Author Archives: Brendan

Three Tips for Group Projects

Well, we’re almost a quarter of the way through Spring 2014 semester! Time is fllllyin! And in regards to my classes….that means midterms are around the corner, and FINALS not far after that! WOAH! No matter how much I am dying for summer, I hate to rush away the rest of the semester.

In almost all of my classes this semester, my term project has already been assigned and there is a commonality between each project. I’m working in a group for each one! To be honest, I’ve always had a slight fear of group projects….I’m very much a control freak and would rather take on a whole project myself, especially one that’s being graded. I knew a semester like this would be coming and now its finally here.

But I can’t get myself too worried because there are so many benefits to working in a group. Of course you hear the horror stories of a single student doing an entire project the night before its due, because his group flaked out. That’s an exception! There are many positive aspects to working in a group for a project. For example, you don’t have to take on as much work. In a good group, every member is doing an equal amount of work so that no one is too stressed out. Also, you tend to learn more because you’re able to discuss the topics with your other group members! Most importantly, its a great excuse to make some new friends!

Here are three tips to remember when you work on a group project this semester, or a semester in the future!

1. Set up a form of communication

Communication is NECESSARY to complete a group project successfully. Luckily, we live in an age where you can communicate anywhere, anytime. Make sure you get the phone numbers of each of your group members so that you’re able to text them to set up meeting times. Another great way to communicate is through Google Docs and Google Drive. Google offers an area where you and your group members can all edit and work on a document. It’s a great place for making notes and throwing around ideas.

2. Be open to everyone’s ideas

For the shyer type, a group project can be very daunting. Some students would rather sit in the back of class, take notes from the professor, and go home after that, not making a peep the whole time. It’s important to introduce everyone in the group to establish a level of comfort. If you’re more of a confident person, be the one to begin introductions. Then ask around if anyone has ideas for the said project. Try not to make faces, roll your eyes or laugh at someone’s idea. To them it may be the best they  have! Each idea is something to build and jump off of.

3. Establish who’s doing what

Like I mentioned before, there are sometimes horror stories of one student doing a whole group project themselves. This isn’t the point of group projects, and professors would hate to hear this. By giving tasks to each group member, setting due dates, and discussing as a group each persons role, you’ll most likely have a more successful project in the end. Most often, professors have a student rating system that they give at the end of the project. If you feel like one student didn’t fairly do their part, this is where you voice your concerns.

I wish you the best of luck on your projects throughout the semester!

xx, Brendan

FIT Skyliners

A few weeks ago, as I was headed into the elevator to get to my room, I saw a posting for FIT’s first ever acapella group  The FIT Skyliners! As I’ve said in previous blogs, numerous times, I’ve always been a singer. From elementary school to high school I was a part of many choirs and jazz ensembles. It’s a blessing and talent that will stick with me forever, no matter where I go!

I had always wondered why FIT didn’t have an acapella group. I’d always thought an acapella group was a given for a college. FIT is full of so many creative and talented people, I found it so shocking no one had stepped forward and started an acapella group. To my surprise, last semester FIT student Krista Perhsinsky created the first ever acapella group on campus! Thank god someone did it!

When I saw the posting for auditions this semester I knew I had to go for it. It’s been about two years since I last sang in a choir, or with a group, and I can not explain how much I missed it. Going from singing everyday to not singing everyday is a very big adjustment. A choir is like a team, everyone works together, plays off eachother and produces something beautiful. 

Well, I had my audition about a week ago and I found out a few days later that I made it!! I was so excited. Tonight was my first rehearsal with the group, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the sound, attitude and group of people! Its so comforting to be doing something that I am so passionate about here at FIT.

The FIT Skyliners will be making multiple appearances at events around campus this semester and for more to come. I definitely recommend attending our concerts because we’re gonna be great! And if singing is an interest of yours, please audition a semester in the future. Not only do you get to sing, but you’re making new friends and memories!

Broadway Baby!

Going to school in NYC means there’s always something to do. Food, shopping, walking, sight seeing. My personal favorite is going to a Broadway musical. For my whole life I’ve been into theater, acting in maanny musicals, singing in choirs and dancing ballet for 10 years. Musical Theater was and still is my true passion.

Because I’m in the city, I know how close I am to the Broadway world. Last year I wasn’t able to properly take advantage of this but I made it a point to see more shows this year. FIT offers $20 student tickets throughout the year, which sell fast because it’s such a great deal! However it’s not a constant thing.

If you haven’t purchased tickets for a show beforehand, there’s still a way to see a show! Many theaters offer rush tickets or do a daily ticket lottery. Most theater box offices open between 10 -11 am. If you get to the theater that morning you may be able to purchase what are called rush tickets, because most often the shows aren’t sold out. You’re able to purchase the ticket right then and there anywhere from $20-$50, which is very cheap for Broadway tickets.

Some theaters offer a ticket lottery, where you go to the box office a few hours before the show, write your name down and hand it in to the person working there. They have you come back at a specific time and they choose names “out of a hat.” If your name is chosen you’re able to buy very discounted tickets. You may think the chances are low, but many times its a very small group of people putting their names in, and they end up choosing around 20 names total.

Just last week I went to see Matilda The Musical. First of all, the show was FANTASTIC. But I bought my ticket through the lotter system! I paid $27 for an orchestra seat to a Wednesday matinee. I definitely recommend taking advantage of what these theaters offer in regards to discounted tickets.

Back In the New York Groove

New York City has a flow like no other. Everyone walking is in a rush to be somewhere and they’re most likely running late. A walk down the street doesn’t just get you to your destination but also doubles as cardio! If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or NY’s version, If you can’t walk fast, GET OUT OF MY WAY! ;)

Needless to say, the pace of New York is much different from my hometown. And I love it. However, when you’re out of the city for SEVEN WEEKS (much too long for me) it takes a day or two to readjust. I have to use the New Yorker part of my brain, and put on my New Yorker legs. There’s an art to bobbing and weaving through pedestrians without bumping into them and I must say I’m an expert artist!

Now that I’m synchronized with the pace of the city, I look forward to starting my semester at FIT! This is the first semester where I’m taking all major related courses! I find that something to celebrate. No more science, history, math classes…well at least until my bachelors, I think.

This semester I’m taking Sales Promotion, Research Methods in IMC, Advertising Copywriting, Audience & Media and the Credited Internship class. It’s so awesome once you start to see lessons from one class being integrated into another. That’s when you really start to absorb all the information because you see where it all fits in the industry.

My schedule this semester is also very on point. I intern with fashion designer Daniel Vosovic at the CFDA Incubator Mondays and Tuesdays, work on wednesdays (eyeroll but money doesn’t grow on trees), and class Thursday and Friday, and work Saturdays! I’m already loving the different structure this semester. Being in the industry two days out of the week teaches me a lot, sometimes more than I’d learn in a classroom setting.

Spring semester comes with a side of optimism. No matter how frigid and indecisive Mother Nature is the first month or two, Spring IS right around the corner. NYC comes back to life along with all living in it. Trees bud, flowers bloom, and opportunities arise for everyone. I can’t begin to explain how magical NYC is in the springtime. And did I mention summer comes after spring? ;)

Springy thoughts my friends!

xx, Brendan

Three Things I Miss About New York

It’s a dreary day here in upstate New York, rain and fog. I’m sitting on my couch working on my online class and day dreaming of the city that I will be back in oh so soon. Winter break is a lovely thing, always much needed, and always very fun. However, sometimes I feel like it goes on for too long. I get stuck in a rut, and I need to be back in the city and back in my routine. Here are three things I miss most about being in New York City and at FIT!

1. Just going for a walk

I really miss being able to just leave my dorm without a plan and go on an adventure. New York is great in that way because you don’t need a destination. Something will catch your eye, a coffee shop, a clothing store, a street performer, a park bench. The possibilites are endless! My only real option in upstate New York is going to Target and spending too much money on things I don’t necessarily need! I’m SO looking forward to walks throughout the city this spring semester!

2. My internship

I am so lucky to first off have an internship and secondly, get along so well with the designer I intern for. Everyday I go into the studio I know I’m learning something. Even if I’m running looks to a magazine office or just pulling pictures online for inspiration, I’m pushing myself and absorbing what its like to be in the industry. I’m very much looking forward to going back to my internship this semester and seeing what is has in store for me!

3. My view

This may be corny and cliche, but I miss the view from my window at Kaufman. I live on the 13th floor, which means I have a pretty nice view. The Freedom Tower stands tall directly in front of me, I can see some of the river, and thousands of buildings in between. And the sunsets – well they’re just breath taking. Sometimes when I’m stressed I just take a minute a look out my window. I’m in New York City and this is my view! I shouldn’t be complaining about much!

 

xx, Brendan

Online Classes

I wasn’t completely able to escape classwork this winter break.  A few months back I chose to do an online winter course while I was home because I wanted to get a credited course out of the way so I wouldn’t be too overwhelmed my last semester in my associates.

I’ve never taken an online course, or a winter course through FIT, so this experience is completely new to me! It is really nice that FIT offers online classes every semester, because it accommodates different students lives and needs. I’m not on campus this winter break but I’m still able to work towards my degree!

The course I’m taking is Macroeconomics, honestly a class I was not looking forward to at all. I had heard horror stories about online classes, where you had to be logged in at a certain time each day, for a certain amount of hours. Already, I was getting nervous. I didn’t want an online class taking over my winter break! I have work to go to, and friends to spend time with.

The course started the week after Christmas and ends a few days before I head back for my spring semester. I like the fact that its a shortened version of a regular semester’s course, but with that comes many deadlines and due dates. I don’t know if it’s just the particular course, but I feel like there is so much to do. Everyday is a due date, which means every morning I’m waking up to work on macroeconomics.

It’s not like I didn’t sign up for this, I am taking an online course for god sakes. But it is cramping my “lazy style” this winter break. Maybe that’s a good thing…

Overall, I’m not sure how I feel about online classes. I don’t know if it’s just because Macroeconomics is a tough subject, but I don’t think I’m absorbing much information because I’m too worried about due dates and getting things in on time. I just want to get my credit and be done with it!

Have any of you taken online classes? If so, how did you like it? Let me know!

xx, Brendan

2014!

It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve had time to sit down and write a post on here! I know I’m not the only one to say the holiday season fills up everyone’s schedules, with work parties, holiday shopping, and family gatherings. You basically can’t take a breather until after New Years Day! With that being said, I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas and New Years.

Christmas in upstate New York will always be so special to me. Growing up here, I know nothing different during the month of December. I can’t imagine spending Christmastime in a warm or tropical climate! I’m so used to freezing cold temperature, and lots of snow! That’s how I like my Christmas and luckily that’s what we had this year. It was the perfect time to be cozy with my family, and an excuse to stay in and eat, drink and be merry!

I had an extra special New Years Eve this year. My best friends older sister got married on New Years Eve, to the wonderful man she met seven years earlier, at a New Years Eve wedding! I haven’t been to many weddings, but this was by far the most unique, special and beautiful wedding I have ever been to. A wedding is supposed to be all about the bride and groom, and this ceremony was so perfectly attuned to this couple. It was so wonderful being surrounded by love on a night like NYE. The positivity and joy that filled the reception hall brought out the best in everyone as we made the count down to 2014.

It has been a very relaxing, and much needed, winter break so far. I am lucky to have a job here at home to keep myself busy over this seven week break. I work as a busser/food runner at a local fine dining restaurant. I enjoy the food industry because its fast paced and you’re really able to develop your people skills without really realizing it. I only have about 2 weeks left on my winter break. It’s always bittersweet saying goodbye to my family and friends and heading back to the city, however, I’m extremely excited for my spring semester and all that it brings.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy, successful 2014! Cheers!

xx, Brendan

O Christmas Tree

And just like that…I’m back in upstate New York, and this past semester was all a dream…

Just kidding! However, I might as well fallen asleep in September and woken up this week because where did the time go?! I’m currently writing from my couch in Saratoga, New York. I’m surrounded by blankets, cable TV, yummy food, and the most festive Christmas decorations. I made it through all of my finals, alive and unharmed! Tell me that two weeks ago and I would have thought you were crazy, I felt there was no end in sight. But I must say it feels pretty darn good to have finished this semester strong.

Being home for winter break is different than any other, because who doesn’t look forward to being home for the holidays?! All of your friends slowly but surely make their way home from school and you can’t wait to hear all of their stories. There’s an urge to gather with your friends and family, and celebrate the spirit of the season together! I am so excited to be reunited with some of my long time friends, and like always it seems as if we just saw each other yesterday.

There was one thing I had to do before I travelled back upstate…I had to see the tree. No, not some random tree in Central Park, but the majestic Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center. Now I know many New Yorkers are probably over the hype of this annual tree, but I’m still pretty fresh to the city and I don’t think I’ve said it enough but I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

Last night a few friends and I bundled up and started the journey to 49th street to see the main attraction. I saw the tree last year for my first time in years, and to be honest I couldn’t see much of a difference in this years tree BUT I still was in awe. Immediately when you turn the corner and see the gigantic, twinkling tree – it takes your breath away! After taking multiple pictures at different angles of the big beaut, my friends and I stopped to watch the ice skaters beneath the tree. Boy, I could have stayed their for hours. I hate to say it, but I can’t keep myself from laughing when someone falls – it just comes right out! If you want some pure entertainment, spend a few minutes watching the ice skaters at Rock Center!

W O W

But as I was standing there, watching the skaters and appreciating the tree, I felt happy, grateful and proud for the semester I had officially completed earlier that morning. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the semester in the city than by seeing that tree. I was given so many opportunities this semester, through the FIT Blog, my internship and my job. I think that Christmas tree brings the best out in people, you could just feel it in the air. However cold it was, everyone had a smile on the face and were with someone they cared about. The joy was infectious.

So as I sit here in my childhood home, looking at our christmas tree, I look forward to a relaxing winter break with my friends and family. It’s always a great time to reboot and prepare to take the city into your hands next semester. I hope my blog doesn’t bore too many these next few weeks, upstate New York is V E R Y boring…big surprise!

I wish you all the happiest of holidays!

xx, Brendan

I Am Thankful For…

Three more days….Two more days….One more day….

Thanksgiving break is almost here!! My favorite meal of the year is only a few more sleeps away, and I can barely sleep thinking about it! This is our first technical break all semester and I’m sure I’m not the only one who couldn’t be more ready and excited. Many other colleges have some sort of Fall Break but not FIT. I’m assuming it’s because we recognize many of the Jewish holidays in September? Think about it FIT, I take the liberty of speaking for the students when I say we would definitely not be opposed to some long weekend maybe in mid-October?? Like I said, Think about it ;)

With Thanksgiving falling so late in the month this year, it’s very very close to finals week. I technically only have a week and a half left of this semester after Thanksgiving! Where the heck did time go?! I can’t begin to explain how fast this semester flew by. I feel like just yesterday I was complaining about how hot it was outside, now its below freezing and windy and can’t seem to stay warm! I’d like to think I’m not the only one when I say how stressed I’ve been this past week with finals prep. My term papers are piling up – well, not literally since I’ve only actually completed one… My final exams are looming over my head. Lately I’ve been feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all I need to get done!

Good point. Really good point.

However, there is an extremely bright light at the end of this weeks tunnel. THANKSGIVING! Thanksgiving technically marks the beginning of my absolute favorite time of the year – Christmas! I am so looking forward to escaping the city for a few days, retreating to my childhood home in Saratoga, New York and spending Turkey Day with my wonderful family and friends. I also plan on proudly gaining about 50 pounds within that day…only kidding hehe.

I am extremely thankful to go to school so close to my home, allowing me to be with my family on Thanksgiving. I know so many students at FIT are from across the nation or even across the world and are not able to have the proper meal and spend the day with their families. If I could bring you all to my house I would – but my house is only so big!

If you’re lucky enough to be with your loved ones this Thanksgiving, I urge you to take the time to tell yourself how blessed you are and to tell your family and friends how much you love them. Despite being very stressed and busy the past few days, I’ve been reminding myself of the upcoming holiday. I know I have SO much to be thankful for, oddly enough including the stress I’ve been feeling. Because if I wasn’t here at FIT then I wouldn’t be in New York, taking these classes, completing these papers, which are making me stressed. Sounds like far fetched idea but it’s true. I am thankful for FIT final papers and all. :)

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving everyone!

xx, Brendan

Have Yourself a Bizarre Holiday

 

It’s not everyday that your college lobby is transformed into a boutique, full of new and gently-worn designer womenswear including clothing, shoes and accessories. Then again, there’s no college like FIT! The grand opening of the Holiday Bizarre Pop-up Shop was today, Tuesday November 19th and is scheduled to run through Saturday November 23rd in the Pomerantz lobby,  everyday from 11 am – 8 pm and is open to the public. This year the Holiday Bazaar teamed up with The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Thrift Shop who provided all of the merchandise. All sales benefit the thrift shop, which supports patient care, education, and research programs at the Cancer Center.

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping (YAY!) and with that comes some of New York’s best pop-up shops. However, this is no ordinary pop-up. FIT is hosting a Surrealist-themed holiday shop designed, installed, and merchandised by students in the Visual Presentation and Exhibit Design program! I must say I was amazed at how the D building lobby was transformed. The students who were involved in designing and building the pop up shop did a fantastic job. I felt as if I was walking into a Rene Magritte painting filled with Catherine Malandrino gowns, Alexander Wang boots and Rag & Bone jeans – it was like a dream!

Unfortunately, all of the merchandise being sold is for women so I wasn’t able to find anything particularly for me. However if you’re looking for that special something to give to your girlfriend, mother or sister this holiday, the FIT Holiday Bizarre Pop Up Shop is the place to go! Womenswear, shoes, bags, and jewelry are displayed in the cozy shop with prices ranging from $40 to $300.

    

I don’t know about you, but anything with the word “holiday” in front of it and you’ve got my attention! Now begins my absolute favorite time of the year. If you happen to be on campus, it is definitely worth your time to check out the pop-up shop! Not only is the shop for a great cause, but it’s so awesome to see the spectacular talent and artistry that is present in this institution. Look at it this way, class goes by a lot faster when you can go shopping in the lobby right after ;)

xx, Brendan