COM senior, Paisley Piasecki, is the technical and visual expert behind The BU COMmunicator’s new interactive website. Graduating May 2017 with a degree in advertising, Piasecki will bring the knowledge, skill set, and experiences she acquired at BU to New York Law School this fall.
You’re a Southern California native just like I am. Why the East Coast? I always wanted to be here—loved the idea of weather and seasons. I felt like there were traditions over here I wanted to experience that I couldn’t really find in California. California is very chill and relaxed, but I am someone who takes pride in traditions. I visited [Boston] and felt right at home.
What drew you to advertising in BU’s College of Communication? It was a happy accident. I originally applied to BU for poli-sci (political science), and during orientation I switched to international relations because I wanted to be a French politician. I started Intro to IR and hated it. I was sitting in class thinking, “If I have to listen about wars and nukes for the next four years, I am going to be miserable.” But, I didn’t really know where to go. When I was applying to internships and involved in BU on Broadway, the people around me were in marketing, advertising, or PR. Once I learned more about it [COM], I realized that was exactly what I wanted to do. I decided to go into PR. I filled out the form and when I got the confirmation email back it said “Welcome to the Advertising Program!”
They sent you the wrong form? Oh my—how did you react? I was just sitting there thinking, “Ok, no. I am going to email them back.” But then, something inside of me just said, “Stop. You need to look at the courses.”
It must have been a sign. What did you do? I relooked at the courses and decided to stick with advertising. The courses had so much room for learning about business, creativity, and design. I always say advertising is the step before business school if you’re interested in branding. Happy accident.
I know you are the mastermind behind the COMmunicator’s redesigned website. Tell me about your experience working on that project. The old website version had been around for about six years. I explained the site to Professor [Dorothy] Clark in terms of an old car that you absolutely love. It is in fine working condition, but parts keep breaking. Eventually, the whole thing would crash. For the content we had, the site was functional, but when I started working for the site, we kept running into issues. We did a mini redesign and all agreed a full redesign was our next step. I had the initiative to do it. I wanted to somehow leave my mark on COM. I felt that offering to do the redesign was a great way for me to not only help the COMmunicator, but also give back in some way. It was challenging, but very gratifying.
You have. It’s very impressive. The new website looks great! Thank you. It was challenging. We had to wipe the site and start over. If something went wrong, it would be 100 percent on me. I worked with Professor Clark as a client and coordinated with Addie (Managing Editor) and Katherine (Editor-in-Chief). It was important for us to establish a sense of interactivity and a fresh way to introduce the content.
I hear you’re going to New York Law School. How did you become interested in a legal profession? I got into law through theater. I spent the last two summers working with Broadway theater companies. I thought about becoming an entertainment attorney for a long time, but kind of lost that throughout college because I got so into advertising. For a while, I wanted to be a full-time web designer (that is still my side hustle). I am using law school as a vehicle for education and option.
You have a diverse background from advertising to web design, and your next step is law school. How do you see all of this coming together for you? I love law and want to go into intellectual property because that means I could have a background in either entertainment or technology and media. There are so many issues going on that are impacting the arts and technology, that I feel a drive to do that. I am not sure what the final product is going to be, but I am lucky that studying intellectual property as a concentration will allow me to take classes in arts and media law—both of my passions.
What would be your dream job when you finish law school? That is a hard question! Right now, I would love to be an entertainment attorney behind agencies and tech companies involved in the arts. There are digital agencies/firms that work with the arts in a variety of spaces—not just theater, but also museums and ballet. I would also love to be an attorney for museums and galleries. Whatever I’m doing with law, I need to be creative. I want to be hands-on with the companies and the people I work with.