Tag Archives: classes

A bumpy start to Boston

By Nikita Sampath
MS Broadcast Journalism ’16
BU College of Communication

I arrived at Logan International airport feeling more excited than tired after my nearly-24 hour journey. Being the klutz I am, I managed to find myself in an awkward situation just minutes after I got out of the airport.

After a great struggle to load and push out all of my luggage (two suitcases weighing a little over 50 lbs each, another two weighing about 60 lbs and my backpack) from the airport, I was relieved when I spotted my friend who’d come to pick me. In my elated state (I was meeting him after two years), I left my trolley on the pavement to go over and say hello. Bad idea. In the 10 seconds that I was away, my trolley, with all its mass, rolled down the sidewalk and crashed into a parked car causing a rather bad dent. Oopsy. Little did I know, the week that was to follow had more awkwardness in store for me.

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The day I moved in, I lugged most of my luggage from the T to my apartment in the sweltering heat. Honestly I was prepared for the cold but NOT for the heat! I then had to attend the ISSO orientation for new international grad students. When I got home, I noticed my comb was missing. There were some women at our apartment helping us clean and I asked one of them if she’d seen it. She didn’t exactly understand what I was saying, but she did point to the bag of trash she’d just collected. Apprehensively, I took a peek in it. Did I find my comb? Yes I did, but not just that. They’d thrown out a whole bunch of my other stuff including my phone charger, my brand new water bottle, a shoe bag and the pair of socks I’d just taken off!

Later that week, at BU’s College of Communication (COM) building, I mistook a professor for a student and asked him what he was majoring in. At J.P Licks, just as I began relishing my mint chocolate yogurt, my roommate pointed out that I’d picked up a spoon from the used spoons bin.

Nevertheless, my first week has been great. I like all my classes, I made some friends and ate some good stuff. I look forward to the fall and winter, I just hope I don’t embarrass myself too much, as much fun as it may be in hindsight.

Only in grad school do you have class on the weekends

By Keiko Talley
MS Journalism ’16
BU College of Communication

My first week of grad school is officially done. I am the third one in my family to even go to grad school, so my mother was bombarding me with texts saying how happy she was and proud of me; she has always been my biggest fan. My best friends from home were all wishing me an amazing first day. It felt like everyone was excited for me, except for myself. I was nervous. I barely knew my way around this huge city, and I was going to have to get back into the mindset of school after being in pure work mode for two years. I didn’t know anyone besides my roommates and few people from a chat group that we created on Facebook (but lets be real how often do you actually meet any of those people and become friends with them). Making friends isn’t my number one priority at BU, but it is something that I know I am going to need to do in order to keep my sanity…and that scares me a lot.

For my first week, I only had three classes. During my first, the T.A. told us that our professor was tough and made him sound like it was going to be next to impossible to get a good grade. Twenty minutes later, the professor came in and immediately started poking fun at everyone, myself included for my tattoos. However, this helped me start to feel a little better about things because I soon realized that someone who I thought was going to be “so scary”, actually was comical.

I chose not to go to the first graduate event at the Hyatt (a cocktail meet and greet for students and professors); however, when I picked up my roommate from the event, I quickly regretted it. But while everyone else was recovering the next morning, my roommate included, I went to a new journalism “boot camp” class all day Saturday and Sunday.

I had already had such anxiety about the class because it was about photojournalism and how to take pictures on a fancy camera, which I knew nothing about. After the professor took attendance I realized that everyone knew each other, which I found odd. It’s a small program, so most of us are in a lot of the same classes, but we hadn’t even had class yet. As I quietly sat at my seat, one of the kids behind me started talking about the Hyatt event and how I wasn’t at there. At this point, I thought I had missed my opportunity to make any friends.

I was wrong because that changed quickly. As annoying as it was having class all day my first weekend at school, it forced us all to get to know each other and become friends. I never thought I would actually enjoy learning how to focus a camera and set the aperture and shutter speed. But by Sunday, it felt like I was hanging out with my friends just taking silly photos of each other. Meeting the people in my boot camp class, and hanging out with them all weekend long made walking into other classes or even around campus a million times easier.

I had fully expected the worst when I was entering my first week at BU, not because the school work seemed so daunting, but because I was five hours away from anything and everything I knew. It’s a scary thought to embark upon a new journey where I could potentially fail. But, that ended up being the best part of entering my first week here at BU. You expect for the worst but hope for the best, and that’s just what happened.

Thankfully, the faculty has been nothing but helpful and understanding of a few unfortunate situations; such as, coming to class late because you went to the wrong building, not having the right book for class because you weren’t sure if you actually needed it (FYI: you do in fact need every book that a professor asks you to get prior to class), and even messing up your first assignment because you were completely clueless. The students here at BU are just as nice as the faculty, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this week, it’s that we’re all in this together. We all want to make friends and succeed. So don’t forget, even though everyone in your classes is your competition, they are also your support group.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

By Michelle Marino 
MS Journalism ’16
BU College of Communication

As another cherished New England summer draws to a close, the school year is back in full swing at BU’s College of Communication (COM). As I reflect on my summer interning as an Internal Communications Writer for Baker Hughes in Houston, Texas, I come to the stark realization that while I was still warm this summer, I skipped over my most beloved season in the Northeast. Alas, here we are, and the change of the seasons lingers in the air.

Since I’ve lived in Boston for the past six years post undergrad, I didn’t endure the normal trials and tribulations that most did come move-in day. I have been, however, experiencing probably the same amount of trepidation that comes with a new program and a new academic year. Recently, I left my career in technology consulting to pursue a more fulfilling and challenging path. I have always wanted to be a journalist, but I will admit I didn’t always have the guts to do it. So far, it’s been the most liberating and positive life choice I’ve ever made.

My true yearning has always been to write, and so I finally followed my heart. As my specific area of interest is culinary journalism, I have been trying to immerse myself in food events, reviewing restaurants, and experimenting with my own cooking at every opportunity. Much to my excitement, I was recently assigned the “food” beat in a Feature Writing class with Prof. Shell.

My overall impression of BU’s Journalism school thus far is that it is a top rate program run by people with serious credentials. It’s been made clear, in order to make it in a precarious industry, it’s necessary that you be even more dedicated to the craft and to marketing yourself. A swift wake-up call was the writing of obituaries in Prof. Klarfeld’s class (who knew that an obituary is the foundation of all good journalism)? If you did, then you are ahead of where I was a week ago.

Along with Journalism Principles & Techniques, Feature Writing, and a Graduate Journalism Seminar, I am currently immersed in a two-weekend Photojournalism class that covers the basics of camera usage, video and audio production, and photo and video editing using Lightroom and Final Cut Pro X software.

This class is as relevant as it is intense – a must for any journalism student. As it was just added to the list of required courses this year in a spearhead effort by Prof. Smith, the kinks are still in the process of being worked out. Despite the tight logistics, I have a feeling this class will be around for some time to follow.

 Lastly, a Media Law & Ethics class delves into the role of the journalist and responsibility to the audience, as well as the ethical and legal implications at hand. I was interested to find out that Prof. Lehr (who teaches the class), recently wrote a book called Black Mass, detailing the dark existence of organized crime mobster Whitey Bulger. Hollywood is in the process of filming a movie starring Johnny Depp based on the book as well, and Lehr himself makes a brief appearance as a diner at a restaurant.

It’s going to be a hectic semester, but I know it will be both rewarding and invaluable. I hope that I have enough time to cultivate all of the incredible resources that BU has to offer, as well as priceless relationships with the professors available to us. Take advantage of everything your tuition pays for!

 

Choosing classes at BU!

 

Is it here yet?

So you’re newly accepted and anxiously waiting for September to start your adventure as a BU COM grad right? I thought so. You just want to skip right over summer and be here already. We know the feeling.

You may be wondering what classes you need to take and how to go about figuring that out. Well, step one -go to our website and click on your program. Then click under degree requirements. This is usually a great place to start. It tells you all your required classes and then some. I recommend getting all of your required classes out of the way first, especially if you’re like me and planning on going to London for your third semester!

Step two – speak to your department head. He/she will be very helpful in telling you exactly what classes you need. For example, for PR, CM 700 is only offered in the Fall. I emailed the head of the department, Professor Wright, and he essentially told me exactly which classes to take my first two semesters in order to ensure I’ll be on track for London. Because I’m in Public Relations, let me give you a preview of what your first and second semesters will look like to get the requirements out of the way.

Fall

  • CM700 – Financial and Strategic Management
  • CM 701 – Contemporary Public Relations
  • CM 722 – Communication Research
  • CM 707 (or) 705 – Writing for Media Professionals/International Students

Spring

  • CM 710 – Communication Theory
  • CM 742 – Media Relations
  • CM 709 or 715 – Corporate or Nonprofit
  • Elective

But that’s just an example for those in Public Relations. And if that’s your track, don’t take my word for it (I’m probably/and usually right), but I would definitely double check.

Step three: You’ll have an adviser assigned to you – usually a professor. He or she could be a big help also! And finally, step four: comgrad@bu.edu is always a huge help. After all, that’s what we’re here for.

Be Well Read

As an applicant to the masters in journalism program at the BU College of Communication, one of the essays that you have to write, along with life narrative and professional experience, is called “Periodicals”.  This is the part of your application where you get to show the admissions committee how engaged you are in the current media landscape as a consumer. The thought is that folks who are interested in becoming journalists are likely inspired by professionals who they have encountered along the way. One of the defining characteristics of a great journalist is a constant thirst for news and information, and in the periodicals essay you have the chance to share with the school how you quench that thirst.

There is a major focus here at BU on electronic media and social media, so in writing your periodicals essay be sure to make it very clear that you not only frequent a variety of online news sources, but that you have at least a working knowledge of the social media scene.  If you don’t have much experience with social media, I would suggest getting a little acquainted with the ways of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. While you may not use these tools every day while studying here at BU, you will undoubtedly need to use them from time to time.

Listed in the required reading for every jounalism course you take here at BU will be a number of daily newspapers. Being up to date with The Boston Globe, the New York Times and USA Today is expected in the courses you will be taking. Therefore in this essay the ability to demonstrate that you are already in the habit of staying up to date will bode well for your application. And much like I suggested in the social media section, if you are not in the habit of reading daily newpapers, you would help prepare yourself for life at BU by starting.

The fact is that journalism is just as much about reading and staying informed as it is about writing and reporting. In my Journalism Principals and Techniques course in the fall our professor had what he called “The 3 R’s”:  Reading, Reporting, and Writing. In order to be a better writer, it’s vital to be an avid reader. So while you are writing your periodicals essay, be sure to express just how much reading means to you.