10 Pieces of Post-Graduation Advice From Your COM Professors

Photo Credit Gabriella Sproba

Calling all members of the class of 2022 at the College of Communication! Graduation is quickly approaching, and your professors understand your anticipation, excitement, and fear as you enter the workforce. Whatever your experience was at Boston University, you persevered and deserve to be celebrated. Here are some words of encouragement from your COM professors as you proceed into the world of adulting: 

Have balance!

“The talents that got you through university will serve you well in the workplace – hard work, clear communication, a team ethic, and knowing when to take a break and have some fun!”

 – Noelle Graves, Journalism Lecturer 

Start creating, take care of yourself, and don’t settle.

“Make your own project (film, whatever) as soon as you can. It might seem hard to believe, but you’ll never have more freedom than you do right now, and that project could end up being your best calling card for the future work you want. Take care of yourself – sure, you can be all about your work, but time away from that work always gives you an important perspective that you definitely won’t get while your nose is pressed hard into that grindstone. Don’t ever settle!  This one is difficult to reconcile sometimes, but even when times are tough, it’s against your best interests to take on any gig, job, or situation that’s sub-par in any way.  So often, employers make it seem like they’re somehow doing you a favor – it’s always (always!) the other way around.  Also, it’s easier to negotiate down than it is to negotiate your way up – but to get ahead, you should always be pushing up. No one else will advocate for you as you can.” 

– Christopher Anderson, Film and Television Lecturer 

Never compromise your integrity!

“Own your career. Don’t expect others to manage it for you. That means being a life-long learner, putting your hand up for assignments that ‘stretch’ you, and striving to be the most informed person in the room. Above all, always treat people with respect and never compromise your integrity. Communications and PR are at the heart of many of today’s most important issues – it’s fun and rewarding work.” 

– Gary Sheffer, Public Relations Professor 

Show your appreciation.

“Consider everyone you know, from your aunts and uncles to your [Boston University] professors, to those overly-friendly neighbors who watched you grow up, as part of your network as you seek that first job post-graduation. Let them know you would appreciate their help with referrals and leads. So many great jobs are never posted on Indeed, Glassdoor, or LinkedIn. That’s because companies often hire via word-of-mouth recommendations from existing employees and other trusted sources. Never be afraid to put yourself out there!” 

– Michael Reilly, Public Relations Professor 

Build relationships!

“You’ve just earned a deep education in your field, trust that you’re good enough, persist when you’ve been knocked down, and build relationships. It’s because of relationships that most of us have been offered golden opportunities.” 

– Debbie Danielpour, Film and Television Professor 

Understand your strengths.

“You are not everyone else. You are you for a reason. It’s OK to look at others and want to get where they are. That’s called drive. But wanting to be someone other than yourself is a mistake. When looking for jobs don’t be seduced by the label. Underneath every corporate brand is a culture. Make sure that culture is a good fit for you. When deciding on whether a job is right for you — ask these two critical questions: What’s my opportunity? Who’s my boss? These two are the most important factors in determining your happiness in a job. Other things may factor into your decision, but these two will matter the most.” 

 – Doug Gould, Advertising Professor 

Work hard.

“Becoming very successful at something usually requires two things — a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work. Given that, the best advice I can give is to follow the old adage, ‘The harder I work, the luckier I get.’” 

– Hayes Jackson, Film and Television Professor

Be open to new possibilities. 

“Your first job is not the end game. It is the start of a path that will take many turns. So, along the way learn as much as you can, forge as many relationships as possible, and go in the direction that interests you, with people who inspire you. As you go about your career, be open to new possibilities and see where it takes you. It may be something entirely different than where you started out! Don’t let your happiness rely on getting to the next promotion, job, or life stage. You’ve been on such a goal-oriented path for so long, take time to appreciate every day.”

– Karen Mascott, Advertising Professor 

Go at your own pace. 

“Don’t worry if you don’t have everything figured out. It might seem like everyone has been doing internships since their freshman year and has their paths all planned, but most people figure things out as they go. All you have to do is start somewhere. Also keep pursuing your passion, whether that’s full-time or on the side. Do something that makes you happy, in whatever capacity.” 

– Lisa Becker, Writing Lecturer

Don’t lose touch!

“Never hesitate to reach out to fellow students, alumni, and professors for career advice and moral support. Your relationship with BU doesn’t end when the diplomas are handed out.” 

– Patrice Oppliger, Mass Communication Professor

Rachael Dionisio, Staff Writer

Born and raised in Hopewell Junction, New York, Rachael Dionisio is an undergraduate  advertising major through Boston University’s COM as well as a business administration minor. Aside from being a volunteer writer for The COMmunicator, Rachael is a Varsity Copywriter for BU’s AdClub and is on the creative and writing teams for Her Campus Media. Although passionate about anything that encompasses creativity, business, and public relations, Rachael also enjoys hiking, traveling, and exploring new coffee shops. Fun Fact: Rachael was a gymnastics coach since she was 14.

Lily Roeller, Senior Editor

Lily Roeller is a second semester graduate student earning her Master of Science in public relations here at BU. Prior to BU, Lily graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2020 with a bachelor’s in communication and sociology. She currently is an account supervisor at PRLab, managing two client teams. In her free time, Lily loves hiking with her dog and watching bad movies.

Gabriella Sproba, Multimedia Director

Gabriella Sproba is an Art and Architectural History major and dual minor sophomore in the College of Communication and Questrom School of Business. Her lifelong adoration of art has manifested into  passions surrounding photography, illustration, poetry, music history, fashion and graphic design. As the Multimedia Director and photographer for this year’s edition of The COMmunicator, she is thrilled to explore and share the dynamic qualities of narrative through her creative work. 

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