It’s funny. Despite all the hullabaloo surrounding Boston University’s strong alumni network (and the success of graduates across many fields), I’d never really believed it.
I mean, I knew it on paper. I knew about Martin Luther King Jr. and Jason Alexander. I knew the University has been around for over a century and had been improving every year since its inception.
Yet it wasn’t until I was here, in LA, that I did. I never expected the alumni to be so abundant in numbers and in success.
On Saturday, October 27, BU held its first alumni event here in Los Angeles. To make it extra cool, it was held at Paramount Studios. Like, THE Paramount Studios. It might be because the new Chief Executive Officer of Paramount, Jim Gianopulos, is an alumnus. In fact, his appointment to the position might be the reason for the event in the first place…but I digress.
While the event was designed a little less for those interested in public relations and advertising and a little more for those interested in film/TV production, it was so much fun, as well as helpful and informative. Plus, I can’t fault the event for it not being tailored to my interests; current students weren’t even supposed to attend. We had to volunteer to even be there.
- The impressive number of BU alumni working as movers and shakers for some of the most recognizable shows, studios, and agencies in Hollywood.
Did anyone else not know that “Grey’s Anatomy” showrunner Krista Vernoff AND Kim Raver (aka Teddy Altman of Grey’s fame) are both BU alumni?
Pair that off with Geena Davis and Nina Tassler and you get why The Hollywood Reporter said BU churns out the most powerful women in Hollywood.
- Hearing the origin stories of said movers and shakers.
Fun fact: Krista Vernoff, Abraham Higginbotham, and Peter Paige all studied acting together in the College of Fine Arts. From their Comm Ave days until now, these three have supported each other.
- Networking. For obvious reasons—like, for example, being a student facing graduation and unemployment in two months—networking opportunities are always valuable.
However, when the whole event was themed to remind people of what BU has done for them and to foster a sense of community, putting the networking event at the end was more productive then a mid-session networking attempt during lunch.
The alumni were more willing to pass along their cards to us younger folk. Most were even pleasantly surprised that a few current students like myself were in attendance. (Some were less pleased.)
Overall, the event was way more beneficial and genuinely enjoyable than I’d originally anticipated, especially because it was initially sold to us as a volunteer opportunity (we figured we’d be helping the Alumni Association but gaining nothing ourselves).
After a day of interesting panels and fun networking, I gained a few LinkedIn connections and a sense of pride in being a student at BU.
Sucharita Mukherjee, West Coast Correspondent
Sucharita is a native Bostonian, transplanted to Los Angeles for the semester. A second-year PR graduate student, she hopes to be a publicist and make the rich and famous seem stable and well adjusted. Her favorite activities include consuming Dunkin’ coffee, rooting for the Patriots, and quoting The Departed. She will have a tough time adjusting to life outside of Boston.