Category Archives: Beyond the Classroom

Summer Experience: London Internship Program

By: Alyssa Marion
Second Year Graduate Student, Student M.S. Advertising

Current graduate student Alyssa Marion spent summer 2015 learning, interning and exploring in London!
Current graduate student Alyssa Marion spent summer 2015 learning, interning and exploring in London!

I’ve always had the itch to travel abroad. I was lucky enough to spend a summer in Madrid, Spain during my undergraduate time at BU, and ever since then, I’ve wanted to go back to Europe. The BU London Graduate Mass Communication program was actually the main reason why I chose BU for graduate school!

There were 15 graduate students in the program, and we lived in a great apartment building (the Sorbonne House) together in South Kensington. Winston Churchill once lived in our building! South Kensington was the perfect location for new students living in London- the Natural History Museum was right across the street, Hyde Park was a stone’s throw away, and Kensington Palace, home to royals Will and Kate, was a 15 minute walk from our flat!

 

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Kensington Palace

The two classes I enrolled in this summer were Global Marketing Communications with BU Professor Tobe Berkovitz and British Media in the Digital Age with BU London Professors Aleks Sierz and Lia Ghilardi. Tobe’s class gave us a broader global view into the marketing world. Additionally, he brought us to different advertising and communications agencies in London in order to compare the work environment between the UK and US. Aleks’ and Lia were our two British professors who co-taught our second class. They both taught us a great deal about the concept of “Britishness” versus “Englishness.” Since all graduate students were enrolled in the same two classes, we were able to work together well and grow throughout the summer.

I really think I lucked out with my internship placement this summer. I was so fortunate to be placed at MEC Global, a media agency located along the Southbank of London. My supervisor taught me so much about the world of media and how MEC fit in to the equation between the client and the press. I worked on the Display Activation team, and my responsibilities included tracking ads, drafting print media plans, and creating competitive analyses and post-campaign analyses for high-profile clients. My experience at MEC provided me with valuable insights into the field all while making great connections abroad.

This summer provided me with once in a lifetime opportunities, and that’s all thanks to the London Graduate Mass Communication program. Touring Buckingham Palace, attending the Wimbledon Championship tournament, waving to Queen Elizabeth II at Royal Ascot, seeing the eerie Stonehenge, finding the flat used to film The Parent Trap movie, and traveling to seven different countries in 12 weeks are just a sample of the incredible experiences I had this summer. It’s truly astonishing how much a person can learn and grow in just 12 weeks abroad, and I wouldn’t trade this summer for anything. Now time to start planning the next adventure…

Division of Emerging Media Studies Successfully Hosted Inaugural Research Conference, #Screentime

Screentime_LaurenSale

By Lauren Sale

MA Emerging Media Studies ‘15

BU College of Communication

On June 25th, the students of the Division of Emerging Media Studies hosted a day-long conference titled, “#Screentime.” Throughout the Spring and Summer I semesters, the eight students managed every aspect of the conference from paper submissions to promoting the event. #Screentime included presenters from Boston College, University of Denver, University of Massachusetts- Amherst, and of course, Boston University. Emerging media topics such as YouTube’s The Harlem Shake, Social Media Use Within Universities, and Online Censorship were presented. The Division welcomed guests from Bank of America, Fleishman Hillard, Keystone Strategy, Bank of America, and Accenture Digital to discuss the research papers and offer constructive feedback. Mina Tsay-Vogel, Ph.D, wrapped up the day with a keynote address on the state of emerging media research and what the future holds for the field. The inaugural conference was a great success and the next Emerging Media Studies cohort will organize next year’s conference.

Picture Credit: Elizabeth Crocker

 

 

Producing Prowess – Jobs in Television Production

By Keiko Talley
MS Journalism ’16
BU College of Communication

NFL—if you don’t watch the games, you know what the letters mean: National Football League.  This year at COM, we were graced with the presence of two amazing producers who work with the NFL at an event called Producing Prowess. The two were guest speakers invited by Professor Andrea Kremer who teaches a class on the Art of the Interview.

Hilary Guy from the NFL Network, also a COM alumni, and Jordan Kronick from HBO Real Sports flew in from Los Angeles and New York respectively to give us an inside look as on their jobs as producers on various projects. When Guy started out at COM, she thought she wanted to be an on-camera reporter, but it wasn’t until her internship at the assignment desk at NBC that Guy started to fall in love with the jobs behind the camera. It was then that she decided to become a producer. Guy told students that the best thing a newcomer could do is to ask to learn a new job, or to observe a job they aren’t familiar with. Guy and Kronick both agreed that they remember those who offer to help out in other areas more than their designated jobs. She told students that was how she got to become a producer, showing her interests and making it her job to learn everyone else’s job.

Kremer

Kronick discussed his newer project Death on Everest where he spent two ski seasons in Nepal to uncover the dangers of climbing Mt. Everest. He explained the process of finding the right characters for his story and discussed how as a documentarian, he has the freedom to take his time on some of his projects.

Guy works at a much faster pace, with quick turn-around on stories and covering breaking news. She later showed some of the interviews she produced with Andrea Kremer and the New England Patriots. She discussed with students the creative production that went into turning boring locker rooms into a magically lit set, and how she used metal cylinders and different lighting to change the scene to add more depth to interviews.

Producing Prowess introduced students to various other job opportunities that are available besides the on-camera talent. As a producer, it is important to keep your crew ready at all times. You almost act as a parent to the camera crew, talent, audio crew, and anyone else contributing to the project. It is important for students to know that there are various jobs available, and even though they won’t be in front of camera, the process could eventually lead them to that placement if their interest still holds. Andrea Kremer insists that learning how to produce and work behind the camera will be of tremendous help for when you’re in front of the camera because it gives you a better idea as to what the crew wants; learning behind the camera jobs will allow you to be one step ahead of the game as on-camera talent.

 

Picture Credit: Susan Walker

Accepted Students Open House Day

By Gina Kim
MS Journalism ’16
BU College of Communication

The last weekend of March was quite a busy one for COM—what with the three-day long Narrative Conference going on at Boston University with so many amazing keynote speakers, journalists and storytellers from all over to sharing their experiences from the industry.

Over at the COM building on Saturday, March 28, the graduate program also had a panel of five keynote speakers, journalists and storytellers of their own at the Accepted Prospective Students Day, except the only difference was, it featured COM’s own current graduate students.

The panel of chosen students answered questions from the audience and talked about their current experiences at COM, why they chose the program, what the competition is like and how to manage the workload.

Alex Hirsch, (Sports Broadcast ’16) was one of the students whom the professors recommended be chosen to participate in the Q and A session panel. Just a year ago, Alex had been one of the many prospective students still trying to decide his future and whether or not his destiny lied with COM.

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“It felt pretty cool being on the other side of the podium for once,” Alex said. “You’re always wondering whether you’re actually succeeding or doing your best work here at COM, but knowing that the professors recommend you to be on that panel is further confirmation that you’re on the right path in life, and that you’re doing what you’re supposed to do. It’s validation that I’m working towards the right goal and I’m right here where I belong.”

He also mentioned that although the Q and A session was for him to inform interested students, it was a learning lesson for him as well.

“I didn’t do journalism before COM and I realized that while I was answering questions, I was representing all those people who are coming to school without any journalism background either. I was there to explain that just because I didn’t have undergraduate experience in it, doesn’t mean that it can’t be done,” he said.

Hanae Armitage, (Science Journalism ’15) was also chosen to be on the distinguished panel of students to represent her field and help prospective students consider COM to be their future home.

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“It was definitely a great experience honestly,” she said. “I remember having a ton of questions and being in their position last year, and it was great to share my own experience with them. Especially even more so now because I can confirm that I absolutely love it here, and I made the right choice.”

For Armitage, it wasn’t tough to gush about the program and encourage students to come experience COM for themselves. “Everyone here I’ve met in the science journalism field has been super supportive of incoming journalists which I appreciate. So I felt like I really wanted to relay that attitude to the new students too,” she said.

Feel like you’re at another turning point in life with a fork stuck in the road? Time grabbing you by the wrist directing you where to go? You heard it here first. COM is definitely the path that can’t be beat!

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Cinematheque: An Insight into the Industry

By Ali Parisi
MS Public Relations ’16
BU College of Communication

How cool is it to speak with directors and ask them questions about their films?  Very, right? And how about if these directors came to screenings at your school?! This happens nearly every other Friday at COM’s Department of Film and Television’s Cinematheque series.

Cinematheque gives students the chance to hear from people in the television and film industries; directors, products, writers, or even actors.  The events vary in topic and type, some including screenings and others including more of a Q&A format.  With about five held each semester, students have ample opportunity to gain insight into what really goes into creating these projects.

“We try to make it a more interesting experience than just passively watching,” says Paul Schneider, chairman of the Department of Film and Television.  Schneider explains that they typically have one of the creators of the project over so that students can get an inside look at how the material was created.  That way, students can ask them questions about certain decisions the creators made and why.

The series is curated by Gerald Peary, a film critic and documentarian who goes to a tremendous number of film festivals throughout the year.  Topics come from either films that Peary has seen and thought were worth bringing back to BU, or sometimes successful alumni who are willing to come back and share their stories.

Eliza Dushku
Eliza Dushku

The most recent event, “An Evening with Eliza Dushku,” took a look at some of the actress’ roles.  Dushku is most well known for her role as Missy Pantone in Bring It On.  However, her acting career includes an extensive list of films and television shows, including “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Dollhouse,” in addition to guest roles on “White Collar” and “Ugly Betty.”

“We don’t have that many actors come in,” adds Schneider, explaining that it is interesting to hear from actors to learn more about their career paths and points of view.  “That’s part of the fun of it.”

The goal of the Cinematheque series is to give students a “connection with what’s going on in the real world,” according to Schneider.  That is why they often bring in fairly young, independent filmmakers who haven’t been out of school for very long themselves.  An example of this includes three BU alumni who, earlier this semester, showed select episodes from their popular Web series, “Allston Xmas.”  (For a full schedule, visit this page.)

Whether it’s a documentarian following a kidnapping or the production designer from “Life of Pi,” students are sure to hear from some interesting and successful professionals who are working in the industry as they speak. “It’s an educational experience that goes beyond simply watching the show,” Schneider says.

Eliza Dushku picture credit: Boston.com

Featured image courtesy: BU COM website