Tag Archives: travel

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

PR

Taking My Research Overseas

By: Jaclyn Weisberg

After 3,500 miles in the air, 2.5 hours in the bus, and boundless weeks of preparation, the day had finally arrived; my dream was becoming a reality. I was walking into my first public relations conference…. in England!

I’m not embarrassed to say that my morning consisted of sweaty palms and a stomach full of butterflies. But, as I entered the University of Bournemouth and was welcomed into the 5th International History of Public Relations Conference, my fears were quickly alleviated. I felt right where I belonged, surrounded by people from all over the globe who shared the same desire as me to expand and share their knowledge of public relations.

On the first day of the conference, Dr. Dustin Supa and I presented our proceeding, entitled “What’s in a name? The history and evolution of the naming of sports venues as a public relations tool.” Surveying the role of branding with regard to the name of a particular stadium, the paper studies the Coliseum, Wrigley Field and Busch Stadium.

As research assistant for Dr. Supa, a BU professor for both graduate and undergrad students, I’ve had the opportunity to assist with various research initiatives, focusing primarily on the history of public relations.

I’m humbled to have had the opportunity to interact with my Boston University professors outside of the classroom setting and to watch as they literally played on a global intellectual stage, in front of noted scholars from all four corners of the world.

It was an honor to see firsthand the respect that other public relations academics have for BU’s program. I can say with extreme fervor that I’m proud to be a BU graduate student.

I feel fortunate (and a little star struck) to have spent time interacting with prestigious and highly esteemed academics, researchers, and practitioners from more than 15 countries.

As keynote speaker Dr. Gunter Bentale, distinguished professor at Leipzig University, said, “the true definition of public relations is to work for, with, and in the public.”

After this past week, I couldn’t agree more.

This conference has truly enriched my outlook on the world of public relations. The knowledge, feedback and stories I have received are invaluable.

In the final plenary of the conference, Tim Travis Healy concludes, “character is the most crucial part in professional public relations. The checklist to success is simple. Be personable, mature, articulate, courageous and humorous and you will equip yourself with the tools to succeed in this field.”

As a future practitioner, I will utilize all that I learned this week. I look forward to attending more conferences in the future and I hope to maintain the connections I’ve made for years to come. I couldn’t have asked for a better #myCOM experience!

*Jaclyn is a graduate student in the Public Relations program. For more information on the program, click here.

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Spotlight Abroad: Angela Milinazzo

By: Angela Milinazzo

Having been before, I was already enamored with London, its culture, and its people – both those who are proudly self-proclaimed Brits and those who, like me, have fortuitously found themselves welcomed into the diverse and dynamic city. When presented with the opportunity to return to London, I didn’t even give it a second thought.

Throw in the fact that I would be completing my master’s degree here and it was a done deal. A few weeks into the program and I have no doubt that this was the best decision for finishing my master’s education with Boston University.

“A few weeks into the program and I have no doubt that this was the best decision for finishing my master’s education with Boston University.”

Located just minutes away from Kensington Gardens, I live in the London borough of South Kensington with my fellow COMrades in BU’s Crofton building. I share a bedroom and on-suite bathroom with my roommate, Katie, and share a kitchen with six other COM students. We frequently congregate in the kitchen, where we, most obviously, share meals, but also share plans as we all are excited to explore both London and the other European cities close by.

Of course, we’re not just in London for the ample travel opportunities or the frequent adventures exploring London’s streets. A quick 15-minute walk takes us to Harrington Gardens, where I, along with the other 21 students attending the London program, go to class.

For the first half of the summer, I’m taking two classes, Global Marketing Communication and International Mass Media and Political Systems, which take place four hours per day Monday through Thursday.

After a weeklong summer break at the end of those courses, I start my internship with Purple PR, a fashion/beauty/lifestyle public relations agency, and work on a final project to help close out the master’s program. The second half of the summer will test not just our independence, but also our ability to adapt and integrate into London’s work culture. As we grow more confident and knowledgeable about both London and working/thinking from a global perspective, we will also be able to apply what we’ve learned through our final professional project. This gives us the opportunity to work with Tobe Berkovitz and Otto Lerbinger, two BU professors working with us here in London, to come up with a project that will effectively synthesize our work from previous semesters with our experience in London.

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Though the summer seems endless, I know that I, as well as my classmates, are very much aware that our time in London is fleeting and precious. Many of us already have trips booked for future weekends in places like Paris, Edinburgh, and Galway. Others are working through their lists of must-see spots around London, such as the National Galleries, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, and Westminster Abbey. We’re all trying to make the most not only out of our invaluable experiences inside the classroom, but outside of it as well – an exciting and apt way to end our academic careers at Boston University.

*Angela is a graduate student in the Public Relations program participating in BU’s London Study Abroad Program. For more information on the program, click here

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.