A summer in Boston is a summer in heaven.
JK. It’s not that amazing. But it’s pretty close.
This past summer, I was fortunate enough to stay in Boston while I worked on campus and interned nearby. Both were excellent educational/professional experiences, but in additional to that, I got to spend more time in the place I called home.
Okay, so here’s my summer low-down:
INTERNING AT PBS
I was ecstatic to work at WGBH, the largest PBS affiliate and content producer. WGBH is a great opportunity for any BU student looking to get into a media-related field, as it is such a major player in public radio/television — and it’s only down the road from campus! I was hired to intern (alongside fellow CA Claudia) in WGBH’s Studio Six, which produces a variety of nationally-syndicated PBS lifestyle series: Simply Ming, Rough Cut Woodworking, Moveable Feast, Lidia Celebrates America, and the new Point Taken. The position was primarily administrative and was specifically titled under “National Content Development.” I worked with producers to conduct research and development on existing projects and oversaw production operations for the above shows. In addition, I aided the development of new pitches for PBS and outside networks (but my lips are sealed!).
Now that I’ve said the official details of the internship, let me tell you about the actual experience: it was fantastic. Not only did I gain a solid network of industry professionals, but I got to watch so many exciting things occur. I was lucky enough to shadow on set for the season 14 shoot of Simply Ming, where I met nationally-acclaimed chefs and watched a real the unfolding of real TV production. Or there was the time I spent several days calling Norwegian production companies to recruit crew members for an international shoot. Or how about that time that Claudia and I found our supervisor’s closet full of Emmy awards? Yeah. That happened. I was meeting with producers from other major PBS series like Frontline and Nova for lunches. To say that I learned a lot and that I enjoyed it is an understatement.
For those of you interested in a local, highly-regarded internship: I would recommend WGBH. Not only is it a great, accessible starting point, but it’s a huge accomplishment.
WORKING AT BU
During the school year, I work as a desk assistant at the Boston University Center for Career Development and Educational Resource Center (a.k.a. the BU CCD and ERC; the former is just a mouthful). I extended my employment through the summer, and I was granted housing in a South Campus apartment. Balancing this with my internship was simple and allowed me to live in Boston at no charge, and I couldn’t have been happier.
The CCD and ERC are great resources on campus, of which everyone should take advantage. They are at virtually no cost to you and offer professional services that aid in your job search/application/hiring process, assess and develop work skills, help you to find out what to do with your life (the dreaded question), receive peer tutoring, and improve academic skills. Their resources are endless, and the staff members are the friendliest people I’ll ever meet.
After spending two months with them and my luxurious view of the Charles, I was more educated on what BU has to offer and formed deep connections with BU faculty that will endure for years to come.
WHAT THE HECK IS A SOCIAL LIFE?
Between these two things and other commitments, I was sometimes spending up to 50 to 60 hours/week at some form of a job. And, surprisingly, I was okay with it. I was doing things that I enjoyed. And, with the exception of some long hours, I still found time to have a life.
I was doing all of the tourtisty things (roll your eyes all you want, but it’s FUN), exploring areas of the city I’d never been to before, and making memories with new friends. It was probably the most important component of the summer. For a number of BU students, the #1 reason they came here was to be in Boston, and it was time to take advantage of that.
So, I guess the point of all this is to say, “STAY IN BOSTON!!!” I think every BU student should experience at least one summer in the city. See what Boston has to offer you year-round and experience the city when it’s above 60 degrees outside. Make this place your home.