Monday, October 29, 2012

Competing in the @VTFilmFest "Sleepless in Burlington" 24-Hour Film Competition

This weekend, I was part of a 5 person team that competed in a 24-hour film competition. Different Vermont colleges put together teams and each college can only have one team. Schools included University of Vermont, who won "People's Choice," Burlington College, who won "Best Film," Middlebury College, and St. Michael's.

Our film is titled "Tobin" after our lead character. Unlike most of the team's, we came in without script writing experience or any knowledge of working with actors. Let me tell you that my acting classes don't make me qualified to tell actors and actresses what to do or write scripts.

The strength of our film lied in our shot variety and the original music that we performed by two St. Mike's students. The music actually dictated the way we edited and I was so excited about it. Eric Parziale played the cello and Dylan Gombas played the fiddle. The film wouldn't have been nearly as awesome without their amazing contribution.

Our actors obviously played a critical role in the festival as well. Themie and Tobin were our lead actresses. Tobin was the director of the film for Burlington College last year and it was great to have the prior experience in the group. Themie, a UVM student, was with us all day from 10 am until the sun went down. Themie told us after the showing that she had been approached by a fellow actress and was told that the actress cried during the film. It made me feel great about the quality of the film.

The four required elements included the new mural just off Church St., buttons from Maglianero's, the phrase "a storm is coming" in the dialogue, and a Phish quote in the title screen.

The executive director of the Flynn Center, John Killacky, was a judge and complimented us on our ability to seamlessly integrate the buttons in our film. I was thrilled to hear that it didn't feel like we forced inclusion of the elements.

While I always want to win, Burlington College deserved the top honor. They had amazing video, audio, and story. I was very impressed with them and congratulate them.

If you come to St. Mike's and are offered a spot on the team, take advantage of it. It's exhausting, but an opportunity that may not come around again. I wouldn't take back the experience for anything.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sleepless In Burlington - Vermont International Film Festival (Preview)

This weekend, I will be competing as part of the St. Michael's  team in the Vermont International Film Festival's "Sleepless In Burlington" competition. The competition pits teams from colleges around Vermont against each other. Schools include University of Vermont, Middlebury College, Burlington College and possibly Champlain College.

Last year, St. Mike's won the first ever competition with the below video, so my team has a lot to live up to.
The premise of the competition is that teams have 24 hours to film, edit, and submit a 4 to 9 minute film while fulfilling certain requirements put forth by the organizers. Last year, the team had to use candy corns, "Canada Guy," and a Burlington landmark.

This year, I am on a team of five including Vicky Cooley, Brain McQueen, Chase Pellerin, and Derrick Logan, all of whom I have had classes with. The advantage to this is that we have, at the very least, a working relationship already in place.

That being said I am incredibly nervous about the competition. On Friday morning, we will receive via email the guidelines. Essentially, they are going to tell us what this year's "candy corns" are. On Friday evening, we will have a short informational meeting over at the University of Vermont. On Saturday morning at 8 a.m. (Oh geez...), we cast our actors and then shooting begins at 10 a.m. Our film is to be submitted by noon on Sunday. The official viewing happens at 6 p.m. on Sunday night at Main Street Landing in Burlington.

I'll be honest. I seriously considered NOT doing this competition. This weekend is Halloween weekend at St. Mike's and I didn't want to miss out on my "last" Halloween. However, I realized that the chance to compete in an international film festival may not be ever pop up again for me. Basically, I'm carpe-ing the diem.

I promise to let you know all about the experience afterwards, but only after I've taken a good long nap.

Talk to you all soon!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Career Services: A Gem in the Mysterious Building Called Klein

If you are a prospective student, you are probably thinking, "I have a few years before I have to worry about having a resume and job hunting in the 'real world.'"

If you are the parent of a prospective student, I'm sure you're wondering, "Even if we pay the tuition, will my child be able to get a job after graduation?"

For the prospective students, here is my word of advice: create a resume early on. You will need one if you plan to get a job in Burlington or participate in internships . Then, you will have a standard set-up to add experience to during your 4 years.

For the parents, don't worry. St. Mike's not only does a great job teaching us about a breadth of topics and preparing us for the many facets of life, but has an amazing alumni network and career services department to help you with your post-graduation life.

Today, I had my first appointment with Chris Clary from the Office of Career Development. The website advises that you start as a freshman if you are really dedicated. They actually have a 4-year plan. However, don't feel like you absolutely need to do that. I clearly didn't.

I really went in because my friends, Maria and Dachelle, said it was incredibly helpful. They also said that Chris Clary had a way of making you feel awesome about yourself and she totally does.  I have had a resume since my freshman year of high school, which I created with help from my parents and personal research. Chris gave me interesting ways to phrase my work experience and new topics to address in my cover letter. For example, my resume shows that I have professional experience in higher ed admissions, higher ed marketing, financial services industry, and public relations. What I saw was work experience. What she saw was my ability to be a chameleon, blending into new industries and work environments and quickly getting a handle on the different audiences of each group.

Didn't I tell you she makes you feel awesome?

She also gave me some new ideas for dividing up my resume. Instead of simply having "Experience" as a title, I am going to section my resume in a more focused manner. Possibilities include: Writing/Editing, Social Media, and Public Relations. By dividing up the different focuses of my positions, I give them a more easily readable outline.

Clary also advised that I add "skills" and "activities" section in addition to my education/GPA (if above a 3.0). The beautiful thing is that I have a LinkedIn profile that features much of the necessary information. My biggest undertaking will most likely be my cover letters and phrasing in terms of explaining my experiences.

Lucky for me, Clary recommended I don't apply until early in the second semester, so I have some time to get organized. When I get my resume together, I am going to send it back to Clary for review. On my way out, Clary handed me the "Career Advisory Network" sheet. In a nutshell, the worksheet allows students to mark the fields they are interested in working, what industries they like, and where they want to look for jobs. Career Development then compiles a list of alumni that we, the students, can network with based on our sheet. I just filled mine out and I'm excited to see what alumni work in my fields of interest!

I'm sure I'll be back to Career Development again in the near future when I'm deciding what positions to apply to!

Questions? Ask anonymously here:


Sunday, October 14, 2012

College Luxury: The Long Weekend

There are few luxuries that college affords. (You could say that college in itself is a luxury, which is true.) However, once you are in college, you find that the "broke college student" stereotype is a very real thing.

One of the free luxuries we do get are the occasional long weekend. In October, St. Mike's students enjoy 4-days following midterms to regroup, catch-up, and/or get ahead. I personally planned to get ahead, but that will start tomorrow. I needed Saturday and Sunday to decompress. It's been a very busy few weeks.

Washington, DC USA
Hilary and I at the Lincoln Memorial - May 2012
On Friday night, my friend Hilary from UVM made the trek to Colchester. For those of you who don't know, Hilary and I have known each other since we were 10 years old when we skied together on the Sugar Bowl Ski Team. She also drove cross-country last May with me.

Hilary is from Nevada, too, so we share the challenge of not being able to go home on long weekends. In order for Hilary to get a break, she made a trip to campus while we were celebrating Maria's 22nd birthday.

She spent the night on our couch and the next morning we went to breakfast at Sneakers in the Winooski Circle. I highly recommend it as a breakfast option if you are in town. My personal favorite meal is the Crab Cake Eggs Benedict. It's so tasty!

Hilary and I also did a Walmart trip where I stocked up on groceries. We parted ways shortly after and I met up with Kate for a Saturday afternoon hike.

Stowe Vermont Mountains in the Fall
We decided to do Stowe Pinnacle, a 2-hour hike over at Stowe Resort.  It was the first blue sky day we have had in a while so it was the perfect day to head out. It is also prime leaf-peeping season, which made the hike that much more beautiful. You don't have to be an expert hiker to handle this one. Just bring water and a snack for the top! Oh, and, of course, wear some sturdy shoes.

I have spent today (Sunday) watching Sex and the City. Now, I am watching the Patriots game with Kate and Teresa. It is cloudy and since I have 2 more days of the weekend, I can justify a few days of laziness.

I hope you all are keeping calm and getting ready for the holiday season!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Spending a Day on the Campaign Trail with @CarolineBright

Every week, I write articles for the Defender in addition to being an editor and laying out pages. This week's issue is multimedia based meaning our print issue is less substantial and most of the content is online.

About a month ago, I pitched a story about Caroline Bright, a Class of 2012 graduate who is currently running for Vermont state senate on behalf of Franklin County. We pushed the story waiting for the opportunity to do a multimedia. I am carless which presented a challenge, but I paired up with Shannon Moore, the features editor, and we tackled the story for Issue #4.

Bright in her former science classroom
Shannon and I spent over 10 hours with Caroline, following her from her hair appointment through her first debate. It is by far the most in-depth story I've ever done. I have actually covered Caroline before a media class while she was still Miss Vermont. She is also close friends with one of my good friends from skiing, so we've interacted before. From a journalistic stand-point this made our story much more genuine because Caroline was comfortable with us.
Bright goes up against an older (and male) table of candidates
 in her first debate
Caroline also happens to be one of the most outgoing and personable people I've ever met. Shannon and I barely had to ask questions when we were with her. We just shared conversations and got all the audio we needed. The hard part wasn't getting the information. It was sorting through it where we met our challenege. There were so many angles we could have taken. We could have done a story on the issues Caroline is running on. We could have done a story on all the candidates running for state senate for Franklin County. However, we ended up doing a story that takes a look at how Caroline portrays herself for the campaign, what makes her different from most politicians and how being Miss Vermont helped her prepare. It's not everyday a 22-year-old that is fresh out of college runs for political office making this a really fun story to cover.
I'm also thrilled to say that it is the cover story for this week's Defender. It is my first cover story and my photo made it on the front. :-D
Make sure to pick it up in print on campus and to check it out online tomorrow (Tues. Oct 9th) at It's going to be a great issue!

Friday, October 5, 2012

15 Minutes of Fame on @WPTZ and @BFP_News

Last night was the first presidential debate of the first election where I have a vote. I attended the debate for a number of reasons including a Her Campus article, an acting class paper, and personal education. As part of Professor Mindich's weekly film series, the debates were aired in Cheray 101 AND Cheray 111. Before 8:30 pm, the largest classroom on campus had students sitting in the stairs. I knew we had a politically charged campus, but I was very surprised to see how many people came to the campus viewing.

With a strong student and faculty turn out, we also saw a strong turnout of the press and I was interviewed.

WPTZ Channel 5's, David Charns, was there for the broadcast crew. About half way through the debate, my friend Alex and I were pulled out of the debate to express our thoughts on the current debate winner. St. Mike's students name presidential debate winner | Vermont - WPTZ Home Unfortunately, it's not letting me embed the video, but you can watch it be following the link. As a journalist, I know that we need to edit quotes down and find the ones that fit our stories. I spent the second half of the debate wondering "What kind of journalist is Charns? How is he going to make me look and sound?" Well, I sounded fine, but boy, was I pasty white or what? (Obviously, a #vermontproblem and NOT Charns fault.)

There I am... Front and center.... In a Brown sweatshirt

I was also quoted in the Burlington Free Press as well had a half page photo in the paper. I was not expecting the photo to be that big, but hey I think it's a pretty cool photo.

It was funny. As the photographer was walking around, I recognized her, but couldn't place here. Then it hit me. I believe she came to my photojournalism course last year and spoke. Naturally, I figured that out way after the fact.

I only knew I might be in the free press because the photographer asked for my name. I went to a meeting with Christian (from Marketing) about some blogger events and he showed me the paper.

There you have it. My most recent "15 minutes of Fame" in the Burlington Free Press.

Talk to you soon! I'm off to do some reporting of my own.


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