As a diverse institution, Boston University’s College of Communication attracts international students from all around the world each year. Why do they choose COM? What experiences do they have at COM? What are their plans following graduation?
In order to find out answers to these questions, The COMmunicator interviewed some of our international students and alums.
Peter Santana (COM ’11, MS in television production) is currently working as an assistant editor at a production company in Los Angeles, CA. Peter learned only after taking the job that his new company has strong connections to COM, frequently taking on BU students as interns.
When Peter was mulling what graduate program to select, he researched the finest Boston schools for broadcast and film and found that COM students consistently find employment after graduation.
“The experience at COM was illuminating, tiring and fun,” Peter said. Although he majored in television, Peter also enjoyed the freedom to explore film-related courses offerings through electives. “I was very impressed with the facilities provided to students and found that I spent a lot my time working at BUTV10, where I earned a Telly Award.”
Yin Tang (COM’12, MS in public relations) is currently working as a PR consultant for an entertainment company in New York City.
Back in China, Yin noticed that public relations does not receive the attention it deserves and sought to broaden his knowledge of the industry at COM.
Yin described his experience at COM as busy, challenging but ultimately profitable: “BU COM is great! Great faculty and hardworking students,” Yin said.
Yin took two gap years before he applied to the graduate program at COM: “The pace and workload was a bit too much for me at the very beginning. It took me a semester to adjust myself to the learning environment. Luckily it all worked out.”
Harita Krishnarathnam (COM’12, MS in public relations) is from India and is graduating this year. She plans to work for a PR agency that focuses on non-profit/cause marketing and corporate social responsibility.
“BU’s PR program was ranked the best and I wanted to get into the best school for my field of study,” Harita said. She also described her experience at COM as challenging but fun: “I am learning a lot and gaining experience and confidence in practicing PR thanks to COM. Though some projects and assignments were hard, I love the challenge. COM is especially a great school for international students and those without much work experience, since we are taught the practice of communication from scratch here.”
Yue Cao (COM’ 12, MS in advertising) is busy preparing for finals. He described his life at COM this way: “When I was an undergrad in China, I double majored in business and English. However, I felt that advertising would be more beneficial to my career in the future.” Yue has two friends who received their PhDs at BU.
“They visited COM on my behalf and told me that COM has one of the finest advertising programs. That’s why I chose COM,” he said. “COM is among those schools that you don’t have a chance to stop working on projects until you finish the program. However, I’m glad it is like that because after all I know I will be well prepared.”
Yue sees COM as a place where students don’t just learn from textbooks, but from professors who are the brightest minds in their respective industries.
“Along with all the knowledge I need for advertising, COM guided me to be a good marketer, which allows me to have more options rather than just ad agencies,” Yue said when asked about his career plans.
Yejin Kim (GRS’ 13, joint master degree of PR and IR) is a Korean international student who hopes to land a communications job at a non-profit organization. Yejin believes that academics at COM are practical.
“A lot of professors either had industry experiences or are still working in the real world, which really helps students to learn how the actual PR world would be like,” Yejin said.
She also is thankful for COM’s vibrant alum network.
“I don’t think the grad life is all about taking classes and writing papers” she added. “Meeting many people and building relationships with others is more important, and COM enables us to do that.”