The Internship Quest

June 24, 2015 in Alive Campus, Career

This summer, I have been lucky enough to experience my first office internship in New York City. I am currently working as a fashion and home intern for Woman’s Day Magazine, doing miscellaneous tasks very similar to that of an editor. I commute to the famous Hearst Tower every day by Metro North train and work a full 9 hours. From what I’ve accomplished so far these past six weeks, I can certainly vouch that internships are key components to your college experience in order to gain an insight as to what it’s like to work in your field of study. It may ultimately lead you into being hired post-graduation if you work hard enough and make solid connections. Or, it may turn you away from the job you thought you had always wanted. Luckily, for me, it’s only made me more interested in eventually working in publishing. Here are some beneficial tips to know prior to your internship search:

Application Process: The cover letter is always huge factor in showing why you specifically are cut out for this internship. If you’re applying for a writing position, talk about your previous work and why it’s benefited you as a writer and a worker. Make sure your resume is clean and straightforward, considering companies do not have the time to read through thousands of intricate applications. If this is your first internship and you have no prior experience, simply talk about your skills and the classes you have taken in school.

Interview: I was able to do a phone interview for my internship since I attend school in Florida and rarely come home throughout the semester. While these are becoming more and more common, they are still just as important as far as making an impression. It’s always a good idea to have notes laid out in front of you for any questions that may be asked, and always be sure to have background information about the company for any unexpected questions. Showing that you’re interested in the company and have immersed yourself in background knowledge of it is extremely important.

You’re Hired!: This is the most exciting news you can receive after all that hard work. If the company decides to hire you, make sure you thoroughly explain to them all of the school requirements if you plan to get credit for the internship.  Several internships, such as mine, are unpaid if you are receiving school credit. In order to make up for it, I work on weekends at a restaurant. While it may be difficult to not receive any form of solitary compensation for your hard work, just remember that internships will provide you with an amazing experience that gets your foot in the door. DO NOT turn it down if it is unpaid. This is a common mistake that several students make when they realize they will not be paid for the internship. In a situation like this, experience conquers money.

The Internship: Once you have the internship, I’ve learned thus far that going above and beyond is extremely important in order to make an impression. There are so many students that intern at major companies, so naturally, it’s easy to forget some interns. Stand out by showing up early every day or leaving later, and even check emails while at home if you’re set up on the company email account. It demonstrates responsibility and a huge interest in bettering the company as a whole. Keep a positive attitude while on the job and always do what your boss asks no matter how exhausted you may be, because there will certainly be days that seem never ending. However, a recommendation from your boss is what will ultimately lead you into being hired down the road. Remember that you need to start somewhere to reach the top!

In the end, the internship usually turns out to be one of your best college experiences. There will be tough days on the job and easy days, just like that of the real world. Work hard during the application process, and don’t stress over the possibility of not being hired. It happens to the best of us, so keep applying and you will eventually be accepted somewhere. Good luck in your internship search!

Hearst Tower

Hearst Tower

Elizabeth Wilkerson: Rat baby

October 11, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

Elizabeth Wilkerson is a freshman (better known as a rat) at the Virginia Military Institute. She was born in Virginia and is 18 years old. However, Virginia is not home to her. Her father is a retired Marine, so she has moved around a lot. She mostly grew up in California, but she currently lives in Quantico, VA. She is the oldest of three and has two younger sisters.

Elizabeth originally did not want to go to college, but instead wanted to enlist in the Marines like her father. However, her parents told her she needed to go to college, so she decided that she wanted to go to a military college and not a civilian college. Her father told her to research the Naval Academy, The Citadel, Virginia Military Institute, and a few others. Once she researched VMI, she became interested in it and decided to attend an Open House visit in order to visit the college and get a feel for it. During her visit, she knew that VMI was the college for her. She loved the structure, tradition, and organization of it. Additionally, the cadets that hosted her in their room had a really good attitude about the college. VMI is a tough place to get through but these girls made it look do-able. Elizabeth was able to get a first-hand account of what VMI was going to be like by staying with cadets in their room and seeing what it was like to be a rat. She knew it was going to be hard, but she was ready for the challenge.

So Elizabeth is currently a rat right now going through the ratline. She is an International Studies major, but is going to switch to a Modern Languages and Cultures major with a focus in Arabic. She would really like to be an anthropologist when she graduates from VMI. She is considering going into the Peace Corps because she wants to live with and experience another culture first-hand. But right now she is focused on getting through the ratline. As a rat, there is not much time to do extracurricular activities because they keep you pretty busy doing work-outs and obstacle courses, but once the ratline is over she is considering joining the club volleyball team and looking into other club sports that are available. Along with being a rat, Elizabeth is in Golf company (every cadet is assigned a company) and is in the Army ROTC program, but she is still undecided if she wants to join the military.

In addition, when you are a rat, you are assigned a senior who is your mentor. It is similar to the big little program that sororities do at civilian colleges. Your senior mentor is called your dyke because the original meaning of dyke is a wall that holds back water. Dykes are there for the rats to guide them and be a resource to them. We help them get through the ratline. Elizabeth is my roommate’s rat, so I am considered her uncle dyke. The rat dyke relationship is unlike any other relationship. We are like an older sibling to them and our room is a safe haven for them. We want them to make it through the ratline.

Overall, Elizabeth is glad she chose VMI, even though right now she might be second guessing herself. The ratline is tough and one of the hardest things you will go through in your life, but I know she’ll make it through because she is one of my rat babies. You got this Elizabeth! Rah VA Mil! 15!

Elizabeth and her dyke Alexis

Elizabeth and her dyke Alexis

Gems You Meet at BC: Leslie Perlera Gonzalez

August 4, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

I’ve met numerous hard working and intelligent people at Boston College, but very few people that I get along so well with, and have the same interests I do. Leslie Perlera Gonzalez is one of those people; passionate, dedicated, driven, and adventurous. Leslie was one of the first people I met at a BC retreat, and I’m so glad we’ve become closer friends since then. Who better to profile than the girl who gave me one of the warmest welcomes to BC?!

Since both of us are avid readers and devoted English majors, Leslie and I met, fittingly, at the Boston Public Library yesterday to catch up and do some writing. I took the opportunity to ask her some questions for this article as well (I’m a firm believer that interviews are best done in person, or over the phone if meeting is truly impossible).

Why she chose BC?

Though she applied to a couple of schools, Leslie decided to go to BC because it was, academically, the best school she was accepted to. Furthermore, though many people choose schools far away from home, Leslie lives in Everett – 30 to 40 minutes from campus. This gives her enough distance that she can fully immerse herself in BC and not think about home, but it also gives her the opportunity to visit her family on special occasions, see her primary care physician, and maintain a comfortable correspondence with family. Leslie often talks about her sister who also attends a nearby Boston school, and the two siblings often visit each other. As someone who lives close to home as well, I admire the balance that Leslie has struck between home life and her college independence.

What major and why?

Leslie loves to read and write, so English was the natural choice for her. The major fits directly with her interests, and allows her to take classes that she truly enjoys and is excited about. Leslie admitted that she would love to pursue a career in writing or something English-related, but reality shows that sustaining yourself on a job in English can be very difficult (sadly, careers in the arts pay very poorly despite how they enrich and develop our culture). As a result, Leslie decided to also pursue a minor in Medical Humanities (a new minor, go check it out if you’re at BC!!). As for her plans after college, Leslie doesn’t have a set career in mind, but she said she would love to a career in law, as a health advocate, or member of non profits. Leslie is one of the most organized and giving people I’ve met, so it comes as no surprise that she wants to dedicate her life to helping others.

What is Leslie involved in?

Leslie is involved in the Bellarmine Law Society at Boston College, the English Association (we’re both on the e-board!), and numerous cultural clubs. Leslie continues to impress me with how well she balances her schoolwork with social events and clubs!

What does she enjoy most about BC?

The people Leslie has met at Boston College have made her studies most enjoyable so far. Though she has made numerous good friends, she admits that the professors have truly made the difference – they have taught and given her both academic, and life advice. Leslie said that Erin Wecker, a professor in the English department (whom we both met at Halftime, the BC retreat), has been one of the most influential individuals in her time at BC.

As I’ve said before, Leslie is one of those people who amaze you with their perseverance, organization, and interests. She has an infectious curiosity, a drive to succeed, and a truly selfless heart. Thanks for letting me profile you, Leslie, and keep inspiring the rest of us with your hard work and positive attitude! She’s also starting a new blog because she’s studying abroad in the fall, so you should all check it out at:

Leslie Perlera

Leslie Perlera

A Look Into The Life of a Buzzy Student

August 2, 2014 in Academics, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Career, Colleges, Sports, Travel

There are many interesting students that make up the buzz of Hornet Nation at Alabama State University; they come from far and wide with stories to tell and knowledge to gain. Not many of the stories come more compelling than that of 20-year-old student Shanon Spinuzzi. Here’s what Spinuzzi had to say as she prepares for her Junior college year.

Shanon Spinuzzi, Alabama State University

Shanon Spinuzzi, Alabama State University

Hello Shanon, firstly I’m intrigued to know what brought you to Montgomery, Ala.?

Well, perhaps the main reason I chose to make the move to Montgomery, and attend Alabama State, was because of my interest in golf. I had been playing for a number of years and desperately wanted to play collegiate golf. Getting an offer to play NCAA D-1 golf alongside a college education was one I just couldn’t refuse.

And what is your major at ASU? How did you come to decide which subject?

I am a part of the College of Business Administration at ASU, and so my major is in Marketing. I began to think more about a business career during my later high-school years, and have always liked the idea of progressing up the ladder until I eventually own my own business.

So you’ve finished your Sophomore year of college now, what are you most looking forward to heading into your Junior year?

I am really excited about the upcoming Fall golf season. As a member of the ASU golf program I get to travel the country competing for the women’s team. Its great fun and all of us on the golf teams are good friends, so I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again.

I’m also quite looking forward to getting deeper into my major field; I should start taking more Marketing specific classes as I head toward my 2016 graduation.

Travelling is a huge part of college. Where have you been fortunate enough to visit with the golf program and on your own throughout college?

Spinuzzi competes regularly with the ASU golf program

Spinuzzi competes regularly with the ASU golf program

The golf teams’ travel mostly in the South, as our conference is the South Western Athletic Conference. So far I have played in Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and many other places. It’s so cool I get to see all these places as I represent my school.

Individually in college I have travelled to Panama City Beach, Pensacola and Tampa in Florida. I have also had a short-break in Atlanta as well as travelling to England with my boyfriend for the 2013 summer.

With all your travelling, how hard is it managing a student-athlete lifestyle in college?

It is pretty tough. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to receive and education whilst continuing to play the sport I love, but it’s not always easy. We practice and workout in the mornings which limits your class, studying and social time immediately. Then we travel at least once a month for three to four days at a time which again puts the squeeze on your class, study and social time.

What do you tend to do in your social time in Montgomery?

There isn’t a lot going on in Montgomery, especially being an athlete that has early mornings. We do go out to eat, to the movies and to the bowling alley every so often. As a team we like to watch the big football, soccer and UFC matches together so we might order a few pizzas for the night. Other than that we don’t have much time for partying!

What advice would you give to an incoming Freshman in college here in the United States?

I would say three things: Have fun, don’t be afraid to travel away from home and to join any sports teams or organizations you can; they serve as a great way of meeting new people and always look good on the bottom of your resume!

Meet Vincenza

May 1, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

Boston University is widely known for its highly diverse student body, which represents nearly every corner of the globe. Here is a peek into the life of just one of the many unique faces you’ll see walking down Commonwealth Ave every day:


Vincenza at her desk in our dorm room

Vincenza Rico is a current freshman studying history in the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University—and she also happens to be my best friend and roommate. We live together in a double dorm room in the Towers dormitory, located the east side of BU’s 2-mile-long campus. I sat down with Vincenza today—the last day of classes here at BU before finals week kicks in—to interview her about her life and her experiences during her first year of college.

To begin, I asked Vincenza to tell me about her decision to come to Boston University. She explained that BU’s widely recognized academic excellence appealed to her most. “There’s the great city, and the campus, but compared to the other schools that I liked, it had more of a reputation for being more academically difficult and I figured it would be better to challenge myself, and to do something more rigorous.” Boston University has high academic standards, and to be accepted into one of BU’s many challenging programs is, we both agree, an exciting honor.

The College of Arts and Sciences—one of the 9 undergraduate colleges here at BU, and the one that Vincenza belongs to—offers majors encompassing a large spectrum of subjects. Vincenza declared her major, history, in CAS during the application process. So why history? “I’ve always been interested in history, ever since I was a kid,” she explains. “I was a really weird kid. I was obsessed with colonial times. I had two shelves full of biographies of colonial figures for kids. The Betsy Ross one was particularly good.”

Although Vincenza is known among her friends and family as a proud and passionate history nerd, it wasn’t always her first choice of study—she intended, back in high school, to major in English. “When I was trying to figure out what I wanted to major in, I guess at first I thought I wanted to be an English major…but then I thought about it a bit more and I had always been more interested in history. When I told my dad, he said that I was ‘going back to my roots.’”

When she isn’t attending class, or furiously reading her history textbook on a Saturday afternoon, Vincenza enjoys spending her time hanging out with friends, knitting, following royal families (note just one of the many royal family posters plastered on her side of the room in the photo above), or watching TV and movies. Though she’s no Film & TV major, she is very passionate about the subjects. “I like very sophisticated TV shows such as Mad Men, The Wire…something with a little more weight. Although I also watch Friends avidly. I enjoy a good laugh, so shows like Veep I’m very into right now.” As far as movies are concerned, Vincenza is a huge fan of Wes Anderson and Alfred Hitchcock.