Kate: PR Advanced: Unleash Our Generation Recap

Kate ImageThis past weekend, I partook in PR Advanced, an annual conference hosted by the BU Public Relations Student Society of America as a participant and a member of the planning committee.  Each year we bring together 200 students from across the United States (people came all the way from Ohio and Louisiana!) for a keynote speech, breakout sessions, a career panel, and a career fair.  Our keynote speaker this year was unfortunately snowed in and unable to make it to the conference.  But there to save the day were Kenneth Elmore, BU Dean of Students, and Professor Steve Quigley, PRSSA 2011 Educator of the Year, to fill in, offering students advice on where to take their careers.  In this day and age, students have many options after graduation:

  • Agency vs. Corporate
  • Corporate vs. Government vs. Non-profit
  • B2B (business to business) vs. B2C (business to consumer)
  • Start-up vs. Established Company

And with so many options, PR students must understand the importance of culture and finding a niche where they feel comfortable.  These motifs continued throughout the day.  In the start-ups breakout session, BU alum Kris Ruby shared her story.  Knowing her strengths and the market, she decided to take advantage of the changing field and started her own social media and PR firm.  Tom O’Keefe a.k.a. Boston Tweet and Joseline Mane, co-founder of Boston TweetUp, shared how they are using social media to further their careers.

After lunch, student attended a career panel with representatives from across the field of communication.  Brandi Boatner, an external relations professional at IBM, showed that B2B communication can be just as exciting as traditional B2C.  And Mike DiSalvo (probably my favorite speaker of the day) from Ogilvy reminded students to have fun in an interview because that’s when you know the culture is a right fit for you.

Ending the day was the career fair.  With a company as small as Ruby Media Group (four employees) to Burson-Marstellar, one of the largest international PR firms in the world, students had the opportunity to find out where they fit into the market.

As the career fair coordinator for the last two years, I have come to understand the importance of attending conferences and networking events like PR Advanced.  Public relations is an ever changing field and the best advice you can get doesn’t come from a text book, it comes from the professionals who are in the thick of it all.  And the business cards and potential future opportunities don’t hurt either.  I highly suggest all students taking advantage PR Advanced in the future.

pr advanced

Daniela: On That Internship Hunt

Daniela ImageHey everyone! Hope your semester has been going well. It is flying by for me despite an increasingly hectic schedule, and I’m already starting to look ahead for summer plans. I’m a Public Relations major, and I want to go into the entertainment and event management side of things. So when I started to ponder internship opportunities, I came to one solid conclusion: I need to go to California.

With the West Coast on my mind, I furtively began scouring the Internet searching for potential companies. It was really difficult at first because I had a very specific interest, and most of the ones I found either did not apply to me or, worse, were unpaid. Another thing I was sure of was that whatever I found had to have some form of compensation. If I’m going to pack up and move out West for an entire summer, I need a little something more than just “experience” as incentive.

So I kept searching. I hit a breakthrough when I stumbled upon this website that listed almost one hundred companies with direct links to their employment/internship opportunities. Finally, I narrowed down about ten solid companies that were actively looking for interns in Los Angeles, seven of which were paying. Perfect.

I’m dedicating myself to editing my resume and sending applications these next couple of days. Here’s hoping for the best! In the meantime, I want to share a couple tips with you guys that could be helpful when you start your own searches!

Know where you want to go

It helps when you have a few set locations in mind of where you want to intern. It narrows down the search, and makes it a lot easier to find what you’re looking for.

Know what you’re looking for

Similarly, nailing down your specific interest will further narrow down your searches. You want to make sure that what you find will give you the best learning experience and long-term benefits.

The Search

Start browsing on internship websites and follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Some of the ones I use are InternMatch.com and YouTern.com as well as following @InternsNtheCity (which tweets about opportunities in NYC), @BostonInternshp (and no that’s not a typo!) and @PRJobLA. Twitter is an incredible resource. Even by just typing “Intern” and the location you want to work in the search bar will give you a ton of solid results. After exhausting that, browse the Center for Career Development and the COM Career Services databases. Update your profile and look for jobs that match you. And of course, don’t forget to look up specific companies if you have a couple in mind!

Get Organized

After searching every last form of “I need an internship” on Google, you’re bound to have a couple solid leads lined up. Bookmark all the ones you find and organize them into priorities. Some applications may have deadlines. Work on those first, as well as the ones you’re most interested in. Don’t leave your dream job for last! While you’re getting yourself organized, be sure to follow their social media. When they look at your application and begin doing some research on you, it looks good when they see the extent of your interest.

Tailor your resume to each company

Before you send in your resume, make sure it is organized in a way that will best represent your skills and what you can do for that specific company. Include their name in your objective, and put all the things you think they will want to see first. Go to COM Career Services and get a second opinion if you’re having trouble. When you’re absolutely satisfied, send away!

Tweet about it

Continue to show your interest in where you are applying. Keep an eye on your email and your phone calls.

Finding internships takes a lot of work. You need to be proactive. With a little bit of luck and motivation though, it will all pay off. So get searching, applying, and hope for the best!

Tom: I Wanna Be a Producer

Tom ImageHey guys! Last time you saw me I gave you guys the rundown about how to conquer auditions at Boston University. This time I’m back with some more theater for you guys. Now I bet you guys are thinking – “yes, Tom’s really into theater, but what does this have to do with the College of Communication?” Through my involvement with BU On Broadway, I managed to find a way to combine my major in advertising with my passion for theater: I became a Producer.

Last semester, I took on being a producer for the first time for our production of The Producers (I know… producer of The Producers, way too much producer in one sentence.) Taking on the role of producer was a much bigger commitment than I thought it was, but it provided me with a huge resume and experience booster for the future. Plus, it was actually something I enjoyed doing and was applicable to my future career.

So what does a Producer do exactly?

1. Advertising, Advertising, and more Advertising. The Producer’s main job is to sell the show. This involves everything including poster design, T-Shirt design, and handouts for us to give out in the George Sherman Union. We also ran a social media campaign for the production using the hashtag: #PrOBucers (note the “OB” (On Broadway) in the middle).

2. Managing the Budget. Ah, the budget. A COM kid’s least favorite word. Unfortunately, being a Producer isn’t all fun and games advertising. You also need to take the cost of the whole production into account. The producers are responsible for making sure that the tech crew stays within their budget and are reimbursed through the Student Activities Office for all the purchases they made. While very tedious, managing a budget is an extremely valuable skill I picked up that’s relevant to any future in Account Management.

3. Work with the Student Activities Office. As On Broadway is a student group on campus, someone needs to be responsible for checking in with the Student Activities Office. This is where the producers come in. The producers need to fill out numerous forms in addition to making sure everything is set for opening night.

Here’s some advice:

While I’m not recommending everyone interested in communication run out and be a producer, I would advise new COM students to do what their passionate about. I got involved with On Broadway as an actor, and managed to blend my love for theater with my future aspirations in advertising. My advice: be a good student and stick to what you love. Your career aspirations will eventually work out.

That’s all for now! I hope to keep you updated with my newest producing endeavor: this spring’s production of Spring Awakening!

Taylor: How I Met My Roommate

Taylor ImageIn conversing with others I have noticed that the most popular collegiate related question that family members, neighbors and peers will homogenously parrot other than “How is school going” is, “Do you like your roommate?” Although responses to the question vary, I am certain that a respectable, trusting, and fun living space will produce a healthy roomie relationship.

The First Date. After tension from awaiting news of acceptance has eased down the next perplexing moment that all students endure is waiting for BU’s housing release email. A notice that announces that freshmen can now check student link to unleash the veil that not only states where you will be housed over the next year but more importantly WITH WHOM. The student link section typically discloses the persons name and BU email address. Ideally, once names have been released Facebook friend requests are mutually sent.  Yet, what happens next? What if you can’t find your roomie on any social networking site?

If at first you don’t succeed TRY AGAIN. Facebook as well as other social networking sites are largely populated. Don’t undermine your search abilities if you can’t immediately find your assigned roommate. Remember, the university also graciously posts email addresses. Don’t be afraid shooting a welcoming email including a bit about who you are, your major, and fun personality traits. Check out BU’s COM 2016 page https://www.facebook.com/BUCOMClassof2016 as well as other university class pages.

Consult. Regardless of whether or not you have siblings, or if your roommate happens to be your best friend, living in the same quarters is a huge adjustment.  Best bit of advice- discuss your ticks. Mind readers are often hard to find, and there’s really no other way for someone else to know what annoys you than voicing it aloud.

Roomance. In an effort to offset cost, most find it helpful to divide up common room appliances prior to moving in.  Creating an open atmosphere where there is a mutual dependence on one another aids in ways unimaginable. During the school year you may become ill, may need to vent about a pressing issue, or just yearn for a good laugh. Even when you feel as though no one is by your side, your roommate has no choice.

Anna: Good Music is Right Around the Corner

Anna ImageWith Coachella fast approaching and the Lollapalooza lineup leaked this week, I’ve been feeling some serious music envy lately.  Really, though, to all of you flying out to California for Coachella in April, stop telling me about your plans. I’m too jealous. If you’re like me and are struggling to find a couple of dollars for your Starbucks order each morning, you probably won’t be headed out to any major festival this spring or summer. Have no fear though! There are some great acts coming to Boston in the coming months. Best of all, these shows are relatively cheap.

As I did with my very first blog post last year, here are my recommendations for five worthwhile concerts coming to a venue near you throughout the spring semester:

Oberhofer

3/22

Brighton Music Hall

$12.00

Known mostly for being featured in endless commercials, Oberhofer is still working on gaining popularity outside of the advertising world. Led by Brad Oberhofer, the band has an upbeat sound that will keep you dancing and happy throughout the show. Check out the songs “Away From You” and “Gold” for a solid sample of the group.

Gotye with Kimbra

3/29

House of Blues

$25.00

I can’t go a day without a new cover of Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” being posted on facebook. The original song, which features New Zealand artist Kimbra, was a huge hit this past summer in Gotye’s native Australia and is slowly becoming popular here in the U.S. Both artists have amazing voices and should put on solid performances separately and together.

Of Montreal 4/1

Paradise Rock Club

$25.00

Even though they’ve been around and popular since the ‘90s, ticket prices for Of Montreal are still shockingly low. With their eleventh album released earlier in the month, the band is continuing their signature psychedelic-pop sound with great results. I wouldn’t hesitate to check out any of their new songs but make sure to listen to some old stuff too. They tend to go retro during their lives performances.

M83 5/9

House of Blues

$22.00

This French electronica band is insanely catchy. The highly addictive single Midnight City has honestly had me dancing by myself for the past couple of months.  Similar in sound to a lower-key MGMT, the group has an eclectic mix of songs that range from slow and sad to fast and fun. They also tend to do spontaneous remixes on stage, so they never disappoint live.

Dom 5/11

Brighton Music Hall

$14.00

I saw this band last summer when they opened for the WFNX Clambake, and even though I had no expectations for them, they wound up being fantastic. Hailing from nearby Worcester, their local flavor makes their shows a ton of fun. Maybe it’s because I first saw them in June, but Dom’s sound definitely has a carefree summer-like feel for me. Check out one of their first singles “Living In America,” though, and see for yourself.

Alexa: A Night at TD Garden

Alexa ImageThere are so many things that I hope to accomplish here in Boston, and one is to catch an NBA Lakers/Celtic game at the TD Garden. However, it wasn’t that easy to accomplish - it took some research, planning and execution. Back in December, about ten minutes after the Celtics schedule was released, I figured out the day the Lakers would be playing the Celtics. I saw that they would be playing February 9th, which was extremely convenient because my birthday’s February 11th. Now for the planning part, I knew the odds of attending the game were likely because I could use the gift of Lakers tickets as an early birthday/late Christmas present. So I called my parents in California and told them about my amazing idea. They told me to remember why I was in Boston (for a great education) and I refuted that it would be an educational experience to witness such a rival team and observe how journalists report on such an intense game. Long story short… I was in attendance at the Lakers Celtics game on February 9th.  (Thanks again Mom and Dad!)

While I don’t want to give too much away since most of my wonderful adventure at the TD Garden will be featured on COMlife Episode 5 (premiering February 24th!) I was fortunate enough (thanks to media contacts I made as a BU COM student last semester) to be given a tour of the Garden with my friend, Sonali. She is also from California too and she could not be talked out of wearing a Lakers jersey no matter how much I begged her.

The tour was great and I was lucky enough to go on the court where I could see some of my favorite players: Jason Kapono, Troy Murphy and Steve Blake, who had just been released for play three hours prior. Since I’m from California and see celebrities I take a lot of pride in the fact that I don’t go senseless over them. I could easily pass by actors at Starbucks in Montecito without bothering them or nonchalantly pass by Oprah at the local grocery store she frequents in the summer without telling her how much I adore her. (Ok, the Oprah encounter has never happened… but if it did, I’d like to think I would be civilized). However, while on the Celtics court, I found it to be a huge struggle to restrain myself from not walking right out on the court to high-five Troy Murphy and hug Steve Blake and tell him that he needs to perfect his crossover if the Lakers want any chance of making it far in the playoffs this year. Other than getting to go on the court level and watching warm ups, the game was incredible. It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of the Celtics or not, the atmosphere they create for the game is phenomenal.  The fans are so devoted and even though the crowd was mixed with green and white and purple and gold we were all just there to watch a good sports game. I remember my dad explaining to me the deep rivalry of the teams when I was younger but the way I witnessed it, the two teams were really just friends playing a basketball game. When Celtics player, Kevin Garnett and Lakers player, Ron Artest, sorry, I mean Meta World Peace, both fell after diving for a loose ball, Lakers guard, Kobe Bryant offered a hand to both players which was a huge gesture of sportsmanship and as my mom would say, “That’s my boy!”

To add to this educational experience, I also learned to keep your eyes out for the videographers that shoot video for the above the court Jumbo Tron screen. Sonali and I were featured in slow motion devouring nachos on the Jumbo Tron and then laughing about it (great photo op) and I may have forgotten exactly who won the game… but I posted a link just so we can all double check…

http://espn.go.com/nba/recap/_/id/320209002/la-lakers-lakers-vs-boston-celtics

Taking in the game in person ranks high up there in the greatest experiences I have had in Boston so far. It also helped me realize that sports journalism is something I want to continue to pursue at BU because the energy I felt in the Garden is something that I want to share with others whether it be by putting together pregame feature stories on players, and/or reporting during and after the games. BU offers me the opportunity to learn, develop and tighten the skills to make this a part of my future career.

-3-2-1

Jason: The BU Ski Club

Jason ImageSo as most of you guys know, this has been a pretty strange winter. There have been record highs across the nation, and every state has noted (with the exception of Alaska) of the lack of snow.

Well this is a real problem for skiers like me. We all know that when it's cold enough, the resorts can make snow but that's just not the same. Not all mountains have the capacity to make snow though! That's left a lot of resorts with a lot less money this season. But let's be honest, any mountain in the Boston area really isn't going to be that great anyway. (I phrase it that way because I have never been skiing in MA but us skiers who have been skiing since they could walk get the idea)

But don't fret! There are options to escape the smaller mountains that bless the great state of Massachusetts. If you don't have the time or energy to commit to the ski team, the BU ski club is for you! I've been a proud member for two years now so let me tell you a little bit about it.

We have a bunch of trips through out the year, starting with the Killington trip in the first weekend in December. We stay at these awesome condos right at the base of the mountain and for those of you who haven't been to the mountain before, it's one of my favorites in New England. (Stratton is my home base where I spent some time with the freestyle tream) The Killington trip's got nothing on the trip I'm going on this weekend. This weekend we're bussing off to Quebec for four days! We ski at Mt. St Anne and Le Massif. It's still not like skiing out west, but definitely better than anything around here. Other than the skiing, I'm definitely looking forward to reviving my Quebecois French and many rounds of poutine.

Our other big trip is to Sugarloaf in the spring and we'll sometimes take sporadic day trips to VT. If the BU Ski club aren't enough for you, an outside company called New England Snow Bus has trips to Stratton, Killington, or Okemo almost every weekend.

If you guys are interested, I put the links for the Ski Club and NESB below. Hope you all get some skiing in during the long weekend!

BU Ski Club: http://people.bu.edu/skiclub/

New England Snow Bus: http://www.newenglandsnowbus.com/index.html

Brittany: The Beanpot

Brittany ImageIn my last blog, I spoke about my Hockey East internship with NESN. Over the course of the last few months, my big project has been to work on Beanpot feature stories—this year was the 60th Anniversary of the Beanpot, and I spent hours working on footage of interviews with past and present Beanpot players for the celebration of that anniversary. The culmination of the project came this past Monday when BU met BC in the Beanpot Finals.

For both teams, there was a lot on the line for the game: either BU was going to with its 30th title overall (half of all 60 Beanpot tournaments ever played!) or BC was going to win its 3rd straight. As I walked through the Garden on Monday night, I recognized the faces of many Beanpot greats—many faces that I had become very familiar with while logging their interviews. The atmosphere was exciting, and I knew it was going to be a good game.

Being a current BU student and a NESN intern presents an interesting situation—I’m really supposed to be unbiased, but in a crowd of scarlet and gold it gets a little tricky. During the overtime period, I was watching the game on a tiny screen right outside of the BC locker room. Every time something happened, I would make the opposite reaction of the people around me, prompting the NESN producer I was with to say, “Let’s go over to the BU side.” (Good idea.) So for the rest of the overtime period I watched with some of the BU athletic staff in the setting below:

brittany

With about 10 seconds left in overtime, BC retained possession of the puck and skated it into BU’s zone. The man standing next to me started saying, “Don’t do anything stupid…don’t do anything stupid—” and then BC sophomore Bill Arnold put it in the back of the net with 6.4 seconds left to give BC the win. Because I was there with NESN and not with BUTV, I had to run back over to the BC side of the locker rooms, where I watched the celebrations, postgame interviews, and trophy presentation from the BC bench. Talk about rubbing salt in an open wound.

The Beanpot taught me an important lesson on being a sportscaster in a situation where I might be biased. Journalism needs to be impartial, but I can’t imagine myself wanting to work anywhere besides in Boston. If everything eventually works out and I end up back in the Bean as a professional journalist, I will have had this time to practice my internal cheering and external neutrality. But for now—GO BU!

Sarah: A Story of Love

Sarah ImageAs the last traces of Valentine’s Day linger in the air, I seize this moment to reflect on one of my own relationships – one that has become very important to me over the past six months. What began as a mere fling has blossomed into a lasting and unbreakable bond. It’s thrilling. It’s passionate. It’s real. Now, you might be thinking this is not the most appropriate outlet for an expression of the sort, but this kind of affair is not one to be silenced. I write to you today, fellow and future terriers, because I’ve fallen madly, truly and deeply in love with American Sign Language.

Rewind to freshman year. After actively avoiding a certain part of the COM curriculum for over a year, I began receiving concerned emails about my unfulfilled language requirement. Unwilling to spend two semesters learning a language, I looked high and low for possible loopholes. Option 1: test out of Latin, a language I hadn’t studied in four years. Option 2: take an eight-week intensive course in Russian. Option 3: pray for COM to drop the language requirement. When none of these choices proved feasible, I broke down and began looking at fall language courses. On a whim, I registered for ASL 1.

The summer came and went without a second thought about the dreaded language requirement. On the fist day of classes, my apathy became panic. To my (shamefully oblivious) surprise, a Deaf man – Professor Jason Norman, showed up to teach the on the first day of class. How does a Deaf professor teach a class full of hearing students with no experience in ASL? It would be futile for me to try to articulate exactly how he teaches the class because it’s a mystery even to me. All I can say is that last semester, Professor Norman played matchmaker – he introduced me to the rich and expressive language I would come to love.

I learned more in one semester of ASL than I ever thought possible. For three hours a week, I found myself engaged, focused and dedicated to mastering this new language. While I sometimes shied away from participating in other classes, I found myself eager to ask questions, give examples and sign in front of the class. By the end of the semester, I was confident and competent enough to hold conversations in ASL, even with native signers.

Now, don’t be fooled. ASL and I are a match made in heaven, but like any relationship, there have been a few bumps in the road. Learning ASL is fun, but not easy. The switch from aural to visual communication is a dramatic one that requires a certain level of commitment and training. Also, to master fingerspelling at normal pace takes years of practice. The language gap between Professor Norman and I was the biggest hardship last semester. There were times that I held back questions and comments simply because I didn’t know how to sign them. These issues work themselves out with both patience and practice.

I now take ASL 2, but sadly, ASL and I might have to take a break after this semester. The year I once thought I would waste learning a language is coming to an end – but I’m not ready to call it quits. However, with hopes of internships and studying abroad, ASL classes might not fit into my schedule. But, fear not – I’m confident this love story will have a happy ending. The things I’ve learned and the people I’ve met through ASL and Deaf culture studies will surely transcend into other aspects of my life. Maybe I’ll even make a film about it some day.

College is such a short part of life, yet so packed full of opportunities. When else will you have the chance to study Buddhism in America? Or zooarchaeology? So, I dare you – I triple dog dare you – to take a class that you know will challenge you. A class you know nothing about. A class you might not be eager to take. You never know when you might uncover a hidden passion; you never know when you might fall in love.

Richie: A Summer at the Cannes Film Festival

Richie ImageHey everyone! I was just recently notified about my acceptance into an incredible internship program at the Cannes Film Festival and wanted to let you guys be the first to know!

How I found out about it:

Over a whole year ago I walked past the Film and Television Department in COM, probably giving a tour, and saw a flyer advertising an internship program in Cannes.  It immediately grabbed my attention and I decided to “Google” it as soon as I got home.  A quick search let me know I had missed the application deadline for the 2011 Festival, but I was not discouraged and decided I was definitely going to make it in for 2012.

Applying:

That following fall semester, I began preparing everything I would need for a solid application.  With a trip to COM Career Services’ resume workshop, a recommendation from the amazing Katie Gallagher at COM Student Services, the completion of a few short essays, and an application video shot by a few of my friends, I was able to build a strong application in time for an early decision deadline!

What the program consists of:

Creative Minds is actually broken up into three different programs

The Network connection allows its participants to attend pitch meetings, strategic workshops, and different networking events to create relationships with industry professionals.

The Filmmaker Institute has its participants actually create a short 5-minute film within a week.  A panel of industry professionals will then judge the short films, awarded prizes, and obviously, the knowledge of how to craft a good story.  Students are put into groups and provided with a camera, laptop (with editing software), and a microphone.

The Internship Experience is the program I was accepted into!  Interns will be placed with a supporting partnership company while in Cannes and be able to make great connections to hopefully launch their careers in the future.  This program is the most competitive of the three as it includes follow-up assistance with post-festival job securing, access to exclusive parties and networking events, and a chance to work for companies such as: 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks, AMC, and Summit Entertainment, to just name a few!

Obviously the program seems amazing in terms of industry experience, but I have to say I’m also ecstatic as it will be the first time I have ever travelled to Europe or any sort of film festival!  The famous beaches of southern France, the large amount of celebrities attending the festivities, the exclusive industry parties, and the opportunity to sit among the best filmmakers in the world as they premiere their work is absolutely incredible! As an aspiring Filmmaker, I don’t think I have to explain anymore how excited I am to be able to partake in such an incredible event.

The program will last from May 14th-May 28th. I’ll definitely let you all of you visiting the COM Blog know how it’s going while I’m there!

If any of you are interested in Film or Television, I’d definitely recommend you start looking into applying for next year.  It’s never to early to start preparing and making your dream become a reality!