Maddie: Farewell COM

Farewell Com

Faithful readers, who I’m sure keep up with the COM Blog regularly, I am graduating. If I were writing this on an old-timey typewriter, my tears would stain the page and make the ink run and this whole thing would be completely unintelligible. In that spirit, since I don’t have a typewriter, I will just make this goodbye letter to COM completely unintelligible.

COM, I met you when I was a junior in high school. I was just a girl with a suitcase (vera bradley backpack) and a dream (desperate desire to leave New Jersey). I missed the COM tour time slot so I had to roam the halls by myself. I was secretly glad I wasn’t on a tour because I knew my parents would have been weird and embarrassing.

When I finally met some actual COM students, I thought they were literally the coolest. Not just because they all wore jean jackets – they just seemed so put-together, they’d all had awesome internships, they were self-assured and confident and doing what they loved. I aspired to be them, and folks, it kind of happened! At COM, I got to host my own podcast, be a co-host on a radio show (shoutout Trash Talk), I interned at a real late night show, and I started a feminist satire paper (The Pinky Toe, check us out on Instagram.) I achieved so much while I was here, but I was having so much fun doing it that I didn’t realize just how much I’ve accomplished until I sat down to write this letter.

I never thought I would be ready to leave college, and in some ways I’m not mostly because I’ll miss my friends and professors and this incredible city. But in terms of feeling prepared to enter the TV industry, I weirdly feel like I can actually do it. And YES I get paid to say that as a COM Ambassador, but I also actually believe that COM prepared me for this industry better than any other school I could have gone to.

What I love about COM is that it’s never cutthroat and competitive. We thrive when we build each other up, and when one person gets a cool opportunity, it benefits everyone. I don’t know about you, but my high school was the exact opposite. I want to be a TV writer because I love collaborating, bouncing ideas off of others in order to tell the best version of a story. I’ve already gotten to do that so much here at COM, and it’s made me appreciate the journey as I work toward the destination.

So that was kind of sappy, and now I’d like to miss a few of the specific things I will miss most about COM.
1. Zinnekin’s waffle truck. I usually talked myself out of buying a waffle because I’m broke
but the one time I did, it was amazing.
2. Lockers in the basement. These are already gone but I will continue to miss them.
3. Professor Bill Braudis.
4. Professor Adam Lapidus.
5. Professor Deb Jaramillo.
6. The Zimmerman Family Social Activation Center. I wasn’t allowed in but it looked cool.
7. Seeing the bright, smiling (read: super tired but still managing to be peppy) COM Ambassadors working in Undergrad Affairs.

8. Giving tours of the building and taking families to the maintenance ladder on the third
floor and being like “so now we’re going up to the fourth floor.”
9. Meeting excited prospective freshmen and undergrads and getting them pumped about COM classes.
10. The amazing COMmunity I’ve been lucky enough to spend four years with.

In conclusion, I love you COM. And although I did vow never to give this school another penny, when I’m rich and famous, I’ll consider giving this beloved building a renovation.

Maddie: Every BU Com Major, As Explained by Viral Tweets

In our media-heavy world, it’s impossible to go a day without a hilarious tweet going viral. Some of these tweets inspire huge shifts in online culture, becoming a part of the popular lexicon—whether we want it to or not. And as COM students, we’re more than experienced at using Twitter—sometimes, it’s even required for our classes. While we may not be tweeting something viral every day, we can all certainly relate to feeling just a little too called out by a tweet. Below are the tweets that accurately sum up every BU COM student based on their chosen major.

  • Journalism

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As a journalism major myself, I can confirm—we need to know all the details, always. No journalism student gets into this path of study without being innately curious about the world around them, even if it goes against our best interests. While we may sometimes get caught up in the drama surrounding us, we will always do our best to be honest and reliable.

  • Film & Television

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This is what I imagine film & television students’ brainstorming sessions to be like—just kidding. As some of the hardest working students on BU’s campus, you’ll never see a film & television student not thinking about what their next script is going to be or without a camera on them. If you’re lucky enough, maybe you’ll get to see one of their films at a free BU screening!

  • Advertising

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Advertising students are incredibly creative and innovative—and as a result, are usually very busy with outside work and fun organizations such as Ad Lab. You may catch them downing a coffee or two so they can continue working on their next campaign—support them through it all!

  • Cinema & Media Studies

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Cinema & media studies majors tend to be very detail-oriented, catching small aspects of films that other COM majors tend to overlook. They tend to look at things with a more observant eye, meaning that they’ll fixate on a detail and tell everyone about it. It’s good to have someone around who will notice something that you might not see—but hey, can we watch some rom-coms instead of classics for a change?

  • Mass Communication

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Mass communication covers the most amount of breadth in COM, yet not many students know a ton about it because it’s not as targeted as other degree programs. From what I know about mass communication students, they never stop hustling—not even when they face unfortunate situations like the student from the tweet above. Group papers? Mass communication students are on it, with a large coffee in their hand, of course.

  • Public Relations

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Public relations students are nothing if not talkative. We have a lot to say, and we have to get it out quickly, a la the art of the 30-second elevator pitch. Though we realize that sometimes our words come out faster than our thoughts, we will bring 100% to any conversation or brainstorming session. Just remind us to take a breather sometimes.

  • Media Science

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This tweet is for anyone who ever said that BU COM students can’t excel at math—while it may not be our first choice of study, media science majors are here to say that you can combine logic with your creative side and make a career out of it. Though a relatively new major, it’s nonetheless important to the field of communications as a whole—here’s looking at you, stats requirement.

If you related to any of these, let me know! My twitter is @maddie__hughes.

Maddie: 5 Tips For Scoring Your Perfect Communications Internship

Even though it’s only November, the question of summer internships is starting to linger in the air. As deadlines approach and the anxiety thickens, our plans for next summer seem to even more important. What used to be summers working at summer camps are now summers spent working a 9 to 5—but honestly, if you’re doing something you love, it feels like you were meant to be at this internship.

There’s nothing better than scoring your dream internship, but you have to put the work in in order to do so. Whether you’re seeking your first internship ever or trying to solidify one last internship before you walk across the graduation stage (eeek!), these tips below will help you get your head on straight before you dive into the never-ending internship applications.

1. Be organized and diligent.

If you’re anything like me, lists are your first line of defense in getting your thoughts together. When preparing for internships, it’s incredibly important to have either a document or spreadsheet of all the places you would be potentially interested in applying, what the opening is, where the internship is, and when the application deadline is. If you’re detail-oriented, you can even research housing accommodations and funding provided. Going the extra mile in researching the positions that are best suited for you and then compiling them all into one file will make your life during this stressful season 100% easier.

2. Explore your options.

While you may have a specific idea of what you want out of a summer internship, it doesn’t hurt to explore other avenues to reach that end goal. A popular option for COM students seeking internships is enrolling in any of the COM-specific study abroad programs. These programs include guaranteed internships in LondonDublinSydneyLos AngelesWashington D.C., and New York City. I participated in a Public Relations internship through the London program, and I genuinely learned so much about working in a business setting and maintaining media relations. These internships, in particular, are great options for students who aren’t entirely sure what they specifically want, but are looking to advance their career and have an unforgettable summer. 

3. Be flexible.

If you’re in COM, you’ve definitely had classes and outside exposure to other fields of communication. No matter what major you are, allow yourself to have an open mind when searching for a summer internship and don’t get boxed in by your major. I’m not saying that print journalism students need to go get an internship in film and television—that would be counterproductive. But if you’re majoring in mass communications, advertising, or public relations, dip your toe into other fields when searching for an internship. Marketing, advertising, and PR all require similar skills and can be applied to a variety of workplaces. Additionally, COM students are gifted with the ability to write and write well—use that to your advantage and make it work for any internship you have an interest in.  

4. Ask for help.

If you’re really struggling to find an internship you like for the summer, or just don’t even know where to begin, BU has an endless amount of resources for you to use in your search. There is the university-wide Center for Career Development that will go over your resume for you and point you in a general direction on your career path. However, if you’re looking for more specialized attention, COM Career Services also provides resume workshops, LinkedIn sessions, and is more attuned to the opportunities specifically provided to COM students. If you’re feeling lost, you can turn to these two resources and any advisor—COM is here to help. 

5. Don’t fret.

Listen, the internship hunt can take a toll on anyone. Above all, remain confident in yourself. Learn how to sell yourself to potential employers and know that you have the skills to take on the challenge. No matter if you’re looking for your first or fourth internship, take time to breathe in between applications. Also, if you end up getting the last resort as your internship or no internship at all, that does not mean you are lesser. If you don’t have internship plans for the upcoming summer, there are other ways to spend your time! Take summer classes, get a job, save up and travel—you don’t need to have everything figured out.

 I hope these tips will motivate you to start looking for your next great step in your career! Happy job searching!

Maddie: The COM Student’s Essential Bucket List for London

Studying abroad is one of the most exciting possibilities of college. I know that when I was looking at universities as a wide-eyed high school senior, a good study abroad program was one of my top priorities. When I toured BU, I heard the story (though, it’s more of a legend) of a BU student who studied abroad 7 out of her 8 semesters here.

From then on, I was sold. I was convinced I’d be able to go wherever I desired. And though I’ve fallen in love with Boston, this summer I was able to pursue that goal and travel to London for the COM Mass Communication/Advertising/PR/ program. My experience was amazing, to say the least—but I’m sure you’ve heard that.

 Now that I’m back in the real world (because study abroad genuinely doesn’t feel real), aside from the slight teasing from my friends that “abroad changed me,” I’m feeling acclimated back into my routine after a summer of living in a foreign country. However, I have my own personal bucket list for any students hoping to hop the pond and study with our trans-Atlantic neighbors. Here are your must-do’s for if you spend your semester in London!

  1. Take a walk around the city—you’ll never know what you’ll find.

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Though you should always be slightly aware of where you are (thank you, Google maps), getting “lost” in the city is always the best way to get to know where you’re studying abroad for the semester. Since everything is new, every little shop or restaurant you see is an exciting experience. And don’t worry, the closest Tube station is usually only a five minute walk away for if you need to book it back to class.

  1. Go to as many museums as possible.

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Around 95% of the museums in London are free—take advantage of that as much as possible. London is expensive, so while you’re saving up money for your next getaway, explore some of the great museums in your free time. Some of my personal favorites? The Imperial War Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Wellcome Collection, and the one pictured above, the Churchill Museum (though not free, if you go through school, it is).

  1. Stuff yourself at every market.

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Whoever said England had bad food is just completely lying. Case in point? The amazing food markets you’ll definitely need to hit up every single weekend. Pictured here is the best meal I ever had, courtesy of Borough Market. Other markets like Camden and Portobello are nestled in some of the trendiest neighborhoods in town, so after you chow down on your mouth-watering street food, you can explore the area. 

  1. See a show in London’s West End.

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Before I went to London, my friend told me that I absolutely had to see a show in London. I took her advice and bought tickets to Matilda—and decided her advice was some of the best I’ve gotten. If you’re a COM student who appreciates theater production and catchy musicals, you’ll be blown away. I literally had never seen such a beautiful set.

  1. Go to Harry Potter Studios.

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Harry Potter Studios—the place for everyone to nerd out. I seriously felt like I was in the movies—and I 100% geeked out posing in front of the castle (featured above). If you ever even came into contact with a Harry Potter book as a child, these studios will still be one of the coolest things you see abroad. And if you’re a film & tv student, you’ll get to see all the behind-the-scenes work as well. Sip on that butterbeer and enjoy.

  1. Explore Shoreditch.

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One of the newest up-and-coming areas of London, Shoreditch promises the perfect night out. With endless food options and artsy holes-in-the-wall to explore, you’ll never run out of something to do when you go to Shoreditch. Make sure to check out Doughnut Time when you’re there. Insane.

  1. Relax in Hyde Park.

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Hyde Park provides the perfect break from classes. These breaks are definitely necessary when you forget that you actually had to do work when you studied abroad. It’s also one of the biggest green spaces in London, so it’s incredibly serene. Also, the Kensington Palace is right in the center—if you’re hoping to become bffs with Harry and Meghan, this is the place for you.

  1. Get out of the city for the day.

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If you need a complete nature break from the hustle and bustle of the city, try taking a day trip with a few friends outside the city and take a breather. A few of us went to the Mayfield Lavender Fields (featured above) for some stunning photos and tasty lavender scones. You can also take a beach trip to Brighton or explore some natural at Kew Gardens.

  1. Book a cheap flight to a new country.

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One of the best parts of studying abroad in London is how easily accessible other European countries are. Some of my favorite memories of my study abroad experience were the weekend trips my friends and I took, using relatively low-budget airlines and hostels/AirBnb’s. Above is my trip to Budapest—which is also a super-cheap city, 10/10 recommend.

  1. Be a cheesy tourist.

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Above all, this summer is for you. So be that cheesy tourist and do everything you’ve ever wanted to do! You might not get a chance to study abroad again, or return to the same country, so take advantage of every opportunity. Who cares if that photo op makes you look corny? You can laugh about it later.

If I can offer any advice for your study abroad experience, it would be this: Soak up every moment, your semester will go faster than you think. And once you’ll leave, all you’ll want to do is go back and do it all over again!

Maddie: The Beauty of Your Typical COM Schedule

Transferring into COM has opened my eyes to so many new, exciting opportunities. Arriving at BU undecided in CAS, you could say that I had no idea where I would be the beginning of my sophomore year--a dual major in COM. Seriously, the fact that I was able to make a solid decision about my life in less than a year's time is actually impressive.
Besides getting to explore my passions and experience genuine excitement when learning about communications (thank you, journalism & PR classes), COM has also shown me the light in another way: the perfect COM schedule.
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Yes, that is my schedule. And yes, I have been roasted REPEATEDLY by my friends who just don't understand how I can only have class three days a week. Looking at my schedule, I honestly know that if I was in another person's shoes, I'd be jealous of me too.
However, I want to stress exactly why COM schedules are set up this way. A big part of being in COM is what you do outside the classroom. I love that--I love that I can talk to anyone walking down the hallways and see that they're interning at some awesome production company in Boston or doing a co-op at the Boston Globe.
Yes, you read that right. The Boston Globe. It's a big deal.
Internships aren't just encouraged at COM--they are required. BU's COM programs ensure that students are not only required to have an internship before they graduate but to make time for their own personal internships as well. I'm applying for an internship this summer in London for Public Relations, and if I receive a spot in the program, I will be matched to an internship by BU. But during the school year, the COM schedule emphasizes a freedom for COM students to explore their personal career goals while being a full-time student. My schedule is less of a five-day routine, but I get to take my classroom time and apply it to my outside work.
While I appreciate not having classes on Wednesdays and Fridays (three-day weekends are as amazing as they sound), being in COM ensures that I am a busy student regardless of how many night classes I sign up for. Everyone in COM is an active member of not only the BU community but the Boston community as well. Our classes are structured to allow us to explore the independence we will be having in a few short years (don't remind me about graduation) and I'm incredibly grateful for that opportunity.
If you looked at my schedule, you would guess that I have a lot of downtime. And you would probably guess that most COM students have a lot of free time. But in the majority of cases, that just isn't true. When I'm not in class, I'm dedicating my time to school work. I'm focusing on ensuring the online publication I edit for, Boston University's Her Campus, is running smoothly. I look for study abroad opportunities and complete service opportunities in the city. I plan my future. And trust me, I spend a lot of time in Mugar--occasionally doing work, mostly just freaking out with my friends about upcoming assignments. What's new?
And other COM students are the same. When they're not grinding in the classroom or in the library, they're out filming for their BUTV10 show. They're prepping for their live WTBU segment. They're scouting for internships. They're working on location to get the best shot. They're following a beat in Dorchester. They're preparing a press release in PR Lab. The point is, COM students are always working, despite what our schedules look like.