Being You at BU

Sua Morales – CCD/ERC Ambassador

BU is a big school that offers a lot of majors, and I get it: being undecided is tough. Your friends may know what they’re majoring in while you’re still wandering through general requirements.

Hopefully the following tips will help you find some clarity.

A major is only a set of classes.

Your major does not determine your future. Ultimately, your major comes down to a set of 10-15 classes, so do your research before you declare.

Do your research.

If you’re going to spend $56,184, you should know what classes you’re taking for your money. Look at the list of majors and minors online and find the set of classes that appeals to you.

You can only be good at what you practice.

Think about skills you want gain and develop after college because some majors will require you to practice a specific skill. For example, the College of Communication public relations concentration focuses on general writing technique, but the College of Arts and Sciences International Relations courses emphasized creating and defending arguments.

Remember, it’s okay to give yourself time to choose a major. Boston University has over 250 areas of study – find what suits you and you can’t go wrong.

I picked my major after going through the 2009 hard-copy bulletin and reading descriptions of every single classes BU offered. I highlighted the classes that sounded interest and I chose the section with the most yellow in it: Public Relations in COM. I love it.

Ready, Set, Expo!

Zach Costello – CCD/ERC Student Ambassador

Before you attend a Career Expo, make sure your resume is up to date and error-free. You should bring multiple copies of your resume in case you’re interested in more than one employer.

Dress appropriately – a two-piece matching suit in a dark conservative color, like navy or black, will do just fine. You want to follow a business formal dress code. Even if you don’t have a suit, you should try to dress as professionally as possible.

In addition to preparing all the necessary documents and dressing properly, you should also practice how you might approach potential employers. Personally, I find it helpful to practice my elevator pitch out loud. Check out this video about creating your elevator pitch on the CCD website. It is important to appear confident and reserved when talking with an employer. After you speak with an employer about their organization and potential employment, let them know that you plan to follow up with them within a certain amount of time. Following up is a great way to show your continued interest in joining the organization.

Career expos are full of opportunities that may eventually lead you to an interview or even an internship. Just remember: bring all necessary documents, dress to impress, and stay confident!



Major Dilemma

Paige Parrack — CCD/ERC Student Ambassador

Majors are like a box of chocolates: you have to sample them to figure out which one is your favorite. I really took this to heart freshman year and tried out everything from an introduction to architecture to macroeconomics, from Italian to psychology before finally applying to Sargent College’s Human Physiology program in September. I didn’t know for a while if this was the right choice for me. I wanted to explore Boston University’s multitude of majors and worried that if I declared too soon, I would miss out on other amazing opportunities.

I found out last week that I was accepted into the Human Physiology program and I think it will be the perfect fit for me. I wanted a major that prepared me for medical school and provided a close community of students and faculty. One day, I’d like to attend medical school and be accepted into a joint MD/PhD program.

Boston University offers a lot of options for students. And, as I learned from my experience, the best way to explore these possibilities is to keep an open mind and keep on sampling.



Like Sand Through the Hourglass…

Time is one of those forces we don’t think much about until we run out of it. Despite your best efforts, you can’t “make up for lost time.” Those hours of watching Jersey Shore reruns are gone forever. Is The Situation really worth it?

For those of you who skimp on sleep to make up for time you procrastinated away, consider this: studies have shown that sleep deprivation leads to health issues like cardiovascular disease that could shorten your life span.

If you have about 9 minutes, click on our time management video below to learn how a few simple adjustments can help you manage your time better. Remember those papers that took hours to write without an outline at three o’clock in the morning? Do you ever want to be in that position again? Homework assignments can often be done in less time if you spend a few minutes creating an action plan before you dive in. Time management requires planning ahead of time.

If you have time management tips that work for you, comment on this post!

Be sure to share this link with friends, especially that procrastinator that’s tons of fun to hang out with, but always seems to be freaking out about homework and due dates…If you don’t know anyone like that, it’s you.

Test Prep – It’s Never Too Early (even in the summer)

We know it’s summer vacation, but we thought we’d throw a brief video workshop online for those of you who’ve resolved to make this the “best fall semester ever” (translation: you’re telling yourselves you won’t procrastinate come exams this time. Really.)

We asked some students to include their tips on test prep here. If you have any tips that work for you, email us or comment on this post.

If you get inspired, check out some other ERC and related videos on BUniverse and check back here later this week for an online workshop on time management.

See you in September! (It’s closer than you think…)

In with the New: The ERC moves to 100 Bay State Road

Spring cleaning came early to the ERC this year; the staff is packing up to move to our new digs at the new Center for Student Services at 100 Bay State Road. We’ve been chattering about it pretty frequently, but as our office walls at the GSU become more bare and the moving boxes start to pile up, we thought we’d blog about it and make sure you know about our abbreviated hours as we move our stuff down the street and get settled on lovely Bay State Road.

The ERC will suspend all programs and services from Noon, Tuesday, July 31 through Noon, Thursday, August 2. If you need to reach a staff member here, just call us at 617-353-7077. We’ll keep the same digits at the new building, so save the number!

Beginning, August 2, come visit us on the 6th floor at the new Center for Student Services at 100 Bay State Road. We can’t wait to see you there!

BU’s Symphonic Organ

I was walking out of the Dean’s Lounge in the GSU when I heard the organ.  The vibrant and regal chords caught me off-guard and I decided not to rush to the ERC right away.  If you aren’t sure what I am talking about, walk into Metcalf Hall on the second floor and look up.  There you will see Boston University’s Symphonic Organ, which is the fusion of two player organs.

Organ3Nelson Barden, BU’s organist and restorer-in-residence, appeared after the piece ended and he was happy to see a listener. I asked him what he had just played and he said it was “Go BU”.

I asked if I could record a piece and he gladly obliged.  He produced a ladder that I could use to get a steady hand for an iPhone recording.  Off he went to go press a button and out came the Third Movement from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Pathetique. Don’t let the “Pathetic” title dissuade you. It was a moving and intense performance for an audience of one.

According to Nelson, Dr. Metcalf, who was Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1976 to 1994, wanted to preserve and combine two acquisitions and bring them to what is now Metcalf Hall: A 12-rank 1930 Skinner organ from the home of Percy A. Rockefeller in Greenwich, CT and a 23-rank 1930 Aeolian organ from the Winchester home of candy-maker William E. Schrafft.

Organ1Shortly before Dr. Metcalf’s death in 1994, Nelson played Shubert’s March Militaire and the Battle Hymn of the Republic for Dr. Metcalf and BU Academy students. Dr. Metcalf, watching from the back row said, “This is what I always dreamed of; something for the kids. Something that would catch their attention.” Nelson and Dr. Metcalf always assumed the organ would become engrained into the university culture beyond simply an impressive restoration project.

The keystone of the organ’s uniqueness is a computer known as the Boston University Symphonic Organ Recorder (BUSOR), which was installed in 1993. BUSOR was created because the player rolls became deteriorated every time they were fed through the organ. BUSOR’s editing power allows the player to unleash an endless stream of recordings. Music can be constructed on screen, which allows for stronger musicality than faded player rolls.

Organ2Not many buildings these days come equipped with a fused 1920s symphonic residence organ with an original computer from 1916. It is quite a rare and wonderful machine that took 16 years to complete.

If you’re here this summer, be sure you stop by Metcalf and listen to this marvelous instrument. Nelson will be here throughout the summer to work on organ maintenance and he hopes to offer more performances in the coming year. He also leads a group called the Friends of Boston University Symphonic Organ. If you’d like to learn more, send him an email at

Take a listen and come see this treasured piece of BU history!

-Patrick Devanney, Retention Program Specialist

Student Leadership Opportunity

The Educational Resource Center and the Center for Career Development are excited to announce a new leadership opportunity for Boston University undergraduate students.

The Student Ambassador position will serve both offices in the new Center for Student Services.

As a Student Ambassador, you will:

  • Coordinate and present workshops
  • Stay up-to-date on the centers’ specific resources and events
  • Help raise awareness of both centers
  • Participate in university-wide annual events

All Ambassadors will be trained to support both offices, but may also be trained in specialty areas specific to one office or another.

Read more about this opportunity and learn how to apply on the Student Ambassador page of the ERC website.

How do you Study for Finals?


It’s that time of year again-summertime. But, before that, we must all get through finals, a torture that we pay the university to inflict on us. This weather certainly is not helping our moods. It just makes me want to crawl in bed next to my heater and waste my day away watching tv. But, alas we must all resist the rainy day urges and drag our butts to study. Here are a few study tips that have seemed to work for me in past years.

  1. Make a study schedule. It is highly important in this schedule to take breaks, include ALL of your classes, even the ones on the VERY last day of finals. It’s important to spread your study time out. CRAMMING IS THE WORST THING ANYONE CAN DO! And, cramming does not just include the day before. I suggest beginning your studying at least 4 or 5 days before your exam, and study a little each day.
  2. Use you breaks to be productive. During your breaks, don’t just sit down and watch TV, sitting down studying is lethargic enough. But, instead, get up, go do laundry. Doing productive things around your room or apartment will help you feel more accomplished.
  3. Go to the gym. I know it is easy to neglect the gym in times of stress. But, these are times that it is every more important to go. You don’t have to do your normal workout routine. In fact, it will probably help you more to do something different. If you normally do the elliptical, run instead. Little changes will help get some variety in this seemingly mundane study period.
  4. Go to any review sessions you may have. Even if you have no questions yourself, other students bringing out questions might make you realize you don’t understand something so well, or it might bring up issues with the material that you were not aware you had.
  5. Balance your junk food with and equal amount of water and veggies. I am not against stress eating, at times it can help. But, stress eating for a week often does more harm than good. So, every time you eat a candy bar, let the next snack you grab be an apple or carrots with ranch.

These are a few of my suggestions! I hope some of them work for you!
-Katie K. CAS’12

Coffee @ Finals! Spring 2012

Coffee @ Finals is being offered again this semester! The ERC, in collaboration with CAS Student Government, is providing students with coffee and snacks, as well as group study locations for students before finals begin.

Coffee @ Finals will take place from 4pm to Midnight from Thursday, May 3 to Saturday, May 5 in CAS 319. The best part is that tutors will be available from 4-8pm each day to help answer any lingering questions you may have, or help clarify a tough course topic that’s still not quite crystal clear.

Tutors will be available in the following subjects, however please know that the schedule changes for each day so not all courses will be available each day:

BI 315
CH 101, 172, 204
EC 101 102 201 202
LF 111 112 211 212
LG 111 112 211 212
LS 111 112 211 212
MA 113 115 116 121 122 123 124 213 214
PY 105 106 211 212

So stop by to get some guided help, have some coffee, form a study group, or enjoy another quiet space to study on campus. We hope to see you there!