Category Archives: BU ComGrad

My Summer Internship

This time last year I was still settling into Boston. Classes started in September and I finally felt like I was getting into the groove of grad school. And had you asked me what I was planning to do over the summer – my answer undoubtedly would’ve been BU’s London program.

But that all changed, thanks in large part to one of my professors. As the spring semester came upon us, I applied for both the London program as well as a variety of public relations agency internships for backup. When I received an interview opportunity for Weber Shandwick, one of the leading global PR agencies, I found myself between two very appealing choices. Do I go to London, an experience of a lifetime, where I’m guaranteed an internship? Or – do I risk it for a potential paid agency internship that could likely set me up with the connections I’d need for a job? As appealing as London was (and still is), I knew New York was the smarter option. Agency experience is key in working in public relations – and I had yet to have the chance to work in one.

After I took the trip back home to New York and interviewed, I contacted one of my professors, knowing he had a lot of connections in the field. He reached out to the agency and put my name out there. I was hopeful. So, I waited and waited and waited…and waited (so forth) to hear back from Weber. Finally nearly a month and a half later I heard back. I got the internship! My professor really put himself out there to push for me to get the spot, so if there’s one thing I can tell you about BU it is: take advantage of the faculty and resources you have here. We all know communication often involves not only what you know but also who you know. Career services and your own professors can be a huge help in that regard.

Do I regret not going to London? Yes and no. Yes because, well…it’s London – that chance doesn’t come around too often. No, because a) I’ve been there before and b) I was able to meet and interact with vice presidents, account executives and group supervisors at the agency. I gained that agency experience that I knew I needed, I worked on a launch campaign and I was able to set myself up as a strong candidate for a future job. My summer in New York was a success and as I continue to make connections, I know I will put up a good fight in the job search after graduating. And who knows – maybe I’ll be lucky enough to live and work in London in the future.

Check out the COMGrad Podcast

Here at COM Grad we have been looking for new and different ways to get information to potential students. In an effort to continue this, we recently started the BU COM Grad Podcast. Fellow COM student (and good friend) Andy and I are joining forces to spread the knowledge of COM to the ears of anyone who wants to learn more about our programs and application process (or hear our witty banter).

Luckily, we will not be delivering the information alone. We will be joined by members of the COM faculty to answer questions ranging from the application process to financial aid to specific looks into different programs. From the episodes we have done, I have already learned information that would have been very useful to know during my application process.

But most importantly, we want to help you. We want to answer the questions that real-life perspective students have about anything COM. So send us your questions, and we will find the answer and bring it up on the podcast. Don’t be shy, because odds are if you have a question, someone else is wondering the same thing.
So send us your questions. You can email us at comgrad@bu.edu (use “Podcast” in the subject header) or via twitter @bucomgrad (use #COMpodcast). And to catch up, here are the episodes we have completed thus far.

Hitting the Road

Throughout the fall the College of Communication will be hitting the road, and making stops in a number of cities around the country to meet with prospective students. The schedule is as follows, and I can speak from experience when I say it is worth your while to try to attend…

Sunday, September 29 – Chicago (Bar Event)

Tuesday, October 1 – University of Toronto (Graduate Fair)

Saturday, October 12 – London (Graduate Fair)

Tuesday, October 15 – Milan (Graduate Fair)

Tuesday, October 22 – UNC Chapel Hill (Graduate Fair)

Thursday, October 24 – University of Florida (Graduate Fair)

Thursday, October 24 – Gainsville, FL (Bar Event)

Tuesday, October 29 – Boston (Bar Event)

Monday, November 4 – Denver (Bar Event)

Tuesday, November 5 – Los Angeles (Bar Event)

Thursday, November 7 – San Francisco (Bar Event)

Sunday, November 10 – Seattle (Bar Event)

When I was a prospective student, it was one of these very “meet and greets” that helped me finalize my decision to attend BU. I sat down with Dean Sabovik and a handful of graduate assistants for dinner in San Francisco, and peppered them with all of the questions that I had. The meeting was more of a therapy session than a graduate school information session, because I was downright terrified to move all the way across the country to attend BU. I had lived in Seattle for my entire life. My family, friends, job…everything I knew was in Seattle. And the idea of traveling 3000 miles away from home to attend grad school was freaking me out. But in meeting with the crew of BU folks, I was not only able to learn a lot about the program that I was interested in, but I was able to find out more about what life is like for students. Basically, my stress level was drastically reduced. I knew I was interested in the school, it was just very reassuring to hear from current students about what exactly I was getting myself into.

As a graduate assistant, I am lucky enough to be a part of these trips as a representative of the College of Communication. It really is the best part of my job. Deciding which school to attend can be a daunting process, and incredibly stressful. For me to be a part of that process, and offer advice and personal experience is a really rewarding feeling. I especially enjoy being on this side of the process, because I was on the other side just over a year ago.

I hope to see you this fall. Be sure to RSVP to the event in your area, and you can do that right here.

Things to Do in Los Angeles When You’re Dead, or, The Radio Station Only Plays Red Hot Chili Peppers

Over the last three weeks, I have eaten Del Taco* twice, In-N-Out four times, and Pink’s Hot Dogs once. I have driven to get Jack in the Box at one in the morning and have been to Target six times. I’m not sure why that last part is important, but I wanted you to know that moving and building a homestead in the Los Angeles Basin is fattening and expensive, and that to date, I have found no traces of any gold.

Somewhere between driving through the Rockies, the Great Basin, and the Mohave Desert in one fell swoop during a late night thunderstorm, I began to rethink my decision to drive to Los Angeles. I never reconsidered moving to Los Angeles, only my choice to drive there in three days.**

Still, since I’ve arrived, I’ve never doubted my decision. For filmmakers and screenwriters, Los Angeles is Mecca. While the city is filled to the brim, if you’re worth your weight in precious metals (and I believe that because of my time at Boston University, I am), the transition will be easy. Like me, you’ll almost certainly take an internship writing coverage, but the opportunity to work alongside production executives and writers is not to be missed. The BU in Los Angeles program, too, has enabled me to meet industry professionals. The first week of classes, for example, my class sat down with one of the script reviewers for NBC’s new show “The Blacklist” in order to
further explore what script development looks like as a career.

After almost a month in Los Angeles, I feel more than prepared to call myself an expert on this smallish coastal village. Given your devoted readership, I hope to further regale you with my experiences as I continue to unlock the few-and-far-between mysteries of this charming town, including, but not limited to:
• The logic by which Del Taco has determined that chili-cheese fries are a topping for every item on their menu.
• How a city of four million people can navigate on every street using a simple textmessaging service.
• The location of–please–a Dunkin Donuts chain restaurant.
• The forbidden secrets by which a Korean BBQ can provide you with unlimited meat for the low, low cost of $19.99 (and the time it takes you to cook it.)
*Del Taco is German for “Whale Taco.”
**Assistant Dean Micha Sabovik requires me to tell you that not only are there many affordable flights between Boston and Los Angeles, but also that there are many conveniently located hotels across the country. Just, really, pick anywhere. Forty-nine of the fifty United States of America. No promises about Seward’s Folly.
(P.S. I can see the Hollywood Sign from my house’s front balcony. I just want you to know that.)

Jack Falla Speaker Series: Mark Feinsand

On Monday afternoon I had my first experience with the Jack Falla Speaker Series, as New York Daily News Yankees beat writer Mark Feinsand came in and spoke. Having never been to a Jack Falla Speaker Series event, I didn’t know what to expect, but was very pleased with the event.

Let me first give a little background to the speaker series. Jack Falla was a sports journalism professor at COM, who sadly passed away five years ago. Jack was known for many things; among them were his 8:00 a.m. classes (to make sure only dedicated students enrolled), the great contact he kept with his former students (or his “mafia” as they came known as) and the great speakers he would bring in, many of which were COM alums. To honor Jack and his dedication, the series was started to continue the tradition of great speakers.

Getting back to Monday’s speech, I was very impressed with Mark. He began by mentioning how nervous he was about speaking, but you would never have known this wasn’t a regular occurrence for him. He did a great job of going back and forth between stories and lessons he learned at BU (and Jack in particular) and advice from his years working, leading up to his current position with the Daily News.

The stories were funny and relatable, the advice was helpful and honest (especially since we share majors: sports broadcast journalism), but what made the biggest impression was how emotional he got when talking about Jack. Mark had to take a minute to compose himself at one point, which showed the amazing affect that Jack Falla had on the people he touched.

That’s what makes this series great. Not only do you get experienced, passionate speakers with great stories and advice, but you see the affect that a single person can have on so many. From Mark’s speech I learned things that will help me as I embark on my career in sports broadcast journalism, but it also was a reminder to take advantage of all the resources I have here, and that includes the amazing people. I am very happy I was able to attend Mark’s speech, and cannot wait for the next Speaker Series event.