Meet recent grad Ryan Huff (COM ’16)! Since graduating from the Emerging Media Studies Master’s program he’s landed a job at everyone’s favorite place, Twitter! We had the chance to ask Ryan what COM had to offer to help guide him to his success.
Interested in his advice on going to graduate school and what it’s like to work at a major social media website? We are too! Check out what Ryan has to say about the AdLab, research and of course, Twitter.
Q: Where are you from originally/What is your undergraduate background?
RH: I grew up in a small town in central New Jersey, by the shore – I swear it’s actually nice. I completed my undergraduate degree in 2015 with a major in advertising at Boston University’s College of Communication. During my time in the advertising program I focused heavily on the creative side of the business and was very involved in AdLab as an executive board member.
Q: Why did you choose BU’s EMS program?
RH: As a member of AdLab’s executive board I realized that I enjoyed advising people on how to create great advertising far more than I did creating my own. It was around this time I got wind of COM’s Emerging Media Studies graduate program and saw the potential for being able to answer the age-old question of what makes the best advertising through concrete research and data. Social media and technology have been interests of mine since starting at COM as a freshman and this seemed like a perfect fit. Also, staying out of the real world for another year was very appealing to me.
Q: What was your favorite thing about the program?
RH: My favorite part of the program was being able to take data and create a story with it that could be understood by someone with no research background. There’s something very interesting about looking at a sheet full of numbers, but also seeing a story weave itself together right before your eyes. I guess you could say EMS forces you to use “both sides” of your brain – and yes, at times there will be headaches.
Q: What elective courses did you enjoy?
RH: While in EMS, I had the opportunity to stay with AdLab as a Creative Director. I also branched out and was lucky enough to take Advanced Writing for Media Professionals and Writing for Multimedia, both taught by Professor Clark. The writing classes pushed me out of my comfort zone in terms of my skillset, something I would highly recommend to any student, and landed me a position on The COMmunicator as a Senior Editor.
Q: What are you doing now/are you still in Boston?
RH: I moved to San Francisco in September and am working at Twitter as a Research Coordinator.
Q: What is it like to work at Twitter?
RH: Working at Twitter is a dream come true and I am proud to show up every day. From the moment I started EMS I was constantly looking at different job postings from tech companies, and to actually be at Twitter now, with everything that’s happening in the world, is more than exciting. I’m on the advertising research team where one focus, among many, is analyzing the performance of ads on our platform and developing creative best practices for advertisers. EMS got me to exactly where I wanted to go.
Q: Do you have any other advice for current/prospective students?
RH: While a benefit of the program is how accelerated it is, this can and will catch up to you at some point. Keep a calendar to keep your sanity. For prospective students: don’t go to grad school because you don’t know what’s next, go to grad school because it will help you get to where you want to go next.
Q: What skills from the EMS program have helped you in your new career?
RH: I’m lucky enough to say most of the skills from both EMS and advertising play a role in what I do. Probably the most important is being able to speak and understand the “research language.”
Q: Do you have any advice for students regarding the job search that comes after grad school?
RH: Be yourself, especially on Twitter. Share professional articles but don’t forget to throw in a joke from time to time. People want to interact with other people, not scripted robots. Also tap into COM’s alumni network and attend events both in and out of EMS.