ride in the Everglades, or have a nice day at the pool. The on-and-off rainstorms kinda put a damper on those plans. So, to be totally honest with you guys, I spent most of my time in Miami watching a lot of movies with my friends. Which, of course, I did not mind one bit.

My summer has also taken me to Panama to visit my mom’s side of the family. Being half Panamanian, I absolutely LOVE going to the place where my mom grew up, spending time with my aunts, uncles, and cousins, and going to our family’s weekend home in the beach community of Coronado. To me, our house in Coronado is paradise. My grandparents built our small house right on a cliff that slopes down to the beach, complete with a pool, a hut overlooking the ocean, and lots of room outside for the kids to run around. While in Coronado, I get to spend quality time with my family as we take walks on the beach, visit our horses and other animals on our farm, and tell hilarious family stories in hammocks under the stars. Doesn’t that sound perfect?! Spoiler alert: it is.

Finally, my last change of scenery for the summer before heading back to Miami is my current location: Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Blowing Rock is a quaint mountain town where my parents and I have been vacationing almost every summer since I was two. While I’m here, I transform into the definition of outdoorsy. If you know me well, that last sentence would make you laugh out loud. But hey, something about the mountain air just brings out the hiker, biker, and kayaker in me! My favorite outdoor activity that we do every year is the 17-mile bike ride down the Virginia Creeper Trail. The trail used to be home to an old railroad track, and travels through the woods near Damascus, Virginia. It’s absolutely gorgeous, flying by on your bike past creeks and woodland creatures and crossing over beautiful bridges. When I’m not outside, becoming at one with nature, I’ve been eating absurd amounts of Kilwins ice cream, reading Game of Thrones, watching House Hunters International marathons, and anxiously awaiting my flight back to Boston in September.

Jason: Life of a Producer

As I write this blog I’m listening to calm Hawaiian music because it feels like I have been working non stop since the summer began.. well not really; but I have been very busy.

So first on my list is my internship at WGBH. As you guys know I’m a production intern at the PBS show, American Experience we are still in the pre production phase but I’ve enjoyed getting to partake fully in the process.

But what’s really been taking over my life is the film I’m producing. This Saturday we’ll begin production for a graduate student thesis film called Flesh Eaters. It’s about a boy who thinks his first communion is actually a zombie initiation rite and that he’ll turn into a zombie when he takes communion. Pretty funny stuff if you ask me. Anyway, my role has been pretty much all of the administrative work. That means finding the actors, extras, locations, budget, and the list goes on and on. It’s definitely a lot bigger of a monster than I had expected but I’m so excited and thankful I’ve been able to tackle such an important role so early on in my college career.

My piece of advice for you guys is to get an internship or a job up here if you can during the summer. It is by far the best place to be. You have such easy access to the Charles River and the endless waterfront activities, a not too far escape to mountains in New Hampshire and other parts of Massachusetts, as well as of course, the entire city of Boston minus all of the students who are usually here crowding the streets.

I’d love to hear what you guys are doing and how you’re enjoying the summer! Tweet at me @jasonkashdan to say hi or ask any questions you have. Hope you all had a great 4th of July!

Jon: School’s Out for Summer

Jon ImageUnfortunately for Alice Cooper, school’s just out for the summer. However, for the rest of us, that means three months of sunshine, beaches and lazy afternoons! I can already hear the waves crashing against the sand.

“But wait!” you ask. “How can I spend three whole months loitering in front of Dunkin’ Donuts and making semi-legal bonfires on the beach? Won’t I get sick of the endless sunscreen and shutter shades?” (Clearly your priorities are straighter than ours).
Fear not, for in college, summer is not just a time for mindless hours of watching T.V. and seeking out air conditioning. With a whole three months off from school, there is plenty of time for relaxation and fun, and it’s definitely important to get to the beach, or the pond, or the local movie theater with your friends. Vacations are a valuable chance to de-stress from the school year and catch up with friends and family. However, there are also productive and fun ways to spend the summer, which may not have been available to you in high school:

1) Take a summer course

Though you might groan at the idea of summer school, summer courses are a useful way to get ahead on some core requirements or take that one class you couldn’t fit into your schedule last semester. You also benefit from taking them in a lower stress, less intense environment, as most students only take one or two summer courses at a time. BU offers a wide range of courses in all of its colleges over the two summer sessions, and it is often possible to get credit for courses at a local college or university if you can’t spend the summer in Boston.

2) Take a workshop or a skill-building seminar

I have to confess, this is how I plan on spending the summer, so bear with me if I seem a little excited about it. Has there ever been that one design program you just wanted to learn to work with but could never figure out on your own? Perhaps you want to learn a bit of programming so you can design your own mobile apps? Maybe you’ve always fancied picking up a bit of casual glassblowing or ceramics? The summer is a great time to explore interests that might not net you any college credit, but could expand your capacities and knowledge as a person, and possibly even apply to your professional life. Personally, I plan on taking a two-day seminar at Massachusetts College of Art called InDesign in 2 Days, where I’ll learn to use the Adobe InDesign software to create brochures, mailings, and every other imaginable type of publication.

3) Do a Summer Internship

As perhaps the most illustrious and awe-inspiring summer occupation, the summer internship is sought after by many COM students every year. Let’s face it, summer internships are great. They offer an opportunity for you to work in the real world, getting professional experience and making contacts in your industry of choice. They may not always be paid, but the work experience and job prospects that come out of them are more than worth it. They can also give you a chance to get exposure to an industry that you may think is right for you, and figure out if that is true or not. All in all, as long as you make it very clear to your potential employer that you want to be doing real work and not just serving as a glorified barista, summer internships are one of the best ways to spend your school break.

4) Get a Job!

There’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned summer job! In this economy, having a little extra cash is a never a bad thing, and the summer provides a lucrative opportunity for enthusiastic students. Just make sure to start looking for summer jobs early. Late February or early March is usually about the right time.

If those can’t keep you occupied over the summer, then you require inhuman levels of entertainment. In that case, you might want to try volcano boarding, extreme trainsurfing, or mountain unicycling (Note: Boston University does not condone volcano boarding, trainsurfing, unicycling, or other insane and life-endangering sports. Participate at your own risk).

See you all next year! Enjoy the summer.

~Jon

Tiffany: COM Alumni Really Are the Greatest Resources!

Tiffany ImageSpring semester hitting its midway point is the cue for summer internship application deadlines and for interviews to begin! A couple weeks ago, I had an interview for a summer internship position at my dream advertising agency, Digitas. Digitas is a worldwide advertising agency that is not only known for its awesome list of huge clients, but also for pioneering digital advertising. They have offices all over the world, but one of its biggest North America offices is located in downtown Boston, a convenient 20-minute T ride away. I was anxious and excited to be given the opportunity to interview, but was also nervous because I was informed by human resources that upon my arrival, I would be meeting with four of their employees in back to back interviews. I did my research on the agency as well as on my interviewees and discovered that one of them was actually a recent COM alumnus. While this made me feel a bit at ease, I also felt the need to impress her even more since she would be familiar with my background and could very well be tougher on me.

As she walked into the room, she greeted me with a warming smile, but wasted no time getting down to business. She clearly had read my resume, as her first remark after initial introductions was that she realized we had been on BU’s National Student Advertising Competition Team (NSAC) together over a year ago. After sharing with each other our experiences with NSAC, we realized that we probably never really met because my first semester with NSAC was her last semester not only with NSAC, but also with BU as she was graduating early and had a job offer waiting for her at the agency.

She came prepared with questions about my resume and coursework that were so different than the rest of my interviewees as it was clear she, as a COM alumnus, was plenty familiar with my background. We talked about the courses I took, discovering that she took many of the same ones as well, and asked me detailed questions about the projects I worked on, as she had done the same ones only a couple years ago.

Interviewing with a COM alumnus was such an amazing experience that I hope everyone is lucky enough have. It was awesome to be able to talk about my experiences and goals with someone who I had so much common ground with. It was almost as if it was easier to talk about my experiences, expanding upon them in more detail, and convey what I wanted out of my future simply because it seemed as if she already knew me and the environment, mindset, and general background that I was coming from.

Even if I didn’t land the internship, it was still great to make the connection as I’ve come to discover that COM alumni are really one of the greatest resources out there. I highly recommend networking and putting yourself out there as early as you are comfortable doing so because it will only help you in the long run. Even if that is just having coffee with a COM student who is a year or two older than you, chances are that they will be working in the real world when it is time for you to start thinking about it.

A week ago I was offered a spot in their summer internship program and gladly accepted. I’m so excited to have this amazing opportunity and look forward to learning and working alongside BU alumni. Stay tuned for updates in the summer months about my summer in Boston interning with Digitas!

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Daniela: On That Internship Hunt

Daniela ImageHey everyone! Hope your semester has been going well. It is flying by for me despite an increasingly hectic schedule, and I’m already starting to look ahead for summer plans. I’m a Public Relations major, and I want to go into the entertainment and event management side of things. So when I started to ponder internship opportunities, I came to one solid conclusion: I need to go to California.

With the West Coast on my mind, I furtively began scouring the Internet searching for potential companies. It was really difficult at first because I had a very specific interest, and most of the ones I found either did not apply to me or, worse, were unpaid. Another thing I was sure of was that whatever I found had to have some form of compensation. If I’m going to pack up and move out West for an entire summer, I need a little something more than just “experience” as incentive.

So I kept searching. I hit a breakthrough when I stumbled upon this website that listed almost one hundred companies with direct links to their employment/internship opportunities. Finally, I narrowed down about ten solid companies that were actively looking for interns in Los Angeles, seven of which were paying. Perfect.

I’m dedicating myself to editing my resume and sending applications these next couple of days. Here’s hoping for the best! In the meantime, I want to share a couple tips with you guys that could be helpful when you start your own searches!

Know where you want to go

It helps when you have a few set locations in mind of where you want to intern. It narrows down the search, and makes it a lot easier to find what you’re looking for.

Know what you’re looking for

Similarly, nailing down your specific interest will further narrow down your searches. You want to make sure that what you find will give you the best learning experience and long-term benefits.

The Search

Start browsing on internship websites and follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Some of the ones I use are InternMatch.com and YouTern.com as well as following @InternsNtheCity (which tweets about opportunities in NYC), @BostonInternshp (and no that’s not a typo!) and @PRJobLA. Twitter is an incredible resource. Even by just typing “Intern” and the location you want to work in the search bar will give you a ton of solid results. After exhausting that, browse the Center for Career Development and the COM Career Services databases. Update your profile and look for jobs that match you. And of course, don’t forget to look up specific companies if you have a couple in mind!

Get Organized

After searching every last form of “I need an internship” on Google, you’re bound to have a couple solid leads lined up. Bookmark all the ones you find and organize them into priorities. Some applications may have deadlines. Work on those first, as well as the ones you’re most interested in. Don’t leave your dream job for last! While you’re getting yourself organized, be sure to follow their social media. When they look at your application and begin doing some research on you, it looks good when they see the extent of your interest.

Tailor your resume to each company

Before you send in your resume, make sure it is organized in a way that will best represent your skills and what you can do for that specific company. Include their name in your objective, and put all the things you think they will want to see first. Go to COM Career Services and get a second opinion if you’re having trouble. When you’re absolutely satisfied, send away!

Tweet about it

Continue to show your interest in where you are applying. Keep an eye on your email and your phone calls.

Finding internships takes a lot of work. You need to be proactive. With a little bit of luck and motivation though, it will all pay off. So get searching, applying, and hope for the best!

Anna: It’s not too early to think about summer!

AnnaHey everyone! I hope you all had an awesome winter break.

I can’t believe it’s January and I’m already getting started on my last semester at BU. Really though, every time I look at a calendar and see that it’s 2012, I get a little confused. Time really does fly by!

I recently decided to finish up my time at BU by going back to work at a place that has had a huge impact on me throughout the past four years. I’m talking of course about Boston University Orientation! I first started working there as a Program Advisor the summer after my freshman year and had an absolutely amazing time. Since then, I’ve worked in the office as an academic year Program Advisor and now I’m back as a Coordinator of Programs.

Not only have I met a ton of cool people through Orientation, but I’ve also learned a lot more about BU and what it has to offer… all while getting paid. (For everyone dreading finding an unpaid internship this summer, listen up!)

Each spring, Orientation and the Community Service Center (CSC) hire Program Advisors, Student Advisors, Community Advisors, FYSOP Coordinators, and CSC Program Assistants to work all summer long. As a Program Advisor in the summer of 2009, my main responsibilities were to help the parents of incoming freshman and transfer students learn about BU’s academic and social programs and also to introduce them to the city the Boston.

Whether you want to help parents (like I did) or you want to welcome new students to BU through Orientation or FYSOP, there is an opportunity for you at Orientation or the CSC.  Check out our website bu.edu/orientation for more info on specific jobs!

Now, I know you may be thinking, ‘Shouldn’t I be getting COM related internship this summer?’ Sure, you totally can. I’ve had three great journalism internships since being in college, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, but I will tell you that working for Orientation was an equally rewarding experience. I gained incredibly valuable communication and public speaking skills, networked with BU administrators and parents, and developed as a leader.

Also, working for Orientation or the CSC is just simply fun. You get to hang out with people from all over campus that you may have never otherwise met, and you get to stay in Boston for the summer (for free…housing is paid for)!

We are now currently accepting applications for Summer 2012 Leadership positions, so again totally check out bu.edu/orientation or bu.edu/csc for more information about some of the best summer jobs on campus. The application deadline is on Wednesday January 25th, though, so if you’re interested, get going!