As I reflect on my experiences at BU, I think back to the classes that had the greatest impact on my BU career. Here’s my list of the “best” classes I’ve taken at BU and what I got from each class (in no particular order):
My favorite COM Classes:
- Design and Interactive Experiences (CM523)
- Design Strategy and Software (CM501)
- Are you a newbie to the Adobe Suite? This class is a great introduction to Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. The programs may be intimidating at first but my favorite part was having someone walk with you as you learn tricks and shortcuts! With every project draft, there’s a critique—that was my favorite part because you got to hear what other people thought about your design.
- Non-Profit Public Relations (CM345)
- This class taught me the fundamentals of what went behind operating a non-profit. I learned the efforts it took to fundraise, find volunteers, and lead a non-profit.The summer after taking this class, I started a non-profit project, @RyannaShirts!
- Media Strategies and Management (CM441)
- From pitching, pretending to be a spokesperson, to speaking 1:1 with a real journalist, this class taught me so much. I looked forward to attending and learning about the ways PR practitioners play a role in everyday news and corporations.
- Writing for COM (CM331)
- If there’s one word to describe this class, it’s “brevity.” I learned the foundation of writing cover letters, press releases, and summaries. Most importantly, this class taught me to be an active newsreader!
- Media Business Entrepreneurship (FT591)
- If you have a passion project or idea, this class will help you chase it! There’s no better way to learn about how startups work than to read case studies about disruptors, fast-followers, and failed ventures. At the end of the class, we also got to pitch and work on our own passion projects.
- Communication Research methods (CM321)
- They say data is what will drive the future of the world… and it’s true! This class ignited a new interest in me for data and research. It taught me what it was like to delve into survey results and analyze them using SPSS. We learned to capture, describe, and predict variation. Whether you’re pursuing the communications industry or not, this class will give you a fundamental understanding of analytics and research, which is helpful in the “real world!”
My favorite “Around BU” Classes:
Your education is not complete without other classes beyond just COM. Here are my top classes I’ve taken outside of COM throughout my time at BU:
- Philosophy of Happiness (CAS PH485)
- This class changed my life and gave me a refreshing perspective on happiness, friendship, and love! It is a discussion-focused class meaning you’d read several pieces then spend the class discussing it and how it plays in your life. It taught me to be a better communicator and more introspective on my life’s journey.
- Positive Psychology (SED ED212)
- If you’re looking for ways to be a more “positive” person or learn about what it takes to be positive, this is the class to take! My biggest takeaway from this class was the weekly meditation challenges and learning about what my strengths were as an individual and leader. It’s a very self-reflective class.
- Improvisation Dance (PDP DA138)
- This is the most rejuvenating and stress-relieving class I ever took at BU. Whether you’re a dancer or not, this class is perfect for you. This class is the definition of “dance like no one’s watching.” You’ll learn techniques for individual and group improvisation.
- Ice Skating (PDP SK)
- I felt like this was the most “BU class” I could ever take. I ended up taking this class for two semesters because I loved it so much (I’m not a pro ice skater now). If you’re looking to get out of your comfort zone and do something that scares you, this ice skating class might be it!
- Healthy Cooking on a Budget (PDP NT104)
- Want to learn how to eat out less, set better portion controls, or stop setting your kitchen on fire? Follow along with cooking demos and learn some life skills such as dieting, budgeting, and nutrition labels! This class changed the way I look at food and how I prep my meals.
- Intro to Adulting (CAS SY101)
- I’m sure you’ve learned parents say “they should’ve taught you that in school.” Well, this is that class. In this class, you’ll learn about finances, career development, retirement, finding an apartment, and how to “Splash and Marciano’s” post-grad. Note: this class is only open to seniors.
- Not a class, but study abroad if you can!
- I recommend the Madrid Study Abroad Program. I learned so much from my time there and still keep in touch with my host-family to this day!
As my time at BU comes to an end, I realized that it’s the classes and amazing people that have made the greatest impact on my education. Remember to pick your classes and spend your time wisely (but don’t fret about it if things don’t go your way)… everything happens for a reason! My undergraduate experience was truly a rollercoaster ride but in hindsight, I wouldn’t have changed anything about it!
Once a terrier, always a terrier,
Anna Pham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Major: Public Relations | Minors: Philosophy and Innovation & Entrepreneurship