Helena B: How to get your first internship — taking advantage of BU platforms.

When I was in high school, one of the things I was most excited about for when I arrived at university was experiencing what it meant to be an intern. Regardless of how much I would get paid, if at all, or what responsibilities I would be given, I loved the idea of gaining my first experiences in the Film industry as soon as possible. 

I found that once I was actually in college and handed all these opportunities it was overwhelming to think about. Why would anyone want to hire an 18-year-old with virtually no experience? My biggest revelation was noticing how much better it is to focus on smaller, more achievable goals before getting devastated by the pressures of having to immediately get hired by big-name companies.

So that’s exactly what I did, and it made the experience so much more rewarding, and a lot less stressful. I started by using the ‘BU Connects’ platform to contact any people in the film industry who went to my same university. I didn’t ask them for a job, or ask if they could help me get one, but I communicated to them my hopes and dreams for the future and listened to their advice on skills that I might need or experiences and issues they faced when they were in my same situation. 

This helped me gain confidence, and also allowed me to concentrate my resumé and cover letter on aspects that I knew would be appreciated by employers in the industry. My next step was to use another of Boston University’s helpful platforms, ‘VMock’ , and work on making my resumé as good as I could. Remember not to get too overwhelmed with making it flawless just yet. It’s a long and tedious process, but instead of striving for perfection I tried to focus on a few main achievements. I created a resumé ( and cover letter) that truly reflects my interests and skills. From here, I started searching for opportunities!

For my first internship I wanted to focus on something a bit more local, smaller, where I could really get to know the community and also have a good first experience without getting super overwhelmed. I strived away from companies I knew too well, and explored parts of the industry and types of companies that really reflected my interests. 

I searched on the last BU Platform I will mention, ‘Handshake’, for smaller scale internship opportunities, and also did my independent research in order to find opportunities in greater Boston. I applied to as many as I found. 

A helpful reminder for me was to wish for a response without expecting one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to strive to achieve great things and it is also important to be confident when applying to these opportunities, but in the end rejection is part of the process, so don’t let it beat you down! 

Remember, the right place for you will show up in unexpected ways!

 

Helena B: Less is More – Tips from a High School Overachiever

Less is More – Tips from a High School Overachiever

Arriving at such a huge school with so many awesome clubs, events, and opportunities, can be overwhelming. Trust me, I know. 

I spent the first few weeks going to every event, joining every club, and trying to meet everyone I possibly could.  

I’m now halfway through my second semester of college and have realized that in some cases it can be a lot easier to approach such a huge change in life by narrowing down the possibilities into just what’s necessary.  

I saw everyone around me joining a myriad of clubs of all different types, and so I thought of doing the same. I joined about 10 to 15, and then started receiving a thousand overwhelming emails about club meetings and I realized that maybe that wasn’t needed ( especially considering I couldn’t make it to all of them and was then left feeling bad about my ability to commit). 

So I tried something different… the one thing I knew for a fact was that I wanted to take any occasion to gain knowledge in Film and TV ( my major), so I joined the one club I knew I could dedicate genuine time and effort to: BUTV10. 

Whether you choose to join BUTV10 or any of the other clubs COM has to offer, sticking to fully investing my time into one allowed me to be more active in what I love and gave me the opportunity to gain confidence in my major while adding something concrete and major-related in my CV. 

After a few months of only participating in BUTV10, I stumbled across the opportunity to become a COM Ambassador. Since I took the time to adjust without overloading in activities, now that I had found something else I was genuinely excited to participate in I was able to go through the whole hiring process calmly and without feeling overwhelmed! 

I now find myself at the end of my second semester with only two things I am part of, and although sometimes I feel lesser than for it, I like to remind myself that there is no rush and frankly no reason why I should do more than I feel is healthy for me. 

Focusing on a few things at once also allowed me to gain meaningful friendships and relationships, to have time every week to network, and to go well academically! 

And I promise, if you think this will make you less amusing for employers in the future, it won't! You bring worth to everything you do. As long as you apply yourself to the few things you feel are genuine reflections of your character, you will gain recognition for it! 

Best of luck, and remember, sometimes less is more!