Tag Archives: places to go

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COM grad students share their experiences from BU’s Washington program

By Michelle Marino
MS Journalism ’16
BU College of Communication

There is no shortage of opportunities available to BU COM students seeking an internship. Between the rock star faculty, the countless Boston-based news outlets and publications, to the BU-run programs, you’d be hard-pressed to run out of places to send your resume. BU’s Washington, DC Internship Program is one of the invaluable resources available to us, allowing students interested in a number of different disciplines to study and intern in one of the world’s most influential capital cities. From health to public relations, politics to the arts, program participants are able to base their internship on a targeted field of study and take complimentary elective courses.

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I spoke with two graduate students currently enrolled in the Washington, DC program, to get an inside look at their internships. Dian Zhang, a third semester Business & Economics Journalism student originally from China, strives to be an international business reporter. Having completed her undergraduate degree in Business & Economics at BU, she has a solid business foundation that she wants to combine with her journalistic skills and multinational background. She has currently been with the Washington Program for one month.

dsc_0316“A lot of people come to Washington because they want to be involved in think tanks or politics. You see a lot of undergrads majoring in political science – they want to intern on the hill to work for a senator, but for me it’s not like that… I’d like to integrate my experiences to be a correspondent for Chinese media in the U. S. or go back to China and work for a U.S.-based journalism outlet…It’s really hard as an international student to find an internship, that’s the reality. If you can come to DC sponsored by the school and do an internship, it’s a good way to accumulate work experience. The program has been extremely helpful for me,” she says.

Dian is working at The Bond Buyer, a national trade newspaper focused on municipal bonds. Although her background is more general business, she says she’s been dealing with “a lot of numbers, reports, and statistics.” “I really enjoy it because it’s great to have the opportunity to get things published on a real, professional website and write stories with the help of editors and senior reporters. It’s been really rewarding,” she says.

10609420_341562349327303_7974710522429730936_n“The best thing about the program is that you’re not learning things you can get from a textbook. There’s a lot of practical professional training…We’re encouraged to meet a lot of people, go to conferences, and practice being social and professional. There is a class here every week based on the internship, and you also keep a journal about your work experience. If it weren’t for this assignment, I probably wouldn’t have taken the challenge to talk about my future goals,” says Dian. She goes on to say, “It’s important to step out of your comfort zone. I have a lot of friends that want to come here but they’re reluctant because they don’t want to leave Boston. It’s hard, but it’ll be great when you come to a new environment and learn new things.”

Jonathan Riley, also a third semester Journalism graduate student specializing in Political Reporting, has been in Washington, DC since August working for CNN’s Investigative Unit. “I’ve been interested in politics for a long time and DC is the place to be if you’re into politics,” he says. Although he can’t talk much about the specifics of his job, he explains: “Just being in Washington is a learning experience in itself. You can follow politics in the news but you don’t get a real sense of how the federal government works on a day-to-day, practical level until you’re here. When you’re here, no matter what you’re doing really, you’re in the middle of it.”

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“I think the Washington Program is a really great opportunity for BU students that a lot of other schools wish they could have. Particularly for grad students, and communication students in particular, I think it’s a terrific opportunity. DC is a huge journalism market. The federal government is here. National and international politics happens here, so there are great opportunities for people on the PR side of things as well. If you’re into politics, or even if you’re not sure and want to see if politics is something you could get interested in, I would definitely recommend the program,” he says.

If you’re interested in learning more about the program, an information session will be held Thursday, October 9 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in COM 317. Evening snacks will be provided, so if you’re in the market to grab a quick bite, you might gather some useful intel as well. Have you thought about a semester with the Washington Program? Do you plan on going to the information session? Comment below!

Parents weekend

There’s Parents Weekend in grad school? What to do with your out-of-town guests in Boston

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

Even though it feels like the semester just got started, Parents Weekend is right around the corner (October 17-19)! New to Boston and wondering where in the world you are going to take your parents? Allow this BU veteran to help.

By now, most of us grad students have had our fair share of parents weekends.  Like most schools, BU has plenty of scheduled events and seminars throughout the weekend; but in general, they cater to the undergraduate crowd – such as the “Parenting Panel: Parenting During the College Years.  However, there will be an art exhibition at the College of Fine Arts’ Stone Gallery, a Movie Walking Tour of campus, and several other free events fit for graduate students and their parents.  See the full schedule of events here.

Looking for a little more action? See our Men’s Hockey team take on the U.S. National Under-18 team on Saturday at 7 p.m. in an exhibition match.  Just be sure to get your tickets in advance here.

Once you’ve had your fill of activities around campus, be sure to give your parents a solid snapshot of your new Boston home.

Fenway is both close to home and a Boston classic.  Just across the bridge from Kenmore, Fenway offers a glimpse at one of America’s most famous baseball institutions.  Not to mention the surrounding bars and restaurants.  My recommendations include Bar Louie for amazing appetizers, Landsdowne Pub for the atmosphere and Sweet Cheeks for barbecue.

Newbury Street is an absolute must if your family is even slightly interested in shopping and good food.  Newbury has stores for everyone, starting at Massachusetts Avenue with stores like Urban Outfitters and Forever 21, stretching all the way down to the Commons with high-end retailers such as Diane von Furstenberg.  Peppered along the way are all types of restaurants, including Joe’s American Bar and Grill, Stephanie’s and The Cafeteria.  You really can’t go wrong.  Once you reach the end of Newbury, be sure to enjoy the scenery at the Boston Commons and Public Gardens.  This is the best time of year to do so, while the leaves are turning and it’s not too terribly cold yet.

Want to take the tourist route? Walk your parents along the Freedom Trail and see the historical Faneuil Hall to get a taste of the rich history Boston has to offer. If you get hungry, grab a lobster roll from Quincy Market and check out even more shops and restaurants along the way.  And, if there’s time, get in line at Giacomo’s in the famous North End before 4 p.m. to experience some of the best authentic Italian food that Boston has to offer.  And don’t forget to stop by Modern Pastry for dessert.

What are your plans for Parents Weekend? Have any other recommendations or questions on how to entertain your out-of-town guests? Let us know in the comments section!

 

Boston bucket list for grad students

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

It’s no secret that grad school is a pricey venture.  But here’s the thing about going to grad school in Boston: you’re in Boston.  And this sports-crazed, historical goldmine is full of numerous adventures that aren’t as expensive as you may think.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a car (or rather, unfortunate enough to have to worry about parking in the city), apple picking is a must-try.  I have to admit, apple picking was foreign to me when I was back home on the West Coast.  But after venturing out to Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro, Mass. (50 minute drive), I felt fully prepared for New England fall.  Pumpkins, flowers and over 20 kinds of apples are just some of the treats you can grab at Parlee, not to mention homemade pumpkin butter and fresh apple cider donuts that are to die for.  Oh, and did I mention there’s no entrance fee? Just don’t forget cash to buy yourself some delicious treats.

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However, if you don’t feel like sticking around and exploring the city we live before venturing out into the suburbs, hop on a Hubway bike and see Boston on your own terms. Unlike pricey guided tours, Hubway allows you to rent a bicycle from over 100 stations sprinkled throughout the city.  Any ride under 30 minutes is free, and a 24-hour pass is only $6.  Worried about Boston’s infamously scary drivers?  Stick to the Charles River Reservation Bike loop to avoid the honking and see the river.  And be sure to take advantage of the Hubway bikes soon, before Mother Nature gives Boston the cold shoulder.

Maybe you need a break from studying, and biking just isn’t your thing.  No worries. Just head to Samuel Adams Brewery in Jamaica Plain (from BU: 20 minutes by car or 50 by train) to taste their OctoberFest.  The brewery holds free tours year-round.  For another beer option, check out the Harpoon Brewery (from BU: 15 minutes by car or 55 by train) where you can get a $5 beer tasting.

Aside from all these wonderful options, there is one place you simply must visit while living in Boston: the one and only Fenway Park.  Even if you aren’t able to catch a game, tours are offered daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Student tickets are just $12, and since Fenway is practically on BU’s campus (at just a 5 minute walk from the bookstore), there is really no excuse not to.

Need more ideas? Check out this article for more inexpensive ways to explore Boston: http://www.boston.com/travel/things-around-boston-for-under/k7CCC0L1GXcfsnPvVDvMiM/gallery.html

Relax and Lose Yourself

It’s over. The deadline has come and gone. You’re done. You have handed in everything they have asked for. Now you can finally sit back and relax. Or can you?

I remember how I felt the day I finally handed in all my application materials. There was a sigh of relief and a fleeting feeling of accomplishment immediately followed by nail biting anxiety… now I have to wait?! It was complete torture thinking about the 1-2 months I had to endure before hearing a decision that would affect the course of my life.

I had a terrible image of myself months later – twitchy, disheveled, one stenciled on eyebrow because I had nervously pulled it out, maybe carrying a plastic duck and making quacking noises under my breath as I stare fixedly at my mailbox. After considering if I could turn the one eyebrow thing into a new fashion trend, I realized dwelling on the committee’s future decision was unhealthy. I had done everything I could, given them everything they had asked for and put my best effort into the essays. I no longer had any influence over the process. So, rather than sit around waiting for the ax or congratulation balloons to fall, I decided to make myself busy.

I was fortunate enough to be in Spain at the time, so I bid tearful farewell to my ESL students, grabbed my backpack, and took off across the country.

Posing - see how much fun I'm having?! Wooo!

It was an amazing experience and, better yet, I hardly thought about graduate school at all. OK, that’s a lie, but at least I wasn’t obsessing over it (for which my eyebrows thank me). However, this might be a bit impractical for the rest of you so I have put together a brief list of suggestions.

  1. Grab an Internship – If you don’t already have one, now is the perfect time to get one. It will only help you by preparing you for your future academic adventure and introducing you to the field you are striving to enter.
  2. Start a Hobby – Get into rock collecting (a lot more exciting than it sounds) or finally start that band you have been talking about since high school. Studies are showing that interviewers are looking for more from candidates than work experience, they want to be able to connect with you. Therefore, if you have an interesting hobby/interest you will have a lot more to discuss, laugh, bond over.
  3. Write a Novel – “”How you uh, how you comin’ on that novel you’re working on? Huh? … Your big novel you’ve been working on for 3 years?” We’ve all wanted to at some point before talking ourselves out of it because no one will want to read about a lone gun slinging space captain who is unwillingly drawn into an intergalactic war and must fight her way to the truth all the while fighting with her need to stay independent…. Erm. Anyways, start one and, even if it doesn’t go anywhere, you’ll have a story to tell about the experience.
  4. Travel – Pack up your bags and hit the road, friend, you’re not meant for this small town crap *spits* (I need to stop watching TV). Plan some trips. They don’t have to be extravagant, just go somewhere you have never been. Who knows, it might turn into one hell of an adventure, or it might not.
  5. Volunteer – Go, improve your moral fiber. Give of yourself unto your community. This is good for several reasons: it distracts you, looks good on your resume, and you’ll be helping someone in need.

These were just a couple suggestions to get you thinking about how to fill up your time. If you have any suggestions or experiences you’d like to share feel free to leave them in the comments. I am all about vicarious living.

Meet Alina Rubezhova

I’m a die-hard New York sports fan, so you could probably imagine my dilemma in moving to Boston – land of the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics. But in my time here, I’ve realized it’s so much more.

Boston University sits at the center of all the action – Fenway Park is walking distance and near-by Kenmore Station can take you anywhere you heart desires (well…in Boston). And aside from sports, there’s so much more to do. When you’re not in class, you have the opportunity to explore a city that has a lot to offer: book festivals, shopping, eating…and of course, the occasional drink to take your mind away from school work (hey, no one said graduate school was easy). Since you are looking into Boston University, I thought I’d help sway your decision a little by listing a few of my favorite things to do in the city thus far.

  1. Newbury Street. Just a train ride away from all the shopping your heart desires. American Apparel, Forever 21 and Madewell are some of the few stores you’ll find along with some higher end fashion stores like Burberry. You can find anything you’re looking for from local, fun boutiques to well-known brands…and if you get hungry just stop by some of the many little restaurants. One of my favorites thus far has been Snappy Sushi. All their rolls are made with brown rice and it is very affordable.
  2. Boston Commons. If you’re looking for a place to hang out on a gorgeous fall day this is the go-to. I’ve explored a few parts, but most recently I was near the Park Street Green Line stop. When you’re surrounded by colorful trees and leaves on the ground, you forget about everything else you have to do. You could just get lost in the beauty.
  3. North End. How could anyone forget about this? It’s the perfect “Little Italy.” Yes, it’s a little expensive to eat there…but it is very well worth it. And everyone raves about Mike’s Pastry. When I had gone the line was far out the door, but after talking to a local, he said Modern Pastry was the “local’s secret.” Venturing there, I did not regret it one little bit.
  4. Faneuil Hall. I love this place for the ambiance. There’s always something going on. There’s the man on stilts performing crazy stunts and there’s vendors, shopping, food and even nightlife.
  5. Fenway Area. Okay, so I mentioned I hate the Red Sox right? Well, I did get the chance to go to a Yankees vs. Red Sox game and I do admit the area is a lot of fun. The bars get packed (and there are many of them). Plus, those Boston fans do a great job filling up the streets. It’s definitely something to explore.
  6. BU Pub. This one, I had to include. It is absolutely gorgeous and the perfect place to meet with friends after class and have some food and/or drinks (and even get some studying done if you want to feel productive). The building is right by The Castle, which is an incredible looking building to begin with. It’s a fun atmosphere and they also do trivia on some nights of the week.

So, come explore! I promise, you’ll never get bored.

And as for the education you’ll get when you’re not exploring? You’ll meet some of the smartest professors with real-world experience, as well as scholars who really enjoy teaching. As a Public Relations first-semester student, I have already taken in a lot of knowledge – from my Communication Research course to my Contemporary Public Relations course. Everything you do gives you not only textbook experience, but applied knowledge as well. It maybe sounds a little lame…but I actually enjoy going to class.

Great friends, a solid education and a fun city…what more can you ask of from your university?