Author Archives: Brendan

Springtime in the City

The city is back to life! Trees are budding, flowers are being replanted, color is seeping back into the humans and surroundings of New York. People are smiling and laughing as they walk down the street, happy to finally unravel and de-bundle themselves from their winter jackets, hats and scarves. Dogs sniff their way down the street, able to enjoy their walk and not freeze their paws off! I think tears filled my eyes the other day as I walked down the street in a short sleeved shirt,  sans the jacket. What does all this mean….SPRING IS HERE!

Not only does the nice weather mean frequent visits to Central Park, the Highline, South Street Seaport and countless other sunny-day sites throughout the city but also a slew of festivals and events only spring in the big apple has to offer!

Below are a few that I will be trying out as we head to the end of the semester! If you happen to be visiting NY during this time check them out! As always, let me know what you think :)

1. Tribeca Film Festival, April 15-26

Who doesn’t love new movies? The Tribeca Film Festival is a world renowned festival that happens right in downtown Manhattan, as well as across the city. You can get matinee tickets for as little as $10 and tickets to guest talks for $35. The movies are ones not to be missed.

2. Cherry Blossom Season at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, April 1-26

Instead of hopping on a jet to Japan, hop on the subway to Brooklyn and see the natural wonders of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Get your iPhone camera’s ready because its impossible to see these beauties and not snap some photos. The Cherry Blossom Trees are a sure sign of Spring, so you don’t want to miss it. Only $10!

3. NYC Hot Sauce Expo, April 25-26

I know everyone doesn’t have the love of hot-spicy foods that I do…but maybe you’ll think twice after attending this event. The third annual hot sauce expo will be taking place at The Brooklyn Expo in late April, showcasing 45 vendors! Come with an empty stomach and leave thoroughly pleased. From spicy pizzas, to spicy bloody-marys – your tongue will be on fire…in the best way possible 😉

4. Kentucky Derby, May 2

Chances are you don’t have tickets to the actual Kentucky Derby horse race…but I’m sure you have a fabulous hat somewhere in your closet that you’re dying to break out! This is your opportunity! Many bars and restaurants around the city will be involved in this classic southern event. Gather your friends, don your best derby hat, find a bar showing the race and transport yourself to Kentucky! I recommend finding a horse who’s name makes you laugh…then root for them!

5. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Rooftop

I will definitely be heading to the Met Museum to check out the “Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky” exhibit running through May 10th. There are countless exhibitions to view, enough to fill your afternoon with beauty, history and culture. Before you go, make your way to the Met rooftop. This is one of the best views of the city, overlooking all of Central Park. Bask in the sun, feel the breeze, and look to the sky line – breathe in the beauty and magic of this city!

 

xx,

Brendan

 

Getting to Know Your Professor

Hi Readers! Its so important to get to know your teachers here at FIT. As I’ve said in past blogs, they are a wealth of experience, knowledge and information and many times can help you land internships or future jobs! Introducing yourself at the beginning of the semester is a must, and if you take a liking to him or her, maintain the friendly relationship. Once you leave FIT, it will be great to have a connection remaining at the school.

Today I wanted to shine the spotlight on one of my favorite professors, Linda Finnerty! Professor Finnerty is a highly regarded professor in the Advertising and Marketing Communications department here at FIT. Last semester, she made my Tuesday mornings exciting with Principles of PR and this semester, she’s teaching me “real world stuff” in Corporate Communications.

I can’t begin to tell you the number of valuable industry and life lessons I’ve learned from her. Her lectures (which are always filled with interesting stories from her days on the job) have given me a realistic look into the world of PR. I must say she is one of the best professors I’ve had while at FIT. Her courses are highly sought out by students. You’d be lucky to learn from her! Impressive career + amazing stories + likeable personality = wonderful professor.

Here are some questions I asked Linda Finnerty highlighting her career and place at FIT!

Which classes do you teach at FIT?

Advertising & Promotion, Marketing for Integrated Marketing Communications, Workshop in Business Communications, Publicity Workshop, Integrated Marketing Communications Management, Principles of Public Relations, Public Relations for Museums and Arts Organizations, Corporate Communications and Special Events Marketing Public Relations.

Before you began teaching at FIT, what was your career?

Prior to teaching at FIT, I was the Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for a major Wall Street firm.  I was responsible for advertising, marketing, public relations, investor relations, special events marketing, sponsorships, corporate culture and corporate social responsibility.  It was a high stress job, required lots of creativity, the ability to multitask and manage a large staff of people, crisis communications skills, relationship building – all while maintaining a sense of humor and the ability to keep things in perspective.

What was your proudest career moment?

My proudest career moment was receiving the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009.  To qualify for the award, you have to be nominated by your peers and submit recommendation letters from a number of students and faculty members.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at FIT?

The thing I like best about teaching at FIT is the focus, dedication and creativity of our students.  Class discussions are always lively and the quality of the work presented at the end of each semester is amazing!

What advice can you give to students looking to attend FIT?

My advice to students hoping to attend FIT would be to focus on improving their writing skills, because writing is a critical skill for success in the business world; to read a newspaper daily to keep in touch with what’s going on in the world; and be curious and receptive to new ideas and all the opportunities that come your way. And, above all, don’t take yourself too seriously.

If that’s not good advice, I don’t know what is :)

xx, Brendan

We All Have a Story to Tell…

By this point in my college career, I can’t even tell you the number of papers I’ve had to write. From papers on genetic disorders, to the Harlem Renaissance, to Karl Lagerfeld and to direct marketing. As interesting as some topics may be, its not the most fun. But hey, I’m in college…what do I expect?

This semester I’m taking the very enjoyable Fiction Writing class. The class is an advanced writing course that develops students’ understanding in imaginative storytelling. We read short stories and novel excerpts and participate in writing exercises to examine writing process strategies. In a workshop environment, we develop and create a few pieces of short fiction.

There are no rules in fiction writing. You can write about whatever you want, whatever excites you or makes you feel. My professor encourages us as writers to use our imagination and tap into parts of our brains that we may have forgotten existed. We all know what makes a good story, from the books we read to the movies we watch. This class helps us to hone in on our storytelling skills and produce creative works of art.

We have workshops with our pieces and discuss with our classmates what works and what doesn’t. It’s an open environment, no judgement allowed. It’s nice to read other students work and have them read mine.

I find this class to be very therapeutic. As I said, it gets old writing papers that aren’t coming completely from your mind but referencing the ideas and research of others. To create a story is freeing because you’re in control. You control the world your characters live in. I’m able to pull from experiences in my life, good or bad, and use that as inspiration for my pieces of writing.

As a student yourself, would you find it more enjoyable to write fiction? Do you prefer writing research papers? Are you interested in the English and writing classes at FIT? Let me know!

xx,

Brendan

 

Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Paper

The phrase “keep your eyes on your own paper” is something we grow up hearing. From the first tests we took in elementary school, to the SATs, to our college classrooms. Through that sentence, we learn that we can’t cheat by using other people’s answers or other peoples thoughts, that it’s wrong. For so long I regarded that statement as strictly relating to school and education.

As I’m getting older I find that statement to relate to more than just test taking. At my age (21) its easy to compare myself to others. There’s always someone doing something better, wearing something better, getting the cooler internship, taking the cooler trips, getting the better grades. Living in New York you’re surrounded by the best of the best, in all aspects. Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming.

I’m still learning about myself and what it takes for me to be happy and successful. My formula for happiness and success is different from every single other person’s out there. I can’t compare my path to another, because that’s the thing – we are all on our own life path. My story is different from everyone else’s. That’s what makes life beautiful. That’s what makes each and every one of us so special.

When you’re feeling anxious, intimidated about your future, your success, or your happiness, remember to “Keep your eyes on your own paper.” Within yourself you can find the answers and the direction you should walk down on your life path.

Peace and Love,

Brendan

Adult Stuff 101

Every semester at FIT, I continue to fall in love with my major. Its so exciting and validating when you’re sitting in a class, absorbing the information, engaged in what the professor has to say – and finding yourself actually enjoying all of it.

I have had some great classes throughout my time at FIT. Some favorites include Journalism, Publicity Workshop, Advertising Copywriting, and Video Studio Production.

A favorite this semester is Corporate Communications. Corporate Communications aims to develop the skills necessary to create communications that successfully influence an organization’s internal and external publics. As students, we learn to identify emerging business trends, interpret annual reports and related business documents, and convey business news in a clear, concise style through a variety of business communication and public relations tools.

I find this class very valuable because I’m learning about terms and processes I’ve heard adults talking about for years but never understood myself. We learn about 401k’s, the stock market, how to invest in stocks, why to invest in stocks and many more useful items that will benefit me as I make my way into the workplace.

Our term project, which we work and develop upon throughout the semester, involves choosing a public company in an industry we’re interested track a trend within that industry. We study the background of the company, how the industry trend effects the industry as a whole and then how it effects the company alone. The company I’m studying this semester is Netflix! Not only do I use its on the regular, but I find the internet TV industry to be compelling and ever growing!

What classes are you interested in at FIT? Are any of you thinking of studying Advertising and Marketing Communications? Do you have any questions regarding the major? Let me know!

 

xx,

Brendan