Friday, July 29, 2011

Tips from Alumni - Part 2

Hi Everyone!

I am pleased to say that I have had an overwhelming number of responses to my discussion in the SMC Alumni Group! They had a ton of great advice! Therefore, I felt it necessary to make a Part 2 post to give the most beneficial answers to my question:

What is the one thing you wish you knew before coming to SMC?


        Matthew Hobin '05
I wish I had known how to get more involved in internships. It's key to get real job experience while in college and I didn't really see the resources there, although they may be now, to work with students and get them involved in an internship in the community or somewhere else. 


Craig Duffy '06
I agree regarding having a study abroad experience. I was a Spanish major and was fortunate to be able to study abroad for both Fall and Spring semesters my senior year. Although I didn't pursue internships (which I agree would have been a help) study abroad really opens your eyes to the world and, in my opinion, makes you more attractive to employers. The world is global, there's no doubt about it, and having extensive global experience is truly invaluable.


Michael Gizzi '90
Maybe its because I am a college professor, but I wish that 25 years ago, when entering St. Mike's, that I had explored a few more academic areas that at the time I thought uninteresting or irrelevant. One of the great things about St. Mike's was the liberal arts curriculum offered through the general education "core." I am thankful now for the broad exposure it gave me, but also wish that I had put a little more effort into going beyond my comfort zone. As an undergrad at St. Mike's you are given an opportunity to explore so many things. Take advantage of every moment.

For example, while I took an honors class with George Dameron on Renaissance and Reformation, and to this day I still remember examining the debate between Luther and Erasmus on free will (as well as being utterly befuddled by being required to write a five page paper on a PAINTING!), I realize now that there was so much I DIDN'T GET, and would so much love to have a "re-do" today!

Enjoy every minute, and maximize the opportunities you are given. 


Craig Davignon '96
One thing I would tell all incoming students is to get involved in new experiences. Don't just waste your free time (although I don't think socializing with friends is included) hanging out. Study hard and work hard freshman year, as I learned the hard way that too much partying and juggling social life with academic life is detrimental to your overall GPA. Go to Burlington and see what it has to offer ( a lot). Embrace the snowy winters by skiing, snowboarding, or buying a $10 sled and heading across the street to do some sledding. Meet as many people as you can- even if you don't have a lot in common at first. Freshman year in the dorm was an awesome experience for me; I learned to get along with so many different people that I wouldn't normally socialize with. Internships are huge for test driving careers. I interned at a life insurance firm and learned so much. It wasn't what I wanted to do with my life, but sometimes you need to try it to really find out. One regret is not going on a semester abroad- I had a friend who went and he said it changed his life. Have fun and don't get overly stressed about the finances. It took me ten years to pay off my student debt, and the reality is that a liberal arts degree gives you a wonderful background for many careers- but most require an advanced degree. I, like many of my friends, decided to get a graduate degree to help open more doors (and advancement). The sad part is that so many young teenagers are going with the cheapest state schools and are hyper focused on careers due to the Great Recession and pressure from parents. I'm happy my parents supported my decision to go to Saint Mike's - and I don't regret the debts, part-time jobs, and struggling to make my payments each month. 

These were responses that I felt would inspire you to get the most out of SMC! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. 



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

@CrumbsBakeShop vs @Sprinkles

My time in Los Angeles has given one truly awesome opportunity. I am now able to make a taste-tested declaration: Crumbs > Sprinkles. I don't know if that is the popular sentiment, but it is my opinion.

Sprinkles Cupcakes - Beverly Hills

Sprinkles - Beverly Hills

Cupcake: Chocolate Peanut Butter

    - It's Sprinkles.
    - Celebrities eat them.
    - It's in Beverly Hills.
    - The cupcakes are very delicious.

    - There was a long line.
    - They messed up my aunt and her sister's order.
    - The cupcakes were small.

Crumbs Bake Shop - Hollywood, CA

Crumbs Bake Shop - Hollywood

Cupcake: Espresso

     - Short line.
     - Cupcakes are bigger than Sprinkles.
     - Better frosting.
     - Easier to associate labels and cupcakes.     (Makes it easier to decide.)

    - I am having a really hard time finding one. How can I find flaw with flavor, no lines, and a giant cupcake?!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Harry Potter 7

Spotted: Tourists
Talk about an epic weekend. With the help of my summer family, I knocked out 3 of my tourist to-do's. They took me to Rodeo Drive, where I had a Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcake from Sprinkles and pretended I could afford the beautiful $600 dress in BCBG MaxAzria as well as all the diamonds in Tiffanys & Co.

I went with John, Rain, Lyric, Clay, Tal, Jade, and Mystical. They played the tourist role VERY well. Haha. People actually asked us where we were from.... Yup, we were totally THOSE people minus the fanny packs and sandals with socks. I did find it very interesting how some people got SO dressed up to go shopping. I would DIE walking around in 5 in heels all day.

 I did get to venture into what I would like to call Heaven, but is more commonly known as BCBG MaxAzria. It is seriously my favorite store. I wish I could buy everything in there. I almost died over some of the dresses. *le sigh* When I am rich and famous, I will be in there on the regular. I'll be a walking BCBG model.

At the gate of the PlayBoy Mansion

After Rodeo Drive, we did a drive through of Beverly Hills. I was particularly interested in seeing the Playboy Mansion because I used to watch Girls Next Door in high school, back when it was Kendra, Holly, and Bridgette. My friend, Caitlin, had them all on her computer. Plus, its the Playboy mansion. Who doesn't want to be able to check-in there on Foursquare? (Gosh, I am such a social media nerd.) Anyways, here I am at the gate. That yellow sign in the back says 'Brake for Animals.'

After we grew tired of the glamour, we headed to 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. It was kind of like Church St. in Burlington on steroids. They had tons of stores in my price range. Yay for J.Crew and Urban Outfitters :) We walked around, listened to some street performers, and then ate dinner at Johnny Rockets where I ordered what I am sure is the largest burger on the menu. I don't even care because I did a ton of walking that day.

(If you are in the area, this is a must-do. It's also right near the beach, so you could get a tan, too.)

We left around 8:30 pm with 3rd Street Promenade still buzzing with people and the air still warm. However, I was exhausted. When we got home, I watched HP 6 with my family. (I spent the week getting them up-to-speed for the HP 7 part 2.)

The next morning, we watched HP 7 - Part 1 and then we went to see HP 7 - Part 2 in the afternoon. We saw it in IMAX 3D. IT WAS AWESOME. I don't know how everyone else felt, but I thought the battle scene was amazing. I was worried it wouldn't meet my expectations, but OMG it was AWESOME. I was totally jazzed. :) Let's be honest, I'll probably go see it again.

So that was my weekend. What did you do? :-P

PS One month until SMC!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

#glamtern Week 9 (What?!)

How in the world did it become #glamtern week 9?! This is insane! Only 4 more weeks of my internship. While summer might be winding down, I am as busy as ever.

My current projects:

Assignment:Creating the quarterly presentation for my boss
Status:nearly complete; waiting for final edits

Assignment:Working with designer to create a banner ad
Status:1/3 finished; I have picked a designer and sent him necessary materials.

Assignemnt:Get business cards printed and pitch book cleared for a rep
Status: Unknown; new hurdles seem to be constantly added

The great thing is that I constantly have things to do and plenty of caffeine. My office friends were totally making fun of me when I asked when we were going to Starbucks. They said I was jonesing. There is probably some truth to that. I need my morning kick in the butt. Preferably that comes in the form of coffee.

I keep thinking how sad I will be to leave because I really feel like I am getting to know everyone in the office. They have all been so nice and helpful! Plus they all have a great sense of humor and they occasionally get my stupid/sarcastic jokes.... Or they just laugh to make me feel better. I don't really care. :)

Needless to say, I have been really incredibly lucky this summer. I am going to continue to make the most of my internship, but I can't wait to go back to SMC!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hollywood Blvd During Carmageddon

This past weekend was Carmageddon. For all you people who have no idea what I am talking about, Carmageddon was:

the supposed chaos that would ensue 
after a stretch of I-405 was to be closed 
for the July 16th weekend. 

Destiny's Child
The reality was that everyone was so nervous about heavy traffic that the roads were basically empty. Despite that, public transportation was free so my cousin, Lyric, and I made the trip down to Hollywood, so I could do the obnoxious tourist thing.We took the bus to the subway to Hollywood Blvd. 

We saw some of the stars like Destiny's Child, Donald Trump, and Ryan Seacrest. We went to the Chinese Theater which was an alter to Harry Potter with GIANT posters hanging everywhere. I remember that spot from when my cousin was born because I put my hands in Shirley Temple's prints.

Of course, I snapped a pic of the Hollywood sign (below) and Lyric and I did some shopping. What else is new? 

Hand-prints at Grauman's Chinese Theater

We also made a pit stop at Crumb's cupcakes. Now according to my family Crumb's is better than Sprinkles. However, I am determined to try both places and decide for myself. Conveniently, they are taking me to Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive next weekend. :-D I really want to spot celebrities. I haven't seen any except for at the Rihanna concert. And let's be honest, I basically came to LA to awkwardly stare at famous people...

 Oh, and the internship... small detail... That is going well though. I can't believe I only have a month left! It's insane, but admittedly I can't WAIT to get back to SMC. It's going to be a phenomenal year!

Hollywood Sign

Alrighty, I've got to shower and eat dinner, but I hope everyone is having a great summer!

A Crumb's Cupcake :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Some people say that being in a small college is a lot like being in high school. Do you think that this is true in some ways?

I've heard that is true, but I did a mix of ski academy and independent study for high school, so my experience was atypical. I think that, just like high school, you are going to have drama and your 'crew' and stress. However, in college, there is no one there to force you to go to class. (You should go anyways. Skipping is NOT a good idea.) You can also have multiple 'crews' in college. All of my friends aren't necessarily friends with each other. As for drama, living together adds a new dynamic to education and that is something you will have to grow accustomed to. Don't expect everyone to mature the minute they set foot on campus.

I think a major difference between the small college community and high school community is the life-long friendships and professionalism. Not to say high school friends won't stick together, but I can already see that I am going to seek out my SMC friends when I want their professional opinion or life advice. We are all moving into adulthood together, so it seems like a different type of relationship than I have with my high school friends.


Get tips about #college, #studentlife, #btv, or really anything that you can think of. :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

All About Digital Arts, Journalism, and Media Studies (MJD)

The bottom line: We are a religion. Bergeron is our church and the AP Stylebook is our Bible.

Okay, so that is a slight exaggeration, but my point is that it is an intense major. While we may not be trekking through the wilderness collecting samples to later study in a biology lab, we spend plenty of time in the field and in labs. Our samples are interviews and our lab time is spent on a computer editing photos and building websites instead of observing insects. (Ew...)

Let me guess, right about now you are thinking, WHAT THE HECK IS BERGERON? It is a hidden gem on campus. Most students pass it several times a week and I'd say 50% of students have NO idea what lies within. Let me enlighten you. Bergeron is home to the MJD professors, 2 computer labs, and a classroom. You will often hear MJD majors joking about how they live in Bergeron. They aren't to far off. Need to get into Bergeron at 11 pm? Chances are that there is a student working in there. If the doors are locked, just knock loudly. :) The computers are equipped with all necessary software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere. The thing I like most about Bergeron is the ability to ask anyone in the computer lab if they know how to do 'x' 'y' or 'z.' Sometimes, no one know how to edit this or add that, but often times an upperclassman or a classmate will have an answer. (or at least point you in the right direction). We are a helpful bunch!

What I love most about the department is how varied the education is. I mean, we get nice variation with the Liberal Studies Curriculum, but even within the department I have learned about camera presence, newspaper reporting, public relations work, and web design.  I feel that I can go into marketing and PR or I can pursue my ambition to commentate at the Olympics. I feel like the major has given me more options that I  ever planned to have and who doesn't like to have their options open?

Don't let anyone convince you that MJD isn't a worthwhile or serious major! If it is what you want to study, do it! I mean that for everyone. If you LOVE theater, study theater. You will find a niche after college. Maybe you take an MJD minor and work reviewing Broadway shows! Do what you love :)

Questions about the Digital Arts, Journalism, and Media Studies major? Ask here:


Thursday, July 14, 2011

College Essential: Emergency Fund

(Source: College Class)
I’m not talking about that pair of shoes that just went on sale. That’s NOT an emergency.

Why: Like I said, I’m talking about real emergencies. For example, I’ve been towed… twice. That was $50 each. Or when it’s that time of the month and you are completely out of tampons… AND you get paid next week. That is when an emergency fund comes in handy.

How Much: Well, that depends on you. I’d suggest $100. Ideally, even if you have to break into the emergency fund, you will have a little left over. Of course, don’t forget to replenish the emergency fund the next time you have some spare cash.

Bottom line: Being prepared is the way to go. Chances are that nothing will go horribly wrong, but better safe than sorry.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What's one thing that is equally as important as shower shoes for college living?

Particularly number 8...

1) 2 sets of sheets, 2 pillows, a mattress pad, and a comforter
2) At least two towels, a shower basket with shampoo/condition/razor/soap ect. that you can take to the bathroom
3) A microwavable plate, cup, and bowl plus utensils
4) A refrigerator and microwave (you only need one of each per room so talk to your roommate)
5) A pair of appropriate pajamas so you aren’t embarrassed or frantically putting on pants when someone knock on your door.
6) A desk lamp and a “desk set” with pencil holder and other organizing things
7) Laundry basket/soap/ dryer sheets
8) One “family appropriate” business casual outfit for something like the Block M Athletics Dinner or Dean’s List Get Together.
9) A pair of jeans and a million t-shirts that you can wear with them for that lovely 8 am class as well as a pair of sneakers you can just throw on.
10) Pictures of home, friends, and posters to decorate your room with. I did a beach theme and had some great pictures of Hawaii collaged on my wall.

Get tips about #college, #studentlife, #btv, or really anything that you can think of. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I hear many people say that generally, the major of 'media studies' is not respected. I know that SMC this department is very strong so it's different - but how do you react to sceptics? I am concerned because this will also be my major.

I have to strongly disagree. I think Media Studies is a very respectable major because it prepares you for several fields. You can go into marketing, public relations, journalism, digital design, or anything that requires strong communication skills and computer skills. Let's be honest, isn't that every job nowadays?

Want to go become a doctor after undergrad? You can do that do. Some schools reserve a special number of spot for students in non-science related majors. You have to take the proper science and math classes to pass the exams, but you don't have to be a biochemistry major!

Also, consider that you can have a minor. So you could be a media studies major with a poli-sci minor and then work in public relations for your favorite politician. You won't necessarily become a reporter.

My point is: Do what you love and don't think about what other people are saying or believe.

Get tips about #college, #studentlife, #btv, or really anything that you can think of. :)

How do you remember people's names at your workplace? I'm an intern and I basically only know my supervisor's name.

Let me start with a story. My first week I had to go to Michelle to get some advertisements cleared by compliance. Well, I awkwardly went to Karen and called her Michelle. She laughed and directed me to the next office over :) After that I made a system.

What really sticks with me is random factoids. For example, I know that Michelle with two 'L's is planning her wedding while Karen always has the really cute outfits. Michele (with one 'L') told me on my very first day how to use the coffee machine. It's little things like that.

I also have a chart that outlines who they are and what they do in the office/company. If you are having trouble you might want to make a chart and include descriptions like 'blonde hair, works in 2nd office on the left' and things like that. Eventually, you won't have to consult the sheet anymore. It's also nice to write in the random fact such as 'likes to rock climb' or 'is getting married.' They make excellent conversation starters AND it creates a stronger relationship with the co-workers.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tips from Alumni

Hey All!

As you may have noticed, I occasionally like to post other people's ideas on my blog because really, who wants to listen to my annoying voice all the time? :-D So, I had this thought: Why not get advice from alumni? That is exactly what I did. I posted this question on the Saint Michael's College Alumni LinkedIn Group:

Hi! I am a student blogger at SMC and I'm collecting information for a new post. What is the one thing you wish you knew before coming to SMC? With your tip, please include the year you graduated :) I'd appreciate input from all graduating classes! This is for the incoming Class of 2015! Thank you!

Here is the advice they gave: (Thanks, Alumni!)

Ryan Walker '01 How cold it was going to be.

Karen McPhillips '84 That you can learn and have fun despite the snowy/icy winters and muddy springs.

Kathleen Ward '10 I think that is important to consider is a study abroad option. Incoming students should try and make their own decisions about where to study abroad and pick based on a personal decision, not a group decision. The ability to live abroad and study for a semester is something students should be thinking about in order to complete a major - same some general requirement classes!

E Keith Maloney '66 The importance of networking with faculty, friends' parents, with all the people I met during those years so that I could reach out to them when I needed help, advice, insight......all were willing, all I had to do was ask! Great lesson learned AFTER St. Mike's and it could and should have started sooner.
     Continues later in the discussion with: Fortunately the College is now offering a Career Symposium (11.4.11) which brings 30+ alums back to campus for panel discussions and networking sessions. I've been a member of the Alumni Board of Directors for the past 4 years and this is the 3rd year of the Symposium (ABoD sponsors the event). Gabbi, you can help it succeed by getting more of your fellow students to attend/participate. Also, the ABoD is working closely with the Internship Department to expand opportunities for summer internships. There's a software program for matching students with alumni based on an eHarmoney model that should be up and running this fall...check with Joanne LeBrake-Muelberger for details! SMC is definitely taking steps to grow these areas of work-related experiences for students!

Mark Preston '00 Internships, Internships, Internships... the more real world experience you have, the clearer you'll be with your career goals and objectives. At my company we have a number of Northeastern co-op students working with us throughout the year. I'm continually impressed by their level of professionalism and intellect. Many are often offered opportunities for employment after school.

Kara Cleaver '91 The importance of the full 360 degree experience, meaning academics, social (as in friends and dorms and eating in the dining hall, etc.) as well as participating and experiencing many different types of events, clubs, etc. Never again will you have so much available to you so conveniently with the ability to try many things and discover new, perhaps lifetime, interests. And the other I will mention is employment options/career paths and more information about those professions.

I hope that you can use this advice to your advantage while you are at SMC! Questions? Ask here:!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How to Set Up SMC Email on Your iPhone (And How To Get Instructions for Other Devices)

This seems to be a popular topic amongst the Class of 2015, so I figure I'd write a quick post about how to set up your email via iPhone. To the right you will see a screen shot. My recommendation is to start from scratch going to 'Add Account' in Settings. Select a 'Microsoft Exchange' address/

Once there, fill the information as you see in the screen shot using your own email and password. It has worked for most everyone. If you are still having problems, feel free to shoot me an email and I can give you some other tips and tricks.


If you use other devices:

I recommend using the Mobile Phone Set-Up Wizard. It can walk you through the steps for connecting other devices.

#Interntips - Must Have iPhone Apps

I know not everyone has an iPhone, but I do know there are plenty of people that will find this informative! Recently I have started using some new iPhone apps that I believe can help an intern (or really anyone). Some are for navigation or discounts, while others are for more novelty purposes. Most importantly, all these apps are free, perfect for an intern 'salary.'

1) Eat St - This app (I discovered last week) will tell you were the food trucks are in your area. It will even tell you their hours and sometimes a menu. This a great tool, if say, your friend asks 'have you tried out the Mexican food truck?' You can break out this app and see if the truck is in the area.

2) NYCWAY/LAWAY - These apps (available for other major cities as well) are great for navigating a new city. Within this app, there are tons of categories including 'For Rent,' 'Free,' 'Nightlife,' and 'WiFi.' This app can be your tour guide when you are a new city with no connections or it can help you explore new hot spots! As someone who is still new to Los Angeles, I recommend giving it a download. It's free, so why not?

3) LinkedIn - Networking on the go. While I wouldn't say the LinkedIn App is my most used, (That would be Twitter or Instagram) I would say that it has the potential to be a useful tool. Let's say you meet someone at corporate party during your internship. You talk with this already established employee for an extended period of time and in the end, they offer to help you with that project that is totally stressing you out. If like me, you tend to lose things, the connections business card will be gone by the time you catch your taxi home. Now you don't have to worry about memorizing that business card. You can just find them on LinkedIn. Then you can keep in touch long past your internship. (I also suppose you could just take a picture of the business card, but just make sure you don't accidentally tweet it.)

4) The Craigslist app - So you are decorating your apartment and realize "I can't afford that 3,000 couch." Now what? Thank goodness for Craigslist and now you can carry it with you. Do a quick search in 'For Sale' and then spend a Sunday with your roommates going to various location, exploring your options. By the end of the day you might have enough furniture to make the apartment feel like home and some extra money to get those shoes you pass everyday on your walk to work.

5) Yelp - Another navigational tool, but so worth having because of the reviews. That's how I found my great and inexpensive nail salon. You can also find gyms and coffee shops. You can search for deli within walking distance and then you can choose your best option by price and reviews. I highly recommend having it when you are looking for a new lunch spot.

Random Recommendation: You can order food for pick-up or delivery and it will tell you who offers it near you. I use it in my office. I ordered my Thai food and I got to take a short walk from the office to the restaurant without wasting time actually waiting for the food to be made. It could also be useful if you need to order lunch for the office.

Have questions for me? Ask me on Formspring or you can shoot me an email!
Follow me on Twitter!
xo Gabbi

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rihanna 'LOUD' Tour - Staples Center, Los Angeles

For my cousin's 8th grade graduation, I bought her and myself tickets to see Rihanna when she was performing at the Staples Center. I have been to a few concerts, but this was my first big pop tour.


So did the other fans. I've never been to a Lady Gaga concert to don't have a bar that high, but there were so EXCELLENT outfits. Some girls dressed up as Rihanna while others just went for.. um..... loud? My personal favorite was a man in short jean shorts, lime green v-neck t shirt, orange suspenders, leopard print socks, and black hiking boots.

When we go inside we were seated in the 300's (aka nosebleeds, but we were in the front row of the nose bleeds looking, essentially, dead-on at the stage. Sure, I would have loved to be in floor seats, but my intern salary doesn't allow for that :) Anyways...

If you are a Rihanna fan, you have to go. I was very impressed by her vocals and the dancing and don't even get me started on the 7 screens, 5 of which generally blasted hypnotic colors. She started of with 'Only Girl in the World' and performed hits such as Unfaithful, S&M, California Kind Bed, Pon de Replay, and Hard. She also did Skin and Man-Down off her latest album, which were phenomenal! It was an hour and a half set and she was hardly ever off stage.  Below is a quick clip of Man Down. It was taken from my iPhone so quality isn't great, but you get the idea!

Talk to you all soon!


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