samantha middleton photo

Meet recent grad, Samantha!

Since graduating from the Emerging Media Studies master’s program this summer, Samantha has landed a job in an advertising agency in Downtown Boston.

Interested in her advice on success for current and prospective students in the program and beyond? So were we! Check out what Sam has to say about courses, balancing internships, Chinese takeout, and life in Boston.

Q: Where are you from originally/What is your undergraduate background?

SM: I grew up just north of Chicago and then relocated to Boston for college, where I did my undergrad at Boston College. I majored in Communications there with a minor in American Studies, concentrating in journalism. Outside of the classroom, I worked as a peer mental health counselor at BC and also spent a lot of my time goofing off with my a cappella group.

Q: Why did you choose BU’s EMS program?

SM: After graduating, I didn’t feel ready to jump into a workplace, and I didn’t feel like I had learned all I could about media. The one thing I did know was that I wanted a Master’s degree – and as BU’s College of Communication is one of the best communication schools in the country, I was excited to be a part of that community. The EMS program was something I was especially interested in, as it involved new technology and it was a small program tailored to whatever I decided my next step would be.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the program?

SM: The second semester we were able to work on client-facing projects. This work allowed us to feel ownership over the skills we had honed in the fall, and allowed my group to leave with a tangible deliverable and an impressive talking point for interviews. Plus – something about really feeling responsible for your own education and success makes you work really hard, and that feels great.

Q: What elective courses did you enjoy?

SM: I adored my Writing for Advanced Media Professionals class with Professor Clark, and I was able to take a New Media Strategies class in the Advertising program that was instrumental in learning the skills needed for my internship at the time and my job interviews over the summer.

Q: Did the program being accelerated benefit you?

SM: Absolutely – while sometimes the accelerated program caused some stress, it was a great way to dive deep into the world of changing media and technology – any longer and our classes would already be antiquated! It also made the job hunt much more manageable. I decided to pursue a 24 hour/week internship in the second semester – and this choice was what allowed me to pursue (and land!) my job in advertising now.

Q: What’s your advice for students on handling the work load of the program?

SM: Ask for help when you need it, and don’t put off those readings! This program puts you in charge of your success and learning – which is one of my favorite things about it. But it also means that if you lose track of what you need to do, it can be hard to catch up when no one is reminding you that you have a paper to write. Set some schedules and timelines for yourself, it’ll be worth it in the long haul. Also, Chinese takeout.

Q: What are you doing now/Are you still in Boston?

SM: Boston can’t get rid of me quite yet. I work as an associate in Project Management at DigitasLBi, an advertising agency downtown, and couldn’t be happier to work for a fantastic, digitally-driven company full of wonderful and nerdy people.

Q: What skills from the EMS program have helped you in your new career?

SM: Definitely collaboration – people management is basically my full-time gig. But a welcome surprise is that the client I work with is developing some incredible mobile tools. I work with a lot of user experience designers, and after our program, I can understand and contribute to those conversations in a way I didn’t have the skill set for before receiving my master’s at BU.

Q: Do you have any other advice for current/prospective students?

SM: When you have the opportunity to tailor a project to something you are passionate about, don’t hesitate to pursue it. Make the work something you care about – it makes your work easier and better. Some of my favorite and best work in the program was when I was able to look at mobile technologies and their potential positive impact on mental health counseling – these are the connections that will make this way more than just a degree.

Keep checking back for more profiles on recent EMS grads.

Learn more about Emerging Media Studies.

Written by: Jessica Bonner (COM ’17)

View all posts