Hey sports fans—did you ever wonder what it’s like to be a sports anchor? Take CJN 496- Sports Broadcasting in the fall and you can find out! Check out our video with Keith Erickson to learn more about it.
“It’s hard to go from living alone in East Asia to living in your parents’ attic,” says Godfrey.
After graduation, Godfrey felt what many students do, “[T]hat weird, gray area post-graduation, I guess pre-real-life.” He had worked at various office jobs and interned at the Beacon Hill Times as a photographer. When he started writing for Pulse Magazine, Godfrey says, “I started reading a lot of travel writing, so I wanted to make traveling a little more prominent in my life.”
Friend and fellow Suffolk graduate Larry Boire (’07) explored the idea of teaching abroad, which intrigued Godfrey as well, however, he didn’t think much would come of it. “He brought it up and I figured it would be one of those things that you would talk about that would never happen.”
Boire left for South Korea and the two friends lost touch, but the idea of teaching abroad stuck in Godfrey’s mind. Godfrey later called his friend. “He raved about it so I sort of made the decision to do it. He set me up with his recruiter and I was out a couple months after that, to the first job that I had in a little city called Cheongju.”
Upon arriving in Seoul, Godfrey noticed major cultural changes; for example, US employers tend to frown upon mixing business with pleasure, but it seemed the opposite in Seoul.
“Even working at school, [in Korea] it’s common to go out with everybody and just drink and eat. Whereas in the US, I feel like it’s not very typical to go out and party with your boss; here it’s almost just part of work.” Godfrey explained that a typical office outing can lead to karaoke, called, Noribong. “You’re inevitably just pushed up to the front to sing.” He adds, “I avoid those places as often as I can.”
Godfrey has had his fair share of struggles with the language barrier, admitting he didn’t know one word of Korean prior to his arrival, but that’s part of the charm of being abroad, as is trying new cuisine.
“Recently, I was trying to order a pork dish because usually, almost every day, I end up getting kimchi soup. I believe (the waitress) was trying to tell me that they had no pork, but to me it just seemed like she was yelling at me. What came out were rice and about a million octopus tentacles,” recounts Godfrey, who doesn’t enjoy seafood. “That stuff happens. It happens pretty frequently. You just tell the story later.”
While at Suffolk, Godfrey was a frequent student in Senior Lecturer Ken Martin’s photography and photojournalism classes. He explains how Martin’s classes and his advisor, Associate Professor Shoshanna Madmoni-Gerber, had influenced his decision to teach abroad. Martin recalls the first signs of Godfrey’s travel bug, “I could tell in class that he had that certain light in his eyes.” Godfrey recalls a meeting with Madmoni-Gerber during which he told her, ‘travel’s more important.’ I always regretted not studying abroad during university. But her and Ken Martin, I guess all their stories sort of stuck with me.”
Godfrey decided it was his time to start making his own stories. He keeps a travel-blog ; and is an editor for the online magazine, The KamikazeMag, which he started with friends prior to living in Korean. The online publications are a great way for Godfrey to share his adventures and stay connected with friends and family at home, even though there are momentary feelings of homesickness.
After teaching for a year, he returned home but was compelled to travel to Seoul again. “People are interested to hear your stories for a time, but you can only make so many jokes about kimchi and what-not before people just… stop caring. You start missing the life that you had.”
When asked if he’ll commit to another year, Godfrey said, “I left Boston and I spent a long time comparing my city to Boston and wishing I was in Boston. And I did that also, when I came home from Korea. I think it’s important to stay somewhere until you’re really finished with it.”
Wherever Godfrey will be in a year, he certainly has a lifetime of stories to tell about his overseas adventures.
Congratulations to all the nominees! Don’t forget to cheer them on this Thursday, April 11th, at 5:30pm in Suffolk’s Modern Theatre.
- Porn, Tyler Fisk
- Aberrant Son , David Lawlor
- The Breakup, John Macgregor, Alexander Ortiz, Amanda Sousa
- Aston – A Million Miles, Tyler Fisk and Mason Marino
- Hometown Music video, David Lawlor
- Baseball Spring Training, Alivia Misner
- Quidditch: The Sport, Dan McCarthy
- Teams Support at Games, Karina Bolster
- Panera Cares News PKG, Tom Boudreau and Matt Irwin
- SCB Skating Spectacular, Karina Bolster and Marie Hoffman
- Women in Combat/ SU Girl, Heidi Walsh
- Boston Blizzard of 2013, Jared Pelletier
- Can Students Sway Votes?, Heidi Walsh
- Ed Markey for U.S. Senate, Ryan Breslin
- MBTA Service Cuts & Fare Increases, Dan Lampariello
- Green Line Bump Update, Jared Pelletier, Anush Elbakyan, Dan McCarthy, and Matt Irwin
- Hurricane Sandy, Kellie Mchugh
- Chinese New Year, Molly Delisle
- Imagination, David Lawlor
- Steady Touch, Kathryn Babb
- Fireball, Anthony Mangini
- Red2, Ameal Tesfaye
Photo B & W:
- Sad ,Anthony Mangini
- Eyes, Mansi Patel
- The View From Below, Sydney Cough
- White Apocalyptic, Craig Dudley
Photo Spot News:
- City Residents Turned Alpine Adventures February 2013, Kacey Coffenberry
- Deval Patrick with Lonnie Powers , Anthony Mangini
- Stroke of Luck, Craig Dudley
It started like a normal day last October for Jane Ramey,* a senior at Suffolk University. She had a healthy breakfast at home, made it to the T on time and had her favorite seat in Comm. Theory. When Professor Vicki Karns announced to the class that it was time for CJN Advising, a rush of excitement filled Ramey.
“Yes, this is it, I’m graduating next semester!” Or so she thought.
Just as Karns instructed, Ramey signed up for advising on the third floor of Ridgeway, where the purple and gold sign-up sheets hung on the bulletin board. Later, when Ramey spoke with Karns about her program evaluation and plans for her last semester, Karns surprised her by saying, “I’m sorry, but you can’t finish this spring.”
Ramey was aghast. “How did this happen?”
The two classes Ramey dropped her sophomore year made her just 8 credits shy of graduation.
“They think that because they’ve been here for 4 years, they’re done,” said Karns.
It was very disappointing for Ramey to hear. “It was so unexpected and didn’t make sense to me. But I immediately asked Vicki how I could change it. I wanted to graduate in May.”
Since 1986, Karns has been advising CJN students, and has been the head of advising for seven years. Karns can empathize with students when things go wrong during an advising session, because as an undergrad, she had her own horror story. “My freshman year of college, I went to the advising center and met with the faculty member ‘on duty’. He helped me pick classes—the WRONG classes it turned out!”
While Ramey’s story is rare, it isn’t unheard of in the CJN department.
“I’ve had students in tears because they think they are going to graduate because they’ve been ‘full time’ every semester.” But Karns finds the hidden issues, “[…] they’ve dropped classes; they’ve taken the wrong classes; they’ve failed classes.”
Karns has even had parents show up for advising. “When I was in college, I would have been horrified if my parents had wanted to talk to a professor! [But] today, students often like it. OR, they’ve neglected to tell their parents what’s really going on, and that can turn into a very uncomfortable session!”
Of all the advising issues that arise, Karns says the most frustrating can be about transferring when students expect her to know what other institutions need for credits. “I ask them if they would walk into a Talbot’s store with a catalog from the Gap and ask the clerk to help them select some clothes.” The best advice she has for transferring students, is to contact the university they’re applying to and ask about their requirements. Karns adds, “If a student comes in and wants advice about transferring and how one goes about transferring, I’m glad to help. I’m NOT glad to help them select classes at another institution!”
However, the most common problem students in the CJN department run into is filled classes. Students need to prepare before meeting with advisors. Karns suggests students print out their program evaluation, create a list of classes they wish to take that fits their schedule, and always have patience.
“[When students] have options [they] can make good choices. Everyone will get the classes they need—eventually. The worst thing they [can] do is select classes because ‘it was the only thing that fit in my schedule!’” said Karns.
If students do run into major problems, the first step is simple: “See an advisor. We have 8 different people who advise—They should be able to find somebody with whom they feel comfortable!” said Karns.
Advising is not only stressful for students trying to make sense of their remaining course load, but for CJN advisors it’s especially hectic. “Advising is pretty close to hell for our department. We all love advising, but, we literally have hundreds of students to see and advise. If students show up prepared, it’s GREAT! If they are patient, it’s GREAT. If they show up with an attitude, or unprepared or demanding certain people or times, then it isn’t as great!”
For Karns one of the biggest challenges she has as an advisor is convincing students to take responsibility for their own schedule. “So many of them just come in and say ‘tell me what to take!’; I feel sad that they aren’t more pro-active and choosing classes they really like, AND I get scared because if I make a mistake, they won’t catch it.”
Well before graduation, students need to declare a major; in the meantime, Karns welcomes undeclared students to meet with the CJN advisors. Here’s a tip from Karns “[students] don’t NEED a minor. They can be creative and put together a schedule that helps them make their strengths stronger and builds up their weaknesses.” It’s important to make the correct choices that match the student’s interests; a minor should be something students enjoy, and as Karns emphasizes, “not just declare a minor because they think it will ‘look good’ [on a resume].”
It is only required for students to meet with an advisor twice a year to schedule classes, however, Karns encourages students to “to meet with advisors and/or faculty mentors more regularly for career advice, advice on class progress, etc..” She continues, “When students see an advisor for advising outside the ‘scheduling frenzy,’ I think they get the best of all worlds!”
For this March’s advising session, Ramey signed up early to speak with Karns. They discussed her summer courses that she would have to complete in order to receive her diploma. Although she is able to walk at graduation in May, Ramey says it was a lesson well learned.
“I wish that I had paid attention earlier. I mean, I love Suffolk, but I don’t want to be in college forever.” Ramey wishes that other students will learn from her story. “If you don’t stay on top of your [academic] standing, you never know what might happen. I never thought I would be one of those students who’d have a bad advising session.”
This warning goes out to every student: be prepared and keep track of your required classes for majors and minors, in order to avoid an advising horror story.
*Jane is a fictional character compiled from various advising stories.
Suffolk University alumnus, Michael Reilly, (’76, BJS)
spoke to Professor Norine Bacigalupo’s class last Thursday about the changes in the public relations industry. Reilly, who started his PR firm, Reilly Communications in 2000, said that today public relations practitioners use traditional methods like press releases and media kits, as well as what he calls “digital” methods, like social media. In the past, firms found the media to share their stories with, Reilly explained, “Now the media finds us,” through social networking. “Instead of a push philosophy, it’s a pull philosophy,” said Reilly.
Today, one major aspect PR firms execute is assisting their clients to build their authenticity. In order to gain a following and patrons for their businesses, Reilly explained, clients need to provide transparency and honesty so their audiences will find them trustworthy and credible.
For seniors on the job hunt, Reilly says there’s hope. Firms want to hire people who will teach them the skills to navigate social media. In order to get the job though, he encourages students to “take every opportunity to write.” In order to succeed in any profession, it’s important that people speak and write well. He compared writing to practicing a sport like tennis or baseball, the key to getting good is repetition. “If you can write, you can conquer the world,” added Bacigalupo.
Reilly’s advice to students wishing to pursue this field consisted of SIX MUST HAVES:
“Far reaching curiosity”
- “Instinctive ability to see all sides”
- “Creative story telling”
- “Relationship skills”
- “Listening as a personality type”
“Ability to blow off rejection”
Reilly clearly has mastered these skills; he’s won an impressive ten regional and national awards in the past five years for his communication consulting. He currently teaches at Boston University and is a contributing editor for SMPS bi-monthly journal Marketer.
“I only bring the best in here,” Bacigalupo admitted. We wish Reilly and his firm the best of success and hope that our students will follow in his footsteps.